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Vietnam 2035: A comprehensive philosophy needed for development
Updated: 7/31/2015 10:35:08 AM GMT + 7
The nature of innovation in Vietnam is the redistribution of assets and resources of the country, namely policies for state enterprises, land, and resources.

It is the summary in the conference "30 years of innovation – milestones and challenges" and "Administration of reform and development". This is a program in a series of workshops to compile Vietnam 2035 report hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI ) and the World Bank. The workshop was attended by Mr. Cao Viet Sinh, Former Permanent Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment and many scientists, policy researchers of Vietnam.

On behalf of the report team, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), summed up the milestones and challenges in the past 30 years of renovation . According to him, the nature of innovation in Vietnam is the redistribution of assets and resources of the country, namely policy for state enterprises, land and resources. Innovative thinking was demonstrated in different stages of development: from centralized economy bureaucracy, to multi-sector economy, followed by the nation-management market economy, and now a socialist-oriented market economy.

"Dualism” and halfhearted thoughts hinder development

Some of Vietnam's achievements in the last 30 years of innovation may include an increase of average income from low levels to higher levels, a shift of economic structure towards industrialization, achievement of millennium goals, and a high degree of integration into the global economy.

However, there are still many limitations and challenges that are unresolved, such as the not-so-high quality of growth and declining trend in the last decade, especially a "dualism” economy with state enterprises and large corporations in one side, and small and medium enterprises in the other side, where too large gap of assets. There is a lack of "middle” layers, so the spread (especially technology pervasion) is very low. This is obviously seen in two Mega-cities, namely Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City. These two cities are in overdevelopment stage, as opposed to rural and mountainous areas where infrastructure is very weak. The absence of "middle” layers of development leads to lower spread capacity and multiple consequences for large cities such as pollution and overcharge.

The report also emphasized that in the process of reform and development in the next 20 years, potential risks need to be recognized, and rational risk management should be considered. The risks may include intrinsic risk of the institution (i.e.poor policy design, weak policy implementation, inconsistency in political and economic interaction, etc.), the risk of internal and external shocks of the economy (i.e. macroeconomics, poverty, inequality, international factors, natural disasters, and climate change, etc.)

Dr. Vo Tri Thanh presented the report at the seminar

Ms. Pham Chi Lan, an economist, concurred with the report's analysis and said: "For the development in the new period, dualism thoughts should be eliminated, such as a socialist-oriented economy besides market -oriented economy”. According to Ms. Lan, the dualism thoughts has limited achievements of our country after 30 years of renovation.

A comprehensive philosophy needed for development in the next 20 years

Many comments at the seminar showed that Vietnam needs a development philosophy throughout the next 20 years and many generations afterwards. This philosophy must include: changing the structure of social ownership, changing management structure (i.e.the state should empower civil society and people more), changing operational mechanisms, and changing operation methods in many economic and social fields, etc.

However , Mr. Vo Tri Thanh affirmed that we can not completely eliminate what Vietnam is currently underway, but we should make a roadmap, retaining significant factors as a foudation for development.

Mr. Hoang The Lien, former deputy minister of Justice, said that the lack of transparency in policy implementation in Vietnam is the biggest limitation that hinders progress. He said, Vietnam 2035 report should emphasize a social ecosystem that includes intertwined areas, to ensure a comprehensive development without the fragmentation as today.

Mr. Lien also suggested to find a formula to calculate future risks based on factors such as suffering, vulnerability and resilience capacity. Also, a risk monitoring and evaluation system with various indicators is also essential.

In addition to the risks mentioned in the report, delegates at the seminar also highlighted several risks in the future that Vietnam should take into account, such as domestic and international security risks, imigration, population imbalances, cultural integration, science and technology, law abidance, religious, etc. To cope with these challenges, Vietnam needs to anticipate many "scenarios" according to international standards and a well-trained and capable enforcement mechanism to react and handle each situation.

The ideas at the workshop have been acknowledge and will be considered for inclusion in Vietnam 2035 report in the near future.

Communications team – Vietnam 2035 report

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