Vietnam's economic growth to accelerate, premier says

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Vietnam's economic growth may accelerate this year, enabling the Southeast Asian country to attract investment from overseas as the global economy rebounds from the worst recession in more than six decades.

The country will grow between 6.5 percent and 7 percent this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Sunday at the World Economic Forum in Ho Chi Minh City. The economy expanded at a 5.3 percent pace last year.

"Vietnam has become an attractive and safe destination for international investors," Dung said. "Foreign investment capital has constantly risen over the years in Vietnam and plays an important role in the economic success of the country."

Economic growth may further gain momentum to between 7 percent and 8 percent from next year to 2020, Dung said. The global recovery from last year's recession has boosted Asian exports and lifted economic growth from Thailand to Malaysia.

"After the strongest crisis since the Second World War, Asia has been surprisingly very stable and is bouncing back very fast," said Frans Muller, a member of the management board of Germany's Metro AG, the country's largest retailer. He spoke at the same conference.

Earlier this month, Dung asked the central bank to implement measures to reduce interest rates and help the country achieve economic growth of 6.5 percent this year. The country has tried to bring down borrowing costs that climbed to as high as 20 percent this year after a link was severed between the central bank's benchmark and commercial banks' interest rates.

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