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IMF: Vietnam surpasses Singapore and Malaysia to become the 4th largest economy in Southeast Asia


According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vietnam's GDP in 2020 is estimated to reach USD 340.6 billion, exceeding that of Singapore with USD 337.5 billion; Malaysia with USD 336.3 billion. This will help Vietnam become a country with the fourth largest economy in Southeast Asia.

On October 13, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a new update on the 2020 World Economic Outlook. Accordingly, Vietnam continues to be the only country in Southeast Asia that is forecast to see positive growth this year, at 1.6%, and 6.7% by 2021.

In addition, the IMF revised its 2020 GDP growth forecast for the Philippines from -3.6% in June to -8.3%. This makes the Philippines the country with the deepest expected GDP decline this year among ASEAN-5 countries. Followed by Thailand with -7.1%; Malaysia with -6% and Indonesia with -1.5%.

IMF forecasts that in 2020, Vietnam's economy will rank 4th in Southeast Asia, surpassing Singapore and Malaysia. Specifically, Vietnam's GDP in 2020 is estimated to reach USD 340.6 billion, exceeding Singapore with USD 337.5 billion; Malaysia with USD 336.3 billion. Meanwhile, Thailand's GDP this year will reach USD 509.2 billion; Philippines USD 367.4 billion; Indonesia USD 1,088.8 billion.

For GDP per capita, the IMF forecasts that Vietnam's GDP per capita ranks 6th in ASEAN, reaching USD 3,497/person in 2020, surpassing the Philippines (USD 3,372/person), Laos (USD 2,567/person), Cambodia (USD 1,572/person) and Myanmar (USD 1,332/person).

Overall, the average growth forecast for ASEAN-5 member countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) will decrease by 3.4%, emerging countries and developing Asia will decrease by 1.7%.

China continues to be the only major economy expected to grow, reaching growth rate of 1.9% this year and 8.2% by 2021. India will face the strongest decline and is expected to contract 10.3% this year.

For the United States, the IMF forecasts that the country's GDP in 2020 will decrease by 4.3%. The economies of France, Italy, the UK and Spain are forecast to decrease by about 10%. For Europe, the figure is 8.3%. Globally, the IMF revised its GDP estimate to a 4.4% contraction in 2020, 2021 global GDP to 5.2%.

According to the IMF, these figures are based on the assumption that countries will continue to apply social distancing measures into 2021 and that local transmission will fall everywhere by the end of 2022.

IMF's chief economist, Gita Gopinath, said: "We are projecting a somewhat less severe though still deep recession in 2020, relative to our June forecast," while at the same time warning that the ascent would "likely be long, uneven and uncertain."


Kylie Nguyen

© 2019 Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development No. 2 Lang Ha street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, Vietnam
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