Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.08 percent in 2018, the highest in the past 11 years, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on December 27.
GSO Director General Nguyen Bich Lam said at a press conference that the growth rate well surpassed the target of 6.7%, and was the result of the strong leadership of the Government, the Prime Minister and the efforts of agencies, administrations at all levels, the business community and people nationwide.
According to Lam, the agri-forestry-fishery sector posted an expansion of 3.76% and contributed 8.7% to the overall growth.
The industry-construction sector recorded an 8.85% increase and contributed 48.6% to the GDP growth, while the figures for the services sector were 7.03% and 42.7%, respectively.
The export of commodities and services picked up by 14.27% and the import of commodities and services went up 12.81%.
The growth of the agri-forestry-fishery sector was the highest in seven years, proving the positive effects of restructuring, particularly in agriculture and aquaculture. The structure of food crops has been changed towards high-quality rice varieties and production under VietGap standards. Despite a decrease in area, rice output increased by 1.24 million tonnes on a yearly basis to reach an estimated 43.98 million tonnes. The output of aquaculture also rose by 6.7%, reaching 4.2 million tonnes of aquatic products.
In the industry-construction sector, the manufacturing-processing industry continued to be the driving force with a growth of 12.98 percent, which was lower than the level in 2017 but much higher than the rates during 2012-2016.
Meanwhile, the mining sector witnessed a minus growth for the third consecutive year with a contraction of 3.11%, showing that the Vietnamese economy no longer depends on the exploitation of minerals and natural resources.
The 7.03 percent growth of the service sector was also higher than the expansion rate from 2012-2016, with market services such as retail and wholesale contributing a large proportion to the rise in GDP. Total goods and service retail value this year was about VND4,395.7 trillion (approximately US$190 billion at current exchange rate), up 11.7% from last year.
The GSO noted that the national economy’s scale in 2018 has doubled that in 2011 to reach VND5,535.3 trillion at current prices. Per capita GDP this year is estimated at US$58.5 million (US$2,587), up US$198 compared to 2017.
The economic structure continued to shift towards higher proportion of industry-construction and services, which made up 34.28% and 41.17% of the national GDP, respectively. Agriculture-forestry-fishery accounted for 14.57%.