2017 was a successful year for Vietnam in areas from socio-economic development to elevating its international status.
Diplomats and foreign investors said Vietnam will have new opportunities and advantages in 2018.
Dynamic economy in ASEAN
Bloomberg News called Vietnam an emerging economic development model in ASEAN.
It described Vietnam as a good example for countries transforming from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy led by services and tourism.
|Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura
Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, said, “Vietnam is a rising surge of the ASEAN economy. Many manufacturers like Canon, Samsung, and Toyota are locating to Vietnam. ASEAN provides market opportunities to Vietnamese businesses. Not only manufacturing but also other industries including tourism, real estate, construction, and others are expanding. The point now is how to make better use of ASEAN.”
Vietnam combines many factors to make itself a dynamic economy in the region, thanks to development directions set by the government, said Indonesian legislator Rahayu Saraswati.
|Indonesian legislator Rahayu Saraswati
She added Vietnam has proven it can fulfill its potential to become an attractive destination for foreign investors.
“I think that Vietnam has done a wonderful job. As some of my friends who have come here before say: ‘Wow, in the past 10 years, Vietnam has made tremendous progress in terms of infrastructure and investment’,” said Rahayu.
Potential for development
According to the World Economic Forum, Vietnam’s Global Competitiveness Index has risen 20 places in the past 5 years. It now ranks 55th out of 137 countries.
The Asian Development Bank said the Vietnamese economy performed relatively well in 2017 despite many challenges.
Aaron Batten, an ADB economist, said he hopes Vietnam’s growth will slightly further to 6.7% this year, adding its export growth is to remain relatively strong in a double digit, about 10%.
“Vietnam continues to remain one of the strongest performances within the ASEAN region. That is due to a number of strategic and structure advantages that it enjoyed,” Batten said.
Vietnam has had the world's second-fastest growth rate per person since 1990, behind only China. Many international experts agreed that if the growth rate is maintained, Vietnam will soon become an industrial nation.
Important partner of many countries
With a stable economy and improved status in the international arena, Vietnam has become an established partner in the global community.
Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong said, “Vietnam has made encouraging economic progress, with last year’s growth reaching 6.8%. All economic goals were surpassed. By successfully hosting the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, Vietnam raised its status internationally. These achievements are impressive. China is ready to enhance its cooperation and development strategy with Vietnam.”
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in his 2018 New Year message that Vietnam is trying to create a more peaceful and safer environment, and raise the living standards for the people, especially for poor and vulnerable groups. With a population of 95 million and impressive achievements after the 30 years of reform, Vietnam is building a dynamic and sustainable economy.