The sector posted an increase of 12.98%, much higher than the annual rates from 2012 to 2016.
The agro-forestry-fisheries sector grew by 3.76%, industry-construction 8.85% and services 7.03%.
GSO Director General Nguyen Bich Lam said the result showed the economy has escaped its reliance on the exploitation of mineral and natural resources, given that 2018 marked the third consecutive year that mining contracted, down 3.11%.
To maintain the momentum for manufacturing and processing, Lam suggested attracting foreign direct investment, especially from investors boasting modern technology, governance and high competitiveness while strengthening ties between foreign-invested and domestic firms, particularly those in manufacturing and processing.
The GSO reported that industrial production increased by 10% annually in 2018.
Several industries boasted higher manufacturing output, including coal and refined petrol up 65%, metallurgy up 25%, medicine and pharmaceuticals up 20%, motorised vehicle manufacturing up 16% and paper production up 14%.
Some sectors reported lower growth such as rubber and plastics up by only 3.3% and waste collection and treatment up 3%.