Vietnam to measure non-observed economy

03:58' PM - Thursday, 05/04/2018

The General Statistics Office (GSO) has sent a plan for measuring the non-observed economy to the Prime Minister, with an aim to produce exhaustive estimates of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and ensure a complete coverage of economic activity, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

GSO will conduct research into the non-observed economy to provide a comprehensive description of it and learn from other countries to identify an appropriate conceptual and analytical framework on the basis of which the non-observed economy can be assessed.

In 2018, GSO will research the non-observed economic activities on a trial basis to define, classify and evaluate them. From 2019 onwards, GSO will complete the methods for measuring the contribution of the non-observed economy to the country’s GDP and gross regional domestic product (GRDP).

GSO will collect information and data on the non-observed economic activities in the country to categorize the causes of them and provide comprehensive and integrated assessments of non-observed activities for policymaking, analysis and research purposes.

The statistical methods shall be in line with regulations of the System of National Accounts 2008 and be based on recommendations of the United Nations Statistics Division, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Labor Organization, ensuring that they will be suitable for Vietnam’s conditions while meeting international practices.

The non-observed economy shall include underground, illegal and informal economic activities, and household production for own consumption.

Data of GSO shows contribution of underground, illegal and informal economic activities observed in 2015 to GDP was 14.34% while that of household production for own consumption was 2.09%.

According to OECD, in many countries, especially developing ones like Vietnam, a large number of persons are involved in the non-observed economy, which has a significant role in employment creation, income generation and poverty reduction. Data on the size and characteristics of the non-observed economy and its contribution to GDP are thus required for research and policy making.

Other issues that are sometimes considered to be related to the non-observed economy are capital flight, shuttle trade, cross border shopping, tax evasion, and drug trafficking.

Measurement methods for the non-observed economy vary across countries, according to the Statistical Office of the European Union.

Several sources are quite common, such as agricultural censuses, business statistics, household surveys, demographic data, population censuses, labor force surveys, taxation and fiscal data, police records, social security records and foreign trade statistics. - SGT -

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