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Vietnam’s GDP growth expected to decline in 2018, despite ten-year high in Q1

Vietnam’s GDP growth expected to decline in 2018, despite ten-year high in Q1

Monday, May 21, 2018, 19:03 GMT+7

Vietnam’s GDP in the first quarter of this year expanded at the fastest pace in ten years, but it does not mean good news for the country, the government said in a report released on Monday.

The country’s GDP growth reached 7.38 percent in the first three months of 2018, the best first-quarter performance since 2008, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said, citing the government report, as he addressed the opening of the fifth session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi.

“The robust growth is driven by all three major sectors, agro-forestry-fishery, industry and construction, and services,” he elaborated.

Particularly, the agro-forestry-fishery grew by 4.05 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier, doubling the 2.08 percent growth in the same period last year.

The industry and construction sector also expanded by 9.7 percent, compared to 4.48 percent in Q1/2017. The services sector slightly grew by 6.7 percent, up 0.34 percent.

However, the deputy premier took this achievement with caution, underling that growth is anticipated to fall gradually in the next quarters of the year.

Deputy PM frankly pointed out that the strong Q1/2018 performance is mainly because the growth in the first quarter of 2017 was too modest, only 5.15 percent.

Contrary to last year, when Samsung Vietnam and Formosa, the operator of a steel mill in the north-central province of Ha Tinh greatly contributed in the country’s exports, particularly in May and July, Vietnam lacks such driving forces for economic breakthroughs in the last three quarters of 2018, he added.

The deputy prime minister pointed out that many sectors will face bigger difficulties compared to 2017.

For instance, he said, the mining sector is expected to reduce production, with crude oil output expected to decrease by 2 million metric tons.

Scheduled cuts on import tariffs for some commodities from ASEAN countries can also cast a shadow on Vietnam’s economy growth in 2018, according to the deputy prime minister.

The government therefore put high expectations on the processing and manufacturing industry to be the main driving force for growth, capable of creating a breakthrough in the overall development of the economy.

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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