Vietnam is expected to achieve a 5.5 percent expansion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, according to the Hongkong and Sanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in its report on Vietnam's macro economy released on Monday.
HSBC said that after a tough year of 2012, Vietnam's economy has started off on a better foundation, and the Prime Minister's approval of the master plan on economic restructuring in 2013-2020 period showed a reform mind-set, Vietnam's state-run news agency reported.
It said a commitment to price stability over growth is considered positive and should be maintained, but concrete steps to increase efficiency of the economy are still needed.
The deleveraging process continues to weaken demand, it said, adding that the Purchasing Managers Index declined, but inflation slowed and the trade account was in surplus in February.
According to the report, while concrete actions to improve the efficiency and accountability of the state sector are missing, what's commendable is the willingness to gradually wean off the state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
HSBC's economists held that the approval of the 2013-2020 master plan, which focuses on restructuring public investment, credit organizations and SOEs, is considered positive in that the government acknowledges the fundamental challenges facing the economy. However, they said, as in the cases of other reforms promised in 2012, it lacks details about implementation.
Meanwhile, HSBC experts believed that Vietnam is indeed making steady progress in building the foundations for more reform, taking the restrained support for inefficient enterprises in recent years as one example, and the stability of inflation and key economic indicators including the trade balance and the foreign reserves as another.
As such, when it comes to monitoring the country's progress, evidence of achievement and commitment is more important than promises, they said.