Vietnam labor productivity still far behind ASEAN countries: ministry

Thanh Nien News

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 Workers at a footwear factory in Vietnam. Photo: Diep Duc Minh
Vietnam's labor productivity has managed to narrow its gaps with other Southeast Asian countries, but it will be decades long before the country can catch up with them, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said.
Each Vietnamese laborer produced around $3,530 last year, up 4.9 percent year on year, news website Saigon Times Online quoted the ministry as saying in a report recently submitted to the government.
Between 2005-2014, the productivity grew 3.7 percent on average a year, which was "quite fast," the ministry said.
As of 2013, Vietnam managed to narrow the gaps between its labor productivity with those of other Southeast Asian countries by up to nearly 42 percent from the distances estimated in 1994, it said.
According to the latest figures, Singaporean labor productivity was 18 times higher than Vietnamese, while Malaysia and Thailand were 6.6 and 2.7 times higher, respectively.
Vietnam's labor productivity was 1.8 times lower than those of the Philippines and Indonesia.
However, based on purchasing power parity, the gaps have been increased since 1994, the ministry said.
With Singapore, for instance, Vietnam saw the distance go up more than 49 percent to $62,052 in 2013, and 17.5 percent to $9,314 in comparison with Thailand.
Even though Vietnam's economy continuously expanded with its gross domestic product increasing 29 times between 1990-2014, it was still small compared to some ASEAN countries -- Thailand's GDP was 4.8 times higher than Vietnam's last year, the ministry said in an explanation for the big gaps.
It forecast that Vietnam will be able to catch up with the Philippines in 2038 and Thailand in 2069.

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