Latest GDP figures show that the Vietnamese economy grew by 5.0% year-on-year ( y-o-y ) in Q1 20 14, and we believe that our 2014 real GDP growth forecast of 5.9% remains in sight. Indeed, we believe that increased macroeconomic stability, combined with pro-growth policies will help the economy accelerate from 2013 levels. Key downside risks to this view include a faster-tha n-anticipated slowdown in China, as well as the stalling of the country's reform drive. With China being Vietnam's second top export partner, behind the US, such a slowdown would have a detrimental effect on Vietnam's shipping industry.
We believe that the economy will be driven by a strengthening of private consumption, continued foreign direct investment into key areas of the economy, a more robust external sector, and a rebound in manufacturing activity over the coming quarters. That said, trend growth for the Vietnamese economy will average a slower 6.2% over the next decade, compared to 6.5% recorded in the past 10 years. Government policies aimed at promoting balanced economic growth, improving the stability of the banking system, diversifying exports, attracting foreign investment and attracting investment in infrastructure bode well for the economic outlook.
The Port of Ho Chi Minh City will remain by far and away Vietnam's outperformer in terms of total tonnage throughput (we forecast some 41.22mn tonnes will be handled by the facility by the end of 2014), however it is the Port of Da Nang that will see the largest y-o-y growth this year (7.00% compared with a forecast 6.06% at Ho Chi Minh City). These forecasts once again remain unchanged from the last quarter.
Headline Industry Data
2014 tonnage throughput at the Port of Ho Chi Minh City is forecast to grow 6.06% to 41.22mn tonnes.
2014 tonnage throughput at the Port of Da Nang is forecast to increase 7.00% to 5.36mn tonnes.
2014 container throughput at the Port of Ho Chi Minh City is forecast to rise 10.00% to 4.62mn...