VIETNAM’s exports should out-perform the rest of South-east Asia in 2020, Maybank Kim Eng economists expect, even as the downturn in regional shipments is likely to bottom out.
While year-on-year growth is pegged to ease to 6.6 per cent in 2020 and 2021, down from an estimated 7 per cent in 2019, economists Linda Liu and Chua Hak Bin said in a recent report that the “growth outlook remains positive”.
The projected pick-up in Vietnamese exports, which could come on improved trade relations between the United States and China and an upswing in the global technology market, “will benefit Vietnam’s export-oriented manufacturing and trade-related services industries”.
“Manufacturing and exports are likely to improve as sustained manufacturing (foreign direct investments) translate into actual output while regional growth recovery reignites demand,” they added, noting that Vietnam’s external trade numbers posted stronger growth in December to bring the full-year trade surplus to a record US$9.9 billion.
Besides contributions from factories, the analysts pointed to “buoyant domestic demand and a potential construction boom led by higher public investment” as internal drivers of growth.
The last three months of 2019 saw the services sector expanding at a faster clio, by 8.1 per cent, with retail sales rising on the previous quarter amid higher domestic consumption, as well as a tourist recovery that saw surging visitor numbers from China.