Gross domestic product (GDP) may edge up to 5.5 percent next year, The Washington-based lender said in its latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update report on Monday. It was 5.42 percent in 2013.

Official statistics earlier this month showed that GDP expanded 5.62 percent between January and September this year.

However, the government’s full-year target is 5.8 percent for a seventh year of growth below 7 percent, the longest such stretch according to International Monetary Fund records going back to the 1980s.

Sandeep Mahajan, WB’s lead economist in Vietnam, said at a videoconference to launch the report in capital Hanoi on Monday that Vietnam still has three more months to beat the forecast.

Since Vietnam's growth depends on exports, it can benefits from the recovery of the world economy, a report on Dan Tri news website quoted him as saying.

He highlighted the government’s efforts to restructure numerous economic fields, including the banking sector, state-owned enterprises and infrastructure, especially for trade via air and sea routes.

However, according to the report, Vietnam’s longer-term growth potential “remains hampered by a web of structural problems in state-owned enterprises and the banking sector, policy weaknesses that continue to thwart domestic private investment and competition in key sectors, a widening skills gap, constrained access to finance, and relatively high trade logistics costs.”

Mahajan said that Vietnam’s process of economic restructuring was highly complex and required the further development of legal and policy frameworks as well as a strong market.

Thanh Nien News - October 6, 2014