HANOI, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's economic prospects improved further, with gross domestic product (GDP) projected to expand by 6.8 percent in 2018, the World Bank (WB) said in its latest economic update for Vietnam.
The Vietnamese economy's recent growth was driven by a cyclical increase in global demand as well as a recovery of foreign direct investment (FDI) and investment in private sector, and an ongoing shift of labor away from agriculture into more productive manufacturing and service sectors, according to the WB's Taking Stock released on Thursday in Vietnam's capital Hanoi.
"Vietnam's high economic growth in 2017 and in the first quarter of 2018 is impressive and gives the country a firm foundation to move forward," said Ousmane Dione, the WB country director for Vietnam.
Vietnam's real GDP is projected to expand by 6.8 percent this year, up from 6.5 percent in the WB's previous forecast, before moderating to 6.6 percent in 2019 and 6.5 percent in 2020, due to an expected slowdown in global demand, according to the WB's latest forecast.
The country's inflation is expected to remain around the 4-percent government target. The current account balance is projected to remain in surplus, but could start narrowing next year, the WB said.
Despite improved short-term prospects, risks remain significant. Domestically, slower progress in restructuring state-owned enterprises and banking sectors could adversely impact the macro-financial situation, undermine growth prospects, and create large public-sector liabilities, according to the bank.
External risks include escalating trade protectionism and monetary tightening, among others.
Vietnam is taking synchronous measures to achieving the targets of posting GDP growth of over 6.7 percent this year, according to a government report recently presented at the ongoing 5th session of Vietnam's 14th National Assembly, the country's top legislature.
Vietnam's top legislature targeted GDP growth of 6.5-6.7 percent in 2018. The growth rate was 6.81 percent in 2017.