Vietnam’s GDP per capita is set to increase this year, but its 2020 target of $3,200-3,500 looks distant.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said at a National Assembly meeting Monday that if Vietnam’s GDP increases by 6.7 percent this year, per capita GDP will reach $2,540, up $155, or 6.1 percent year-on-year, and 1.21 times that of 2015.
According to World Bank Group statistics, Vietnam’s GDP per capita in 2017 is $2,343. The figure for Singapore is $57,714, Malaysia ($9,945), Thailand ($6,594), the Philippines ($2,989) and Myanmar ($1,298).
Minister Dung estimated that Vietnam’s GDP would grow by 6.57 percent on average in the 2016-2018 period, meeting the National’s Assembly target of 6.5-6.7 percent growth.
However, he expressed concerns about the increasing number of businesses that stopped operations in the first nine months of this year.
While 96,610 new businesses opened, 73,100 closed, up 48 percent year-on-year.
These figures worried government officials at the meeting. Vu Hong Thanh, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee, said that the goal of having one million businesses by 2020 will be “difficult to achieve.”
Last year Vietnam had over 560,000 active businesses, up 11 percent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office.
But in another meeting last week, Deputy Prime Minster Vuong Dinh Hue said that the goal “is full of challenges, but achievable.”
Hue said that how strong these businesses are and how much they can contribute to the economy is more important.
“The government aims to practically improve the business environment by not imposing more conditions,” he said.
In the first nine months this year, Vietnam’s GDP grew by 6.98 percent, the highest nine-month growth rate since 2011. The economy grew by 6.81 percent last year, the highest rate in a decade.