Vietnam’s economy records positive growth: In the first half of 2017, Vietnam’s GDP growth was estimated at 5.7%, higher than the 5.5% in 1Q16, according to the General Statistics Office. In terms of econo​mic structure, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector witnessed growth of 2.7% y-o-y despite the effects of harsh climatic and environmental disasters. The industrial and construction sector grew by 5.8% y-o-y, lower than the 7.1% in 2016 owing to a significant decline in the mining sector. Meanwhile, by end-2Q17, the service sector recorded record growth of more than 6.9% y-o-y, the highest figure since 2012.

Retail sales and international arrivals increase sharply: Vietnam’s retail sales and service turnover in the January-June period soared to 10.1% y-o-y. According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the number of international tourist arrivals to Vietnam sharply increased by 30.2% compared with the same period last year, reaching more than 6.2 million visitors, as of 2Q17. Amid countries and territories, China remained the leading source with nearly 1.9 million visitors, an impressive growth of 56.7% over the same period in 2016. Russia ranked second in the key source countries for international tourists to Vietnam, rising by 53.4% y-o-y. Recently, the Vietnam Government has extended a visa waiver programme for five European countries – the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – along with implementing promotions in an attempt to attract more potential markets.

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