People hanging out in a cafe at Hanoi. AFP
Vietnam's economy unexpectedly expanded in the second quarter, shrugging off a coronavirus pandemic-caused global downturn, but it was still the country's slowest growth in nearly three decades.
Gross domestic product rose by 0.36 percent April to June compared to the same period last year, the General Statistics Office in Hanoi announced Monday.
"It's the lowest ever GDP growth since Vietnam started publishing GDP figures in 1991," official Duong Manh Hung was quoted as saying in local media.
Border closures from coronavirus restrictions took a punitive toll on Vietnam's exports, which fell nine percent year-on-year and were down 8.3 percent against the first three months of the year.
The country's economy is heavily reliant on exports, particularly after reaping the benefits of a trade spat between Washington and Beijing over the last two years.
Both sides imposed punitive tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods, prompting many China-based businesses to migrate to the perceived safer and cheaper manufacturing hub of Vietnam.
The country now aims to re-boot its economy after its apparent success in minimising fallout from coronavirus.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April predicted the Southeast Asian nation would take the lead in Asia with a GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent in 2020.
Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said his government would try to keep growth above five percent.
"It will be very difficult, even impossible, for us to reach our targets in the context of the pandemic and with the broken global supply chain," said Duong Manh Hung.
The country has reported just 355 coronavirus cases and no deaths, a record it puts down to strict quarantine policies and tracing measures.
Saif Al Ghurair was born in 1924 in Deira, Dubai.
More than 570 people have been infected with the coronavirus across China and Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, has been placed under effective quarantine.
Nakheel’s customers include property owners, retail and hospitality tenants and small business operators. The package includes free rental periods for retail and hospitality partners who operate within the Nakheel Malls portfolio.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 1.0 per cent, in the eurozone, Frankfurt won 0.9 per cent and Paris climbed 0.8 per cent.
Spot gold was up 0.8% at $2,033.86 per ounce by 0655 GMT, after hitting a record high of $2,036.49. US gold futures rose 1.4% to $2,049.30.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.26 per cent, or 58.81 points, to end at 22,514.85, while the broader Topix index inched down 0.04 per cent, or 0.55 points, to 1,554.71.
Brent crude was up by 31 cents, or 0.7%, at $44.74 a barrel by 0713 GMT. The contract rose 0.6% on Wednesday to its highest close since March 6. West Texas Intermediate oil was up by 26 cents, or 0.6%, at $41.96 a barrel. The contract ended Tuesday trading 1.7% higher, its highest close since late July.