Public investment engine of growth for 2023

Jan 04, 2023
Võ Trí Thành and Vũ Tiến Lộc chair the conference on Wednesday. VNS Photo Lê Việt Dũng

Given the little room left for monetary policy to add stimulus to the economy, fiscal policy would be the engine of growth next year, according to Hồ Sỹ Hùng, vice chairman of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises.

Hùng was speaking at the conference 'The driving forces behind Việt Nam's economic growth in 2023' on December 14.

The vice chairman said Việt Nam was aiming to reach an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent and an inflation rate of 4.5 percent in 2023. GDP per capita was expected to top US$4,400 and the manufacturing sector would contribute to around 25.4 to 25.8 percent of the national output

He underlined public investment as a significant factor driving economic growth next year. He estimated total public investment to be delivered in 2023 at VNĐ730 trillion ($31 billion), higher than the realised figure of VNĐ540 trillion in 2022.

"We need to simplify administrative processes to move public investment faster," said Hùng.

Hùng also called for greater involvement of private enterprises in national investment to add impetus to economic growth.

Phan Đức Hiếu, member of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, said the delivery of the economic recovery package of VNĐ350 trillion ($15 billion) would move slowly in 2022 but accelerate dramatically in 2023.

He also said most Việt Nam's economic indicators hit the target in the first nine months of 2022, except for productivity. The indicator has fallen short of the mark for three consecutive quarters.

In terms of entrepreneurship, around 194,000 enterprises emerged in the economy in the first 11 months of the year, up 33.2 percent year-by-year. At the same time, roughly 132,000 enterprises disappeared from the market, up 24.3 percent.

"Enterprises are the driving force behind economic growth, yet they are finding themselves in difficulties," said Hiếu.

He urged the government to keep a closer watch on enterprises and come up with timely policies to lift them out of hardship. He also said the government should stay away from 'overnight policies', which are inconsistent and unpredictable, as they would catch enterprises off guard.

Vũ Tiến Lộc, president of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre, said winter is coming for Vietnamese enterprises as the number of enterprises leaving the market keeps increasing. 

"Seven enterprises shut down for every ten enterprises emerge," said Lộc.

To survive the economic winter, enterprises need to integrate social responsibility, sustainable development, and good corporate governance into their operation. 

He said ESG standards (environmental, social, and governance) are no longer a choice but an imperative for enterprises to gain ground in a fast-changing business environment.

Võ Trí Thành, head of the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy, remarked that the fast economic growth in Q3 carried some risk to the banking system. 

He underlined the rise in credit caps as a timely move that has significantly improved the situation. He also said there is little maneuvering space for monetary policy. — VNS 

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