Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vietnam's Economy Shows Positive Economic Growth Trend

While most economies worldwide suffered a negative growth rate in 2009, Vietnam managed to place itself among the few countries that attained a relatively high growth rate of 5.32 percent. This basic figure indicates the strong recovery of the economy.
Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc said this at the regular meeting of the government in December 2009. According to the minister, the trend in other fields is positive as well.

Industrial Output Grows at 7.6 Percent
Industry was seriously affected by the shrinkage of export markets, but factories, businesses, and corporations made a great effort. The government and authorities at various levels proposed timely and effective solutions, for example supporting interest rates, expanding domestic consumption, and encouraging people to respond to the campaign "the Vietnamese people use Vietnamese products." Industry recovered quickly as a result. Negative growth of 4.4 percent in January 2009 was followed by continuous increases through the last months of the year, when industry was growing 12-13 percent. Overall industrial growth in 2009 was 7.6 percent.
High growth rates were seen in some product areas such as air conditioners 41.8 percent, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) 39.3 percent, freezers and refrigerators 29.5 percent, cement 19.2 percent, and round steel 19.1 percent.
A number of provinces experienced high growth rates, including 15.8 percent in Quang Ninh, 13.9 percent in Thanh Hoa, 10.6 percent in Dong Nai, 10.3 percent in Binh Duong, 9.4 percent in Hanoi, and 7.9 percent in Ho Chi Minh City.

Food Production Hits Record Level
In 2009, our country, particularly Tay Nguyen [Central Highlands] and the South Central Coast suffered severe damage from floods and storms, but because of efforts to promote production in other regions, particularly in the Red River Delta and the Mekong Delta, total grain production reached an estimated 43.33 million tons, including 38.9 million tons of rice, surpassing the 2008 record high by 0.4 percent in 2008, rice production reached the highest level in 12 years. Average rice productivity was 52.3 quintals per hectare.
Over the previous years, many localities had begun to replace old and stunted perennials with new varieties of higher yield and quality. Income from perennials was higher than other that of crops, so businesses and farmers continued to expand cultivated areas. Notably, more than 42,800 hectares of rubber were planted in the northern mountain provinces, Tay Nguyen and Binh Phuoc in 2009, and these provinces increased tea plantation by 2,600 hectares, and 6,100 hectares for coffee.
Animal husbandry continued to expand, particularly large-scale concentrated husbandry, and the number of farms increased more than 18 percent in compared to 2008.
Fishery and aquaculture production increased 5.4 percent over the previous year. The main reason was that localities continued to convert and expand cultivation areas in the direction of combining multiple cropping and polyculture. In addition the models of cage and raft aquaculture continued to develop, especially cage and raft aquaculture in the sea near the provinces of Kien Giang, Quang Nam, Ninh Thuan, Phu Yen, and Haiphong. Offshore seafood production increased due to a policy that supports purchases by fishermen of longer-range boats. Fishery services also improved, allowing boats more days at sea.

Posts, Telecommunication Revenue Increased 39.7 Percent
The number of new subscribers in 2009 was 41.7 million, an increase of 40.8 percent compared to 2008, including four million fixed-line subscribers, an increase of 43.1 percent, and 37.7 million cell phone subscribers, an increase of 40.5 percent. By the end of December 2009, the number of telephone subscribers in the country was 123 million, an increase of 51.3 percent over the previous year, including 18.1 million fixed line subscribers, an increase of 28.4 percent and 104.9 million cell phone subscribers, an increase of 56.1 percent.
By late December 2009, the number of internet subscribers had reached 3 million, an increase of 45.5 percent compared to 2008. The Internet users were estimated to be 22.9 million by late December, an increase of 10.3 percent over 2008. Total net revenue from post and telecommunication services in 2009 was estimated at 94.9 trillion Vietnam dong, an increase of 39.7 percent compared to 2008.

Lowest Consumer Price Index Increase in 6 Years
Consumer prices were fairly stable in 2009, apart from an increase of over one percent in February and December. The consumer price index in other months decreased or increased slightly. The consumer price index in December 2009 increased 6.52 percent in comparison with December 2008, much lower than the National Assembly's approved target of 10 percent.
The consumer price index in 2009 increased 6.88 percent from 2008, the lowest in the recent six years. The consumer price index increased 7.71 percent in 2004, 8.29 percent in 2005, 7.48 percent in 2006, 8.3 percent in 2007, and 22.97 percent in 2008.
In the context of the global financial crisis, our economy achieved a fairly high growth rate, and the inflation rate was not high. This indicates a big success for macroeconomic management and administration.

Exports Grow at End of Year
Because of the shrinkage of consumption in international markets, many commodity prices dropped sharply, so export turnover reached only about $41.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2009, a decrease of 14.8 percent from the same period in 2008. Exports for the whole year were estimated at $56.6 billion, a decrease of 9.7 percent from 2008.
However, in the later months, the situation noticeably improved. Export turnover in November reached nearly $4.7 billion, an increase of 10.2 percent over the same period in 2008.
December achieved the highest level of the year with $5.25 billion, an increase of 12 percent over the previous month and 12.5 percent over December 2008, mainly because of an increase in major commodity exports. Textile exports increased $90 million, rice $80 million, footwear $77 million, coffee $67 million, and crude oil $33 million.
Vietnam's economic changes during 2009, particularly in the last months, are a positive sign for new developments in 2010, the last year of 10-year 2001-2010 socioeconomic development strategy, the year of party congresses at all levels, and the 11th National Party Congress.

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