Vietnam's foreign reserves up by $10 bln: PM Dung

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Vietnam's foreign exchange reserves increased by US$10 billion in the first six months from $9 billion at the end of last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Wednesday.

The increase was possible because of a 22 percent rise in exports, a decline in imports and a stable foreign exchange rate, news website VnEconomy cited Dung as saying at an investment conference.

He said the reserves will continue to expand, able to cover 12 weeks of imports at the end of the year compared to 10 weeks at present.

Dung said the reserves increase was one of the bright spots in the Vietnamese economy, which did not grow as fast as expected in the first six months. He said economic growth could reach 5.5 percent this year, before picking up to 6-6.5 percent in 2013.

The government targets an average growth rate of 7 percent for the 2011-2015 period, he said.

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