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Vietnam's 2020 Economic Growth Lowest in 10 Years

But it still performed exceptionally well in the global context.

VnExpress reports that Vietnam's economy grew by 4.48% in the fourth quarter, bringing the country's annual GDP growth rate to 2.91%.

While this is the slowest growth in the last decade, it places Vietnam among the best-performing economies during this pandemic year.

"This is the lowest GDP growth level in the 2011-2020 period," Nguyen Thu Huong, head of the General Statistics Office, told the news source. "However, given the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is considered a success for Vietnam, with the growth rate among the world's highest."

In terms of specific sectors, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture grew by 2.68%; manufacturing and construction saw 3.98% growth; and the services sector expanded by 2.34%.

The value of exported goods jumped by 6.5% year-on-year to US$281.5 billion, while imports were valued at US$262.4 billion, creating a US$19.1 billion trade surplus, Vietnam's largest since 2016.

Previously, the World Bank forecast that Vietnam would be one of just three countries in Asia to see GDP expansion this year, with only China and Myanmar seeing positive growth as well.

In 2019, Vietnam's economy grew by 7.02%, the second-highest rate in the last 10 years.

While the country's economic performance in 2020 is commendable given the pandemic, the tourism sector took a brutal beating. The number of foreign visitors plunged by 79% compared to the previous year, with 3.83 million international arrivals, compared to a target figure of 20 million.

Arrivals from China, South Korea and Japan, the largest inbound markets, dropped by 83.5%, 80.4% and 78.4% respectively.

The government has set a 2021 GDP growth target of 6.5%.

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