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Vietnam Country Risk Report Q2 2020

Published by Fitch Solutions, Inc. Product code 177811
Published annual subscription Content info 67 Pages
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Vietnam Country Risk Report Q2 2020
Published: annual subscription Content info: 67 Pages
Description

We forecast Vietnam's 2020 real GDP growth to come in at 6.8%. Real GDP growth eased to 7.0% y-o-y in Q419, from an upwardly revised 7.5% y-o-y in Q319,

due mainly to an easing of growth in the industrial sector. Infrastructure and human capital bottlenecks will likely continue to cap growth of the manufacturing

sector, and continued damming upstream of the Mekong River from Laos and the outbreak of African swine fever will weigh on growth of the agriculture sector.

That said, this is likely to be partially offset by a strengthening of growth in construction and services.

We forecast credit growth in Vietnam to stabilise at 12.5% in 2020 versus 12.1% in 2019. The fulfilment of Basel II requirements of larger lenders by 2020, on

top of targeted monetary easing during the end of 2019, should support the pick-up in credit growth. A stabilisation of credit growth would reduce pressure

on the Vietnamese central bank to ease interest rates further, and allow the central bank to instead focus on managing overshooting inflation. We have revised

our 2020 average inflation forecast to 5.2%, from 3.5% previously.

We maintain our 2019 fiscal deficit forecast at 6.6%, but have revised up our 2020 and 2021 fiscal deficit forecasts for Vietnam to 7.0% and 7.2%, respectively,

from 6.6% previously. This follows the release of the Ministry of Finance's three-year budget estimates in October, which indicates high debt repayments over

2020 and 2021. Our forecasts are fairly in line with the government's projections, given the government's strong track record of meeting their fiscal deficit tar-

gets. Risks to our deficit forecast stem heavily from debt repayment. A larger repayment than the government had initially forecast would see the deficit come

in wider than we forecast, vice versa.

We maintain our stable outlook for the Vietnamese dong over the short term, and for only slight currency weakness over the longer term. Accordingly, we

forecast the Vietnamese dong to average VND23,475/USD in 2020 and VND23,650/USD in 2021. Weaker foreign direct investment inflow and higher imports

will be key drivers of dong weakness over the near term, although a strong foreign reserves position should allow the central bank to safeguard the currency

against excessive downside volatility to avoid potential punitive measures from the US. We maintain our view for the dong to gradually depreciate against the

US dollar over the long term due to its overvaluation and Vietnam's higher inflation vis-a-vis the US.

Vietnam's bilateral relations with its Mekong region neighbours appear to be broadly improving. Being the only country in the region which is at loggerheads

with China over a maritime dispute, Vietnam is likely doing so in an attempt to defend itself against growing Chinese influence over its Mekong neighbours.

Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, would benefit from economic support as a result of the regional diplomatic tussle between Vietnam and China.

Key Risks

The potential for renewed maritime dispute with China poses downside risks to Vietnam's otherwise stable short-term political outlook.

Should the Trump administration introduce fresh tariffs on US imports of Vietnamese goods, this would pose a salient risk to Vietnam's export sector, and

consequently our economic growth forecast, given the sector's strong orientation to the US economy.

Economic policy slippages could dent investor confidence, and result in a slowdown in FDI inflows and manufacturing growth.

Vietnam Country Risk Q2 2020fitchsolutions.com

Table of Contents
Product Code: CFVN_20200401

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Core Views
  • Key Risks
  • Country Risk Summary
  • Economic Risk Index
  • Political Risk Index
  • SWOT
  • Economic - SWOT Analysis
  • Political - SWOT Analysis
  • Economic Outlook
  • Economic Growth Outlook
  • Economic Growth To Ease Slightly In 2020
  • GDP By Expenditure Outlook
    • TABLE: GDP GROWTH FORECASTS
    • TABLE: PRIVATE CONSUMPTION FORECASTS
    • TABLE: GOVERNMENT CONSUMPTION FORECASTS
    • TABLE: FIXED INVESTMENT FORECASTS
    • TABLE: FIXED INVESTMENT FORECASTS
  • Outlook On External Position
    • TABLE: MAIN EXPORT AND IMPORT PARTNERS
    • TABLE: MAIN EXPORTS AND IMPORTS
    • TABLE: CAPITAL & FINANCIAL ACCOUNT BALANCE
    • TABLE: CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE FORECASTS
  • Monetary Policy
  • Credit Growth To Stabilise, Inflation To Be Elevated In 2020
  • Monetary Policy Framework
    • TABLE: MONETARY POLICY FORECASTS
  • Fiscal Policy And Public Debt Outlook
  • Fiscal Deficit Set To See A Short-Term Spike
  • Structural Fiscal Position
    • TABLE: MAIN REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE CATEGORIES (2016)
    • TABLE: FISCAL AND PUBLIC DEBT FORECASTS
  • Currency Forecast
  • Vietnamese Dong To Average Slightly Weaker
    • TABLE: CURRENCY FORECAST
  • THIS COMMENTARY IS PUBLISHED BY FITCH SOLUTIONS COUNTRY RISK & INDUSTRY RESEARCH and is NOT a comment on Fitch Ratings' Credit Ratings. Any comments or data included in the report are solely derived from Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research and independent sources. Fitch Ratings analysts do not share data or information with Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research.Vietnam Country Risk Q2 2020Contents10-Year Forecast
  • The Vietnamese Economy To 2029
  • A New Focus On Quality Growth
    • TABLE: LONG-TERM MACROECONOMIC FORECASTS
  • Political Outlook
  • Domestic Politics
  • Vietnam's Bilateral Relations With Laos, Cambodia, And Myanmar Steadily Improving
    • TABLE: POLITICAL OVERVIEW
    • TABLE: KEY RECENT ENGAGEMENTS (VIETNAM-LAOS)
    • TABLE: KEY RECENT ENGAGEMENTS (VIETNAM-CAMBODIA)
  • Long-Term Political Outlook
  • Key Political Challenges Over The Coming Decade
  • Operational Risk
    • TABLE: OPERATIONAL RISK
  • Conflict Risk
    • TABLE: MAIN ACTIVE TERRORIST GROUPS
    • TABLE: POLITICAL VIOLENCE RISK
    • TABLE: MAJOR INTERSTATE CONFLICT FLASHPOINTS
    • TABLE: MILITARY PROFILE AND DEFENSE AGREEMENT
    • TABLE: BUSINESS RESPONSE TO CONFLICT RISK
  • Transport Network
    • TABLE: ROAD RISKS
    • TABLE: RAIL RISKS
    • TABLE: PORTS AND INLAND WATERWAY RISKS
    • TABLE: AIR TRANSPORT RISKS
  • Global Macro Outlook
  • Economic Stabilisation Continues And Inflation Picking Up Slowly
    • TABLE: GLOBAL MACROECONOMIC FORECASTS (2019-2024)
    • TABLE: DEVELOPED MARKETS - REAL GDP GROWTH, % y-o-y
    • TABLE: EMERGING MARKETS - REAL GDP GROWTH, % y-o-y
  • Index Tables
    • TABLE: VIETNAM - MACROECONOMIC DATA AND FORECASTS
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