Vietnam falling behind regional countries in income: report

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Vietnam will not be able to catch up with China and other Southeast Asian countries in terms of income unless more economic reforms are undertaken, a new report says.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was 80 percent of China's in 1991, but this fell to 43 percent in 2010 as the income gap widened, VnExpress cited the report prepared by the National Economics University as saying.

The data is based on purchasing power parity, or PPP, which adjusts exchange rates and measures the relative producer prices of goods across countries.

The gap is also large when compared with Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Vietnam's per capita GDP was just one-fifth of Malaysia, according to the Hanoi-based university.

Based on the official exchange rate, Vietnam's per capita income was US$1,061 in 2010. The PPP number was $2,948.

Economist Pham Hong Chuong said over the past 25 years, Vietnam has managed to climb up to the group of middle-income countries.

However, the country still does not show enough determination and ability to move forward, with the economy experiencing many risks and instabilities, he said.

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