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 economic 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.

FDI continues upswing: Vietnam lured USD 19.2 billion of FDI in the 1H2017, representing a rise of 54.8% y-o-y. There were 1,183 newly licensed projects worth USD 11.8 billion. FDI disbursement reached USD 7.7 billion, an increase of 6.5% y-o-y. The processing and manufacturing sector attracted the highest capital at USD 9.5 billion, accounting for 49.3% of total FDI, followed by electricity, gas and air conditioning supply at USD 5.3 billion, mining at USD 1.3 billion and the wholesale and retail sector at more than USD 0.9 billion. Meanwhile, real estate was in the fifth position with a total investment capital of USD 0.7 billion  in which 39 project were newly registered, worth USD 0.5 billion. By country, Japan was the largest foreign investor in the period with USD 5.1 billion, followed by South Korea with more than USD 4.9 billion and Singapore with USD 3.5 billion. The largest-scale projects licensed include the USD 2.8 billion Nghi Son 2 power plant (Japan) in Thanh Hoa, Samsung Display Vietnam (South Korea) worth USD 2.5 billion in Bac Ninh and the USD 1.3 billion USD B-O Mon gas pipe project (Japan) in Kien Giang.

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