|The Vietnamese economy is expected to rebound in the second half of the year
It said the ambitious goal was announced by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a recent online conference with thousands of local and foreign business representatives taking part.
The target is significantly higher than the prediction of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which announced that it is expecting Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 2.7%. Even that prediction puts Vietnam ahead of its neighbours and ensures that the country will continue to be Southeast Asia's fastest growing economy. The forecast growth rate, however, is in stark contrast with the 7% expansion of 2019.
By May 23, Vietnam had recorded 324 COVID-19 infections and zero deaths. The country hasn't seen new community infections in weeks. All recent infections have been imported cases of Vietnamese who were repatriated from countries that suffer from much severe outbreaks of the virus.
Experts believe that Vietnam was able to contain the virus because it acted quickly and decisively. The country decided to close schools, shut down borders and suspend international travel much earlier than other nations. It also set up quarantine camps, where tens of thousands of travellers arriving from overseas were quarantined for 14 days.
Vietnam receives praise from all over the world for how it has handled the outbreak. With the economy restarting, the country hopes to use this newly gained trust to attract more foreign investors and businesses, it said.
Adam McCarty, the chief economist of research and consultancy firm Mekong Economics, said Vietnam has shown the world that it can manage a complex threat as the coronavirus health crisis.
"They're showing that they can handle it much better than most European countries and the US. That's a signal to foreign investors and to foreign governments", he said.