Vietnam capable of achieving twin targets: ADB Country Director

Vietnam has sufficient conditions to achieve the twin targets of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic and securing economic growth in 2021, according to Country Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Andrew Jeffries.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency about the recovery capability of Vietnam’s economy amid the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, he expressed his optimism about the country’s economic outlook, given the positive economic statistics recorded in April and May.

In the first five months of 2021, the Vietnamese economy continued to post encouraging signs in export, foreign investment attraction, FDI disbursement, and retail sales.

However, Jeffries also pointed out that risks have appeared when the pandemic resurged in April while the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination plan has been delayed.

He noted that the ongoing fourth wave of infections has affected not only big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but also industrial parks in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces, which are the locations of manufacturing activities by many important links in the electronics supply chain.

To realise the target of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2030, Vietnam needs to sustain an annual economic growth rate of over 7%, the ADB official remarked.

The first and foremost condition to obtain such growth is that the private sector in the industry and services sectors must operate dynamically, he said, calling for conditions to be created for them to access financial, land, and technological sources and enhance corporate governance skills.

It is also necessary to rationalise business procedures for private firms and prioritise digital transformation, according to him.

Jeffries noted that Vietnam’s economic growth and development outlook is closely associated with the capability to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The successful containment of the pandemic is the decisive factor in the 2021 growth, he went on, expressing his belief that the Vietnamese Government and people will be able to control the pandemic thanks to the important experiences gained from the previous outbreaks.

During the interview, the ADB Country Director said the current wave of COVID-19 infections with new variants has been handled effectively by the Government and now almost under control. Therefore, Vietnam is completely capable of realising the twin targets of curbing the pandemic and gaining economic growth this year.

However, he also warned that unexpected outbreaks could continue to happen and impact part of the workforce, especially in industrial parks.

The only way to help push back the pandemic, ensure long-term safety for people, and create conditions for economic development is to step up COVID-19 vaccination, he added.

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