More firms shut down in Vietnam as economic downturn deepens

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More than 26,300 companies shut down or halted operations in the first six months, up 5.4 percent from the same period last year, the General Statistics Office said Friday.

Of the closures, 4,100 companies have shut down permanently, an increase of 35.4 percent year-on-year, the office said in a report.

Those figures compare to 36,195 new companies that were established in the period, down 12.5 percent from the first half of last year.

Fewer new businesses and more closures are results of difficulties that local companies are facing and not able to overcome, according to the report.

Vietnam's economic growth slowed to 4.38 percent in the first half of 2012 from 5.63 percent growth achieved over the same period last year, the General Statistics Office said.

Even though growth picked up in the second quarter, to 4.66 percent from a disappointing 4.0 percent, it still falls short of the government target of 6-6.5 petcent for this year.

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