Even with the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the north, Vietnam largely remains a success story in combating wave after wave of infections and keeping the economy running forward. And the majority of the Vietnamese are optimistic the country can recover this year.
In the latest optimism index compiled by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB), Vietnam scored 62.4 out of 100, the highest among the members of ASEAN. Vietnam’s well ahead of Malaysia (53.8), Singapore (52.7), Thailand (52.0), and Indonesia (49.6).
The report measured what consumers think about the rising COVID-19 infections in their respective countries, domestic and international travel restrictions, economic impacts of the pandemic and their personal financial outlook.
“Our research indicates that Vietnamese are positive about the overall future outlook, even as they experienced changes in their lifestyles and habits due to social distancing measures. Eight in 10 Vietnamese said they expect life to go back to the way it was by the end of 2021, the highest share of respondents compared with other countries in ASEAN,” said Harry Loh, chief executive officer of UOB Vietnam.
“Their optimism, the highest in the region, could be due to Vietnam’s relative success at containing the spread of the COVID-19, which has set a strong foundation for the recovery of the economy.”
At least 72 % of Vietnamese respondents to the survey also believe they will be more financially stable in a year’s time. The result’s significantly higher than Malaysia (57%), Thailand (52%), Indonesia (47%) and Singapore (41%).
And unlike the rest of the region, Vietnam’s Baby Boomers have the most optimistic outlook.
Based on the same UOB survey, the most positive generation in Vietnam are the Baby Boomers (67.7), choosing words such as “hopeful”, “relieved” and “happy” to describe their emotions towards their country’s actions to counter the health crisis.
More reasons to be optimistic: Vietnam plans to accelerate growth
As Vietnam imposes strict lockdown on several cities and provinces in the north after a new outbreak emerged last week, the government is also revving up its economic plans for the next five years.
On Monday, the ruling Communist Party raised the growth beyond the annual 6% before COVID-19 hit the country to 6.5% - 7% for 2021-2025, with focus on boosting Vietnam as a major manufacturing hub in Asia, creating more free trade deals with key economies and diversifying its export markets.
More and more multinational manufacturing companies are now turning their eyes to Vietnam as tension remains high between the US and China.
Taiwan-based Foxconn, supplier of Apple Inc, recently obtained a license to invest in Vietnam, moving its iPad and MacBook assembly from China. Intel also invested $475 million in its Vietnamese assembly and test facility, aimed at enhancing production of Intel’s 5G product line, Core processors integrated with its hybrid technology and 10th Gen Core chips.
Vietnam also aims to raise its profile from a low-cost labor country to environmentally-friendly and technology-driven economy. The country won’t anymore allow projects that use outdated technology and have high environment pollution risks.
The Communist Party’s five-year economic development blueprint is all geared up towards the country’s ambition to become a fully developed and high-income group country by 2045.