Nha Trang in Vietnam. Photo: iStock

Vietnam’s economic growth picked up in the third quarter, boosted by a rally in exports as the country slowly emerges from a virus-induced slowdown.

Vietnam has long been one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, and it is heavily reliant on exports, particularly after reaping the benefits of a trade spat between Washington and Beijing over the past two years.

With much of the world economy effectively shut down for long periods in the first and second quarter, gross domestic product expanded just 0.36% on-year in April-May, though that was better than most countries which suffered painful contractions.

But the General Statistics Offices said Tuesday the economy grew 2.62% in July-September.

The figure was helped by a surge in exports, which were up 34% from the previous quarter, and 11% up on-year.

However, the growth reading was still the slowest for a third quarter in nearly a decade.

“In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which seriously affects all socio-economic aspects of countries across the world, this is a great success for our country in disease prevention, economic recovery and development,” the GSO added in a statement. 

The World Bank in July predicted the economy would grow 2.8% in 2020, compared with expectations of a contraction in most countries around the world. However, that falls significantly short of the 6.8% target set by the government before the pandemic.

Vietnam has recorded only 1,077 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths, with no community transmissions in nearly a month.