HANOI Jan 24 Vietnam has cut the interest rate
on dong loans used to support export activities to 10.2 percent
per year from 11.4 percent, the central bank said on Thursday.
The new rate came into force as of Jan. 17, the State Bank
of Vietnam web site (www.sbv.gov.vn) said in a statement, citing
a Finance Ministry circular.
Vietnam aims to boost export revenue this year by 10 percent
to around $126 billion, after an expansion of 18.2 percent in
2012 to $114.6 billion, the trade ministry has said.
Export-support loans are issued by state-run Vietnam
Development Bank, which along with the Vietnam Bank for Social
Policies provides credit at the government's direction to help
realise socio-economic development targets.
The lower lending rate could help ease the burden faced by
exporters in the country, which ranks the world's largest in
producer and exporter of robusta coffee. It stood second behind
India in rice sales in 2012.
Textiles and garments, footwear and crude oil also
contribute significantly to Vietnam's export revenue.
Economic growth in the Southeast Asian nation, whose gross
domestic product is $142 billion, was 5.03 percent in 2012, the
lowest since 1999.
For this year, the government forecasts growth to quicken to
5.5 percent. The higher target has prompted the State Bank of
Vietnam to allow banks to increase lending, with the annual
credit growth now targeted for 12 percent, compared with 8.9
percent in 2012.
(Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk)