Social and Environmental Public Spending Trends in Viet Nam (2018-2020)
This brief was produced by the Social Policy and Governance Programme at UNICEF Viet Nam. The brief was developed by Nguyen Thi Thanh An, Social Policy Specialist with guidance and inputs provided by Vincenzo Vinci, Chief of Social Policy and Governance at UNICEF Viet Nam. The brief has benefited from inputs and comments from all relevant programmes of UNICEF Viet Nam and a review by Christina Popivanova, Social Policy Specialist from UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office. The contents of this brief have benefited from data and information provided by the National Institute for Finance and State Treasury, Ministry of Finance. The main objective of this brief is to analyse public spending trends on social and environmental sectors to foster discourse and to inform policy and financial decision-making processes.
In 1986, a series of economic and political reforms were implemented under Đổi Mới (open door policy) which allowed Viet Nam to make great strides in poverty reduction. As a result, today about 45 million people have been lifted out of poverty with a dramatic decline in the poverty rate from over 70 per cent in the late 1980s to below 6 per cent in 2018.
The government has committed to pursue macro-economic reforms to maintain and increase domestic revenue to achieve its development objectives by 2030. The Party, National Assembly and government have set a long-term vision for the next 10 years (2021-2030) to promote inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation.
Viet Nam has sustained a high economic growth rate averaging 6.81 per cent during 2016-2019. Looking at 2018-2019, Viet Nam achieved a GDP rate of 7.08 and 7.02 per cent, respectively. Despite COVID-19, the country managed annual GDP growth of 2.91 per cent in 2020. In the first six months of 2021, Viet Nam achieved GDP growth of 5.64 per cent, with the rate expected to bounce back to 6.5-7 per cent over the next five years (2021-2025). However, the government’s stricter COVID-19 containment measures recently applied to mitigate the increased spread of the Delta variant makes Viet Nam’s economic growth targets for 2021 seem ambitious.