Despite the second Covid-19 outbreak that will likely moderate the pace of third-quarter growth, Vietnam is predicted to remain the strongest growth performer this year in the Southeast Asian region with a GDP growth rate of 2.9%, thanks to effective virus containment, according to HSBC.
In fact, the HSBC expected Vietnam would be the only country among six major economies in the region, or ASEAN-6 (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), to record a positive economic growth, and then rebound to over 8.55% in 2021.
In contrast, the ASEAN-6 is predicted to contract 4.4% in 2020. This is ultimately a reflection of the fact that all ASEAN economies except Indonesia announced some form of hard lockdown to combat the virus, stated HSBC’s report.
The lockdowns and corresponding hit to mobility have significantly impacted private consumption, which is the largest component of growth in ASEAN. As a result, this was the main drag on growth in the first half of the year in all the economies, with investment a close second.
According to the HSBC, while the region’s private investment outlook has been subdued in recent quarters, owing in part to a moderation in FDI inflows, Vietnam has been an exception. Amid global uncertainty, the economy continues to attract fresh FDI.
A report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) revealed that year to August 20, 1,797 new projects have been approved with total registered capital of US$9.73 billion, up 6.6% year-on-year in capital.
The report shows that out of 106 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in the first eight months of 2020, Singapore took the lead with US$6.54 billion, followed by South Korea (US$2.97 billion), and China (US$1.75 billion).
The World Bank in late July predicted Vietnam’s economic growth at 2.8% this year, the world's fifth-fastest-growing economy, while the government targets a growth rate in range of 3 – 4%.