The Vietnamese economy continued to enjoy growth in the second quarter of 2018, following an impressive growth impetus in the first three months of this year, according to the Department of Planning under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Speaking at a teleconference on July 9 reviewing industrial production and the trade situation over the first half of 2018, as well as working out orientations for the remaining months of the year, Duong Duy Hung, head of the department, attributed the success to the recovery of the world economy, Vietnam’s improved business and investment environment, and growth in both domestic consumption and industry, especially in processing and manufacturing.
The relatively low economic growth rate during the first half of 2017 was also a factor contributing to a perception of this year’s high growth rate, Hung stated.
However, he pointed out several challenges facing the country’s economy in general, and the industry and trade sector in particular, including policy changes from several of Vietnam’s main importing countries; increases in import taxes of some Vietnamese products to the US; slower growth of processing and manufacturing; higher inflation pressure; trade deficit over the past two months; and complicated weather developments.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that given the context that trade conflicts are growing, with technical and trade production barriers becoming more frequent, it is necessary for all ministries and sectors to join hands in tackling future problems.
He cited the recent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing problem, saying that it is essential for ministries and sectors to take the initiative and coordinate in order to maintain the market.
Although Vietnam has signed a lot of free trade agreements (FTA) and bilateral trade agreements in certain fields, technical barriers and administrative procedures are still abundant, making it complicated and difficult to approach export markets.
Therefore, he stressed the need to study markets thoroughly when conducting policy administration in order to balance interests and seek out any weaknesses in cooperation mechanisms intended to facilitate the export of products.
To achieve the targets set for 2018, the minister emphasised the need to complete institutions, improve the business and investment environment, and speed up the restructuring of the industry and trade sector.
It is also necessary to keep a close watch on market developments so as to have flexible administration procedures and support businesses in implementing appropriate business and production measures, Anh stated, pointing out that import-export activities are normally busy in the second half of the year.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam FTA, expected to become effective in 2018, have helped Vietnam attract more foreign investors, thus facilitating the country in improving its production capacity.
The ministry will intensify measures to remove barriers and create favourable conditions for exports, especially agricultural products and seafood, he added.