HANOI, April 9 (Xinhua) -- S&P Global Ratings has recently upgraded Vietnam's long-term sovereign credit rating to "BB" from "BB-", the first time since 2010, and maintained its outlook at "stable".
"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Vietnam's economy will continue to expand rapidly, exemplifying gradual improvements in its policymaking settings and underpinning credit metrics," Vietnam News Agency quoted S&P's press release as reporting on Tuesday.
The country's external settings, which feature broadly balanced external accounts, strong foreign direct investment inflows and a manageable external debt burden, provide further support to the rating.
The rating agency viewed that the Vietnamese economy has achieved impressive development, notably the consistently high growth of 6.2 percent annually on average since 2012, and is estimated to grow by 5.7 percent on average until 2022, higher than most other countries with the same income level.
Vietnam's competitive unit labor costs, improving educational standards and constructive demographics are said to guarantee growth in foreign direct investment and goods exports, while participation in free trade agreements can provide a further upside to the country's export earnings.
However, Vietnam still faces many domestic and external risks, including trade disputes, elevated fiscal deficits and public debt, and relatively weak banking sector, S&P stated.
Last year, two other global agencies upgraded Vietnam's rating. In May 2018, Fitch raised the country's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to "BB" from "BB-", with a stable outlook. Later in August 2018, Moody's lifted the country's rating from B1 to Ba3 and upgraded its outlook from positive to stable.