Tue, Sep 30, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Vietnam’s GDP in first nine months lags behind target

AFP , HANOI

Vietnam’s economy grew 6.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, lower than its target but still “encouraging” in the “context of a deteriorating world economy,” the government said yesterday.

To reach the official aim of 7 percent growth for the whole year, “the GDP growth for the remaining three months must be 8 percent,” said an official report from the state-run General Statistics Office (GSO).

Amid double-digit inflation, Vietnam had to lower its growth target for this year after recording 8.5 percent growth last year.

But some parts of the media estimate the economy will grow at less than the 7 percent target, while the government says it has changed its focus from high growth to containing inflation to ensure stability and social security.

Vietnam’s inflation rate this month reached 27.9 percent compared with a year ago.

In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) between January and September, the value of licensed projects reached US$57.1 billion, the GSO said.

Malaysia topped the list of leading investors, with US$14.9 billion for 37 projects. Then came Taiwan, Japan, Brunei and Canada.

According to the GSO, the FDI figure increased sharply because of the granting of licenses for a number of multibillion dollar projects to build steel factories, oil refineries and residential areas.

Disbursed FDI for this period reached US$8.1 billion, up 37.3 percent from a year ago.

The GSO also said industrial production in the first nine months of the year reached more than 493,000 billion dong (US$29.7 billion), up 16 percent year-on-year.

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