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Mar 29, 2021 / 15:12

Vietnam’s GDP expands 4.48% in Q1 under Covid-19 impacts

The GDP growth target of 6.5% for 2021 is a challenge for the country, which requires strong efforts from the government, business community and people.

The Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact Vietnam’s socio-economic performance in the first quarter of this year, leaving the country’s GDP growth in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 at an estimated 4.48% year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

 Data: GSO. Chart: Ngoc Thuy

The rate, however, remained significantly higher than the one recorded in the same period of last year, which was 3.68%, stated the GSO in its latest report.

In the January-March period, the sector of agriculture, forestry and fishery increased by 3.16%, contributing 8.34% to the overall growth; the sector of industry and construction rose by 6.3%, contributing 56%; and the service sector climbed by 3.34%, contributing 35.7%.

Manufacturing and processing continued to be the driving force of the economy with an expansion rate of 9.45%, while the mining sector contracted 8.24%.

In the industry and construction sector, the industry expanded 5.17% year-on-year in the three-month period, higher than the 4.37% growth rate of Q1/2020.

The services sector witnessed positive growth as the Covid-19 pandemic is gradually contained in Vietnam, along with positive impacts from existing free trade agreements that the country is a part of.

With a growth rate of 7.35%, finance, banking and insurance remained the fastest growing sub-component under services sector, followed by wholesale and retail (6.45%). Meanwhile, accommodation and catering services suffered a decline of 4.49% and transportation, -2.17%.

The first quarter of 2021 also saw the recovery of trading activities, as trade turnover surged by 24% year-on-year to US$152 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$2 billion during the period.

The GSO, nevertheless, said given the uncertainties of the pandemic situation around the world, “the GDP growth target of 6.5% is a major challenge, which requires strong efforts from the government, business community and people.”

 Among measures to push for greater economic growth, the agency called for speedy implementation of vaccination program against Covid-19, while providing the business community with better access to government support programs and accelerating disbursement rate of public investment.