Vietnam’s public debt sees significant drop: finance ministry

By VietnamPlus/The Investor
Fri, August 19, 2022 | 4:26 pm GTM+7

Vietnam’s public debt in the 2017-2021 period decreased dramatically from 61.4% of its GDP to 43.1%, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Specifically, government debt, government-guaranteed debt and local government debt dropped from 51.7%, 9.1%, and 1.1% of GDP in 2017 to 39.1%, 3.8% and 0.6% in 2021, respectively.

The country's foreign debt also decreased to 38.4% of GDP by the end of 2021 compared to 49% in 2017.

An intersection of the Hai Phong-Hanoi Expressway. A large trunk of Vietnam's government debt funds infrastructure development.

An intersection of the Hai Phong-Hanoi Expressway. A large trunk of Vietnam's government debt funds infrastructure development.

As of 2021, Vietnam's obligation of foreign debt repayment on total exports last year was 6.2%, while the government's debt repayment obligation compared to state budget revenue was about 21.8%.

Notably, foreign debt decreased while domestic debt increased. By the end of 2021, foreign debt was about VND1,075 trillion ($45.9 billion), while domestic debt rose to more than VND2,200 trillion, accounting for 67.2% of outstanding government debt.

The Ministry of Finance's report showed that by 2021, Vietnam's largest bilateral creditor was Japan with more than VND316 trillion ($13.5 billion), followed by South Korea (VND32 trillion), France (VND30 trillion) and Germany (VND14 trillion).

Meanwhile, the World Bank was the biggest multilateral lender of Vietnam with over VND380 trillion, followed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with VND188 trillion.

In April, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai signed a decision approving the public debt strategy until 2030, which sets a target of keeping it at under 60% of GDP and government debt not exceeding 50% of GDP in 2030.

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