Vietnam is likely the top-performing Asian economy in 2020 — a feat that was achieved without a single quarter of economic contraction at a time when many economies globally were weighed down by the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC reported.
“Not every Asian economy has reported fourth-quarter and full-year economic numbers,” said the US-based news, referring official sources such as the International Monetary Fund that showed Vietnam outperforms all of its regional peers last year.
The Vietnamese economy grew 2.9% last year from a year ago, according to government estimates released in late December. That’s better than China’s forecast-beating 2.3% growth during the same period.
“With this performance, Vietnam has delivered one of the highest growth (rates) in a year where the rest of the world were in deep recessions,” CNBC quoted economists from Bank of America Global Research as saying.
Meanwhile, many economists appeared to be optimistic that the country’s economic growth will accelerate this year, it noted.
CNBC’s article pointed to three factors that contributed to Vietnam’s strong economic performance, including the effective Covid-19 containment, resilient exports, and recovery in services sector.
Despite neighboring China — where Covid-19 was first detected — Vietnam has reported just over 1,500 infections and 35 deaths as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The country’s handling of the virus outbreak was internationally hailed as a model for other developing nations to follow, and helped its economy to continue growing throughout 2020.
For exports, CNBC cited a report from Fitch Solutions as saying “considering that Vietnam has been a major beneficiary of the supply chain relocation/diversification trend out of China over the past several years, we see large scope for growth in Vietnamese exports in the years to come.”
"The Southeast Asian country has also inked several new trade agreements — such as with the U.K. and European Union — which could further boost trade flows," the consultancy added.
Regarding the services sector, CNBC said while it was badly hit in the pandemic, the sector picked up toward the end of 2020.
Economists said the extent of the recovery in services — especially in tourism — will determine how quickly Vietnam’s economy will return to its pre-pandemic path, it suggested.