Whilst the Government continues with its policy of enabling the business environment with a reduction in bureaucracy and the number of licenses and approvals the economy has overall shown some really great results.
GDP, has against the odds, achieved a growth of 6.8% higher than the target of 6.7% and certainly ahead of that predicted by all the pundit, myself included. Industry and construction achieved an 8% growth, with services at 7.4% and agriculture 2.9%.
Total foreign trade for the first time exceeded US$ 400 billion double that of 2011 with exports at a record US$ 210 billion, facilitating a significant trade surplus of over US$ 3 billion.
Inflation was kept under the target cap of 4% and wholesale and retail sales grew over 8.3%
Another really bright spot was the tourism sector which recorded a record 13 million international visitors, an increase of 29% and domestic tourists numbering 73 million, also a significant increase over 2016. China reached 4 million inbound tourists accounting for over 30% of all inbound visitors which is posing some challenges as shown by the fact that the growth in revenue from tourism is growing at a lower rate than tourists themselves.
Foreign Direct Investment rose 44% to reach a record US$ 35.88 billion of which 50% was actually disbursed. US$ 21.2 billion came from new projects, US$ 8.4 billion from additional investment in existing projects and US$ 6.2 billion from foreign indirect investment and M & A transactions.
The Vietnam Dong remained stable against most major currencies and the country’s foreign exchange reserves reached record levels at close to US$ 50 billion.
The stock market benefiting from the above successes closed on a 10 year record high just below the 1000 mark.
All in all a terrific performance and providing a positive outlook for 2018. This will be covered next week.
Wishing everyone a Healthy, Happy and Successful New Year.