Trucks deliver containers at Dinh Vu port in Hai Phong city, Vietnam, March 31, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
Vietnam's GDP grew 5.03 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with 4.72 percent in the same period last year, and 3.66 percent in the first quarter of 2020, creating a springboard for economic growth in the next quarters of 2022.
HANOI, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's production and business recovered in the first quarter of this year, but are still encountering many obstacles, including adverse impacts of the global pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, said local experts and international organizations.
According to Vietnam's General Statistics Office (GSO) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.03 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with 4.72 percent in the same period last year, and 3.66 percent in the first quarter of 2020, creating a springboard for economic growth in the next quarters of 2022.
"Vietnam's economy gradually recovered with production and business activities being speeded up in the first quarter of this year. The country will post higher GDP growth in the second quarter because of its comprehensive reopening and better containment of COVID-19," local economist Dinh Trong Thinh, a veteran lecturer of the Academy of Finance under the Ministry of Finance, told Xinhua on Friday.
According to him, the highlight of Vietnam's economic growth in the first quarter of 2022, when the global supply chain began to resume and regain momentum, was the remarkable acceleration of a "three-horse carriage," namely investment, export and consumption.
People shop at a supermarket in Hanoi, Vietnam, Jan. 7, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
Between January and March, the realized social investment capital at current prices stood at 562.2 trillion Vietnamese dong (24.4 billion U.S. dollars), posting a year-on-year rise of 8.9 percent.
In the three-month period, the realized foreign direct investment capital increased by 7.8 percent on-year to over 4.4 billion U.S. dollars, the first-quarter biggest amount over the past five years. Meanwhile, Vietnam welcomed nearly 91,000 foreign visitors, up 89.1 percent from the same period last year, after it reopened the tourism market, resuming many international air routes.
Regarding export, the country earned nearly 88.6 billion U.S. dollars from shipping goods, including 15 items with each export turnover of over 1 billion U.S. dollars, abroad in the first quarter of this year, surging 12.9 percent on year. It gained a trade surplus of 809 million U.S. dollars.
Workers make shoes for export at a workshop of the footwear company in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 1, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
Meanwhile, total retail sales of consumer goods and services stood at 1,318 trillion Vietnamese dong, up 4.4 percent year on year.
"Besides the three bright spots of investment, export and consumption, many service sectors, including finance, banking and insurance, transport and warehouse, and wholesales and retails, made bigger contributions to Vietnam's economic growth in the first quarter of this year," said Thinh.
However, the economist expressed his worry about a potential high inflation rate. "I am afraid that the consumer price index (CPI) this year may double against last year," he said, noting that CPI increased 1.84 percent in 2021, and grew 1.92 percent in the first quarter of 2022, when many countries in the world faced the biggest price hike in several decades.
Economic growth in some of Vietnam's major partners such as the United States and the European Union is forecast to decline. Vietnam will find the GDP growth target of 6-6.5 percent set for this year by its top legislature challenging, GSO general director Nguyen Thi Huong told reporters in late March.
Women wearing the traditional Vietnamese ao dai dress greet tourists in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, April 8, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
To realize the economic growth target, Vietnam will center on taking seven groups of measures, including effectively curbing the COVID-19 pandemic while assisting enterprises in recovering and developing in the 2022-2023 period; controlling prices of essential goods and services and ensuring their supplies; boosting domestic production, including electricity generation; fostering the local market as well as export in a sustainable way; quickly recovering the tourism market; accelerating administrative reform; and actively dealing with natural disasters, she said.
On April 5, the World Bank lowered its forecast for Vietnam's GDP growth this year to 5.3 percent, down from the projection of 6.5 percent it made last October.
Over 78 percent of the Vietnamese population is fully vaccinated, but the economy still faces serious downside risks from possible new variants, the global ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising commodity prices and economic slowdown in its major export markets, said the bank.
"Economic recovery will also hinge on the recovery of the domestic private demand, which has been slow, highlighting consumers and investors uncertainty. The current surge in infections may lead to temporary labor supply and production disruptions," stated the World Bank.
On April 6, the Asian Development Bank predicted Vietnam's economy would expand 6.5 percent this year when developing economies in Asia are set to grow 5.2 percent amid global uncertainty. (1 U.S. dollar equals 22,862 Vietnamese dong)■