Vietnam’s official public debt bulletin to be released

15:18 | 25/01/2013
The Ministry of Finance will officially release Vietnam’s public debt bulletins in Vietnamese and English.

The forthcoming release follows the Law on public debt management, according to the ministry.

The principal content of the public debt bulletin reflects the total public debt of Vietnam, which stood at VND1,392 trillion ($66.8 billion), or 54.9 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), in 2011, as of the end of that year.

As of December 31, 2011, the Government's total outstanding loans were VND1,096 trillion, or 43.2 percent of GDP, including VND429 trillion in loans from domestic sources and VND667 trillion from international sources, mostly official development assistance (ODA) loans.

Total government-guaranteed debt, including guarantees on foreign loans of enterprises and credit institutions, guarantees for loans / bonds in the domestic capital market for financial institutions – like the Vietnam Development Bank and the Bank for Social Policy – and a number of key projects, was at VND285 trillion, or 11.3 percent of GDP.

Total local government debt, including local government bonds, was at VND10.7 trillion, equal to 0.4 percent of GDP.

To avoid a misunderstanding of the figures given in each release, the Ministry of Finance also notes that the readers should carefully look into the scope of the research data, the classification and definition of the technical terms in the bulletin.

At the same time, the ministry would like to receive comments and contributions to continue to improve the next release, in order to improve the efficiency of monitoring and public debt management in Vietnam.

The Ministry of Finance has previously released seven bulletins on foreign debt, including the Government's foreign debt and foreign debt guaranteed by the government.

According to the ministry, the new bulletin meet the disclosure requirements of Vietnam's foreign debt, an improvement following the country’s commitments in providing and disseminating national debt data with international organizations to which Vietnam is a member, and to provide information to international credit rating companies.

According to the latest updated data of the Economist's global debt clock, as of January 17, 2013, Vietnam's public debt is nearly $70.6 billion, up from $67.6 billion in September 2012 and up 13 percent compared to the same period last year.

With a population of 89 million, Vietnam’s debt per capita was at nearly $789. The public debt-to-GDP ratio is 49.5 percent.

The Economist forecast that by 2014, Vietnam's public debt would rise to $78.6 billion, while the debt-to-GDP ratio will fall to 48.2 percent, and public debt per capita would be about $90.4.

Previously, the Vietnamese government targeted that the total national debt, government debt, and foreign debt must not exceed 60 percent of GDP, 50 percent of GDP and 45 percent of GDP by 2030, according to the public and external debt strategy for the 2011-2020 period with a vision to 2030 approved by the Prime Minister on July 27, 2012.

Compared to global averages, Vietnam's public debt is moderate in terms of absolute value, per capita, and percentage of GDP, said the Economist.

Global public debt was at $49,769 billion, with the leading countries including the United States ($11,645 billion), China ($1,343 billion), Canada ($1,540 billion), and Brazil ($1,360 billion), according to the Economist.

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