SINGAPORE (Feb 11): Vietnam’s economy has been growing steadily in recent years and it is now reaching a point where it is going to matter a lot more in the global economy, in Asean and in regional political dynamics. In 2007, Vietnam’s economy was less than 6% of the total Asean economy and by 2017, it was above 8%. At current rates of growth, its share of Asean’s output will exceed Malaysia’s and Singapore’s and match Thailand’s within the next decade. It is also a growing market for other Asean economies. For example, from a negligible share of Singapore’s exports 20 years ago, Vietnam is now its 10th largest market — and that importance can only grow.

So, Vietnam matters a lot more and we need to better appreciate the path it will take over the coming years. The prospects are indeed rosy, with cyclical and structural trends favouring Vietnam. With sufficient political reforms to tackle corruption and unleash entrepreneurial energies, Vietnam could become an economic dynamo with corresponding political heft.

Near-term outlook: Vietnam likely to outperform most of the world

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