Vietnam's economy to grow by 3% in 2020; storm situation worsens

A public security officer delivering food and clean drinking water for residents trapped by in Le Thuy District, Quang Bình Province in central Vietnam on Friday (Oct 23, 2020). - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI, Oct 23 (Xinhua): Vietnam's economy is expected to grow by 3 per cent in 2020, with rising consumption on improving sentiments and faster manufacturing driving the growth in the last quarter of this year, Vietnam News Agency cited a recent report by Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) as saying on Friday.

"We expect the fourth-quarter growth to increase as domestic activity resumes and sentiments pick up," Chidu Narayanan, SCB's economist for Asia, was cited as saying, adding that the bank maintains its positive view on Vietnam's medium- and long-term economic outlook.

A likely improvement in external demand in the fourth quarter should support manufacturing growth, forecast at roughly 7.3 per cent in 2020, leading to the increase of both exports and imports, the news agency reported, adding that trade is likely to remain in surplus for the rest of 2020 as exports and imports move in tandem.

SCB's economists expect newly registered foreign direct investment inflows into Vietnam to decline in 2020, but remain strong at close to 13 billion U.S. dollars, the report said.

A recent report by the International Monetary Fund forecasts that Vietnam will be the only country in South-East Asia to have positive growth this year at 1.6 percent and will reach 6.7 per cent by 2021, compared to the SCB's estimate of 3 per cent this year and 7.8 per cent in 2021, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Vietnam's economy grew 2.12 per cent in the first nine months of this year, the lowest rate in the 2011-2020 period, according to the country's General Statistics Office.

Meanwhile, floods, landslides and other natural disasters triggered by downpours have left 117 people dead and 21 others missing in Vietnam's central and central highlands regions since early October, the country's Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said on Friday.

The fatalities were up from 114 reported on Thursday.

Quang Tri province reported the highest death toll of 50, followed by Thua Thien-Hue with 28 and Quang Binh with 11, according to the committee's latest report.

As of Thursday, floods had damaged over 37,500 houses, mainly in the localities of Quang Binh and Quang Tri, the committee said, adding that more than 746,900 cattle and poultry animals were killed or swept away in the disasters.

Several highways and local roads in Quang Binh and Quang Tri remained disrupted due to the disasters.

Further search and rescue as well as post-disaster recovery are underway.

The committee also urged authorities and individuals to prepare for the Storm Saudel, which may affect vietnam's central region in the next few days. - Xinhua
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