Vietnam’s public debt stands at 61.3 percent in 2017

14:19 | 09/01/2018 Economy

Vietnam’s ratio of public debt to GDP stood at 61.3 percent at the end of 2017, lower than an earlier estimate of 62.6 percent, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Vietnam's ratio of public debt to GDP (2013-2017)

Deputy Minister Tran Xuan Ha announced the official figure at a conference on January 8 in order to review the performance of the financial sector in the previous year.

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reaffirmed that one of the successes of 2017 was the economic growth rate of 6.81 percent, increasing Vietnam’s gross domestic product to over US$220 billion.

The government leader said such a GDP figure is important because it helped bring down the ratio of public debt, which, at 61.3 percent, is now safe.

He recalled in early 2016 when public debt reached 64.5 percent, close to the limit of 65 percent, many were worried that it could threaten Vietnam’s fiscal stability.

At the conference, the Prime Minister also stated that the rapid and frequent changes in Vietnam’s tax policies have caused considerable trouble for businesses and indicated that policy formulation failed to take into consideration the reality of economic life.

He urged the finance ministry to develop tax policies that will be stable for at least five to ten years.

The government leader also asked the Ministry of Finance to downsize its workforce with 72,000 employees currently on its payroll, and strengthen the management of public assets.

Theo NDO