Thematic discussions
What do you want Vietnam to be in 2035 and how to get there?

From December 12, 2014 to January 20, 2015, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and World Bank Vietnam Country Director Victoria Kwakwa hosted an online discussion on policy actions for Vietnam’s development toward 2035.

The discussion has received many interesting questions and comments on various topics from both Vietnamese people and international audience. Due to limited time, Minister Vinh and Ms. Kwakwa could not respond to all of the questions and comments. We really appreciate your time and your engagement in the discussion.

The Government of Vietnam and the World Bank are conducting a joint study on how the country can achieve its objectives to become a modern nation that is wealthy and create room for all of its people to prosper.

Since the 1980s, Vietnam has sustained high growth without increasing inequality, a feat few countries at any level of development have managed. Since the early 1990s, tens of millions have been lifted out of poverty and the bottom 40% of the population’s share of national income has kept pace with Vietnam’s growth. 
Today, Vietnam’s development path is at a critical juncture. The Vietnam 2035 report will analyze key strategic and policy actions that will be critical for achieving Vietnam's aspiration of becoming a modern industrialized economy building on its successful track record of inclusive growth.

Your input is requested to help inform the drafting process. Please share your ideas and suggest solutions to address key challenges that Vietnam is facing. We would like to hear from you – Vietnamese citizens and friends from the international community – to help make this study a substantial and practical guide for Vietnam’s development path.

We are now in the early stage of developing the report and have identified several initial issues. 
One critical challenge for Vietnam is moving back to a higher growth path. The key here will be to move away from a growth model that is state and capital investment led toward one steered by the private sector and based on productivity growth driven by technology and innovation. Vietnam should pursue a greener growth model by making green choices in its energy, water and transportation sectors, and at the same time strengthen its resilience to climate change. 

While income inequality in Vietnam is modest, inequality of opportunity has emerged as a growing concern. Vietnam needs to address persistent poverty, especially among ethnic minorities, and evolving vulnerabilities challenges such as the aging of its population. Social protection policies will need to operate as a more integrated system across social insurance, social assistance and active labor programs. The education and health sectors should be reformed in line with the needs of a modern, industrialized country, with equal access for all.  

Institutional reforms need to keep pace with economic development and securing inclusive growth. State institutions need to be overhauled for the state to become a successful facilitator of the economy. 

Do you agree that these are the critical issues that Vietnam needs to become an industrialized country in the shortest time?? What else do you think should be considered? 

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and World Bank Vietnam Country Director Victoria Kwakwawill join an online discussion on our website to discuss solutions for Vietnam’s development toward 2035 that will be covered in the Vietnam 2035 Report. The discussion will be opened until the end of 20 January, 2015. Please share your views with us by submitting your comments in the form below. Mr. Bui Quang Vinh and Ms. Victoria Kwakwa will discuss and respond to your questions on this website.

Victoria Kwakwa

These are all good suggestions. Thank you for sharing with us.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Vinh Hoang

If Vietnam wants to integrate into the global economy in order to increase its values, such as export diversification, strategic imports, to attract FDI, increase revenue from tourism and strategic market in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Asia Pacific, here are some focuses: 
(a) Creating business opportunities for young enterprises to support their innovation through capitalization and protecting competitiveness value; 
(b) State-owned enterprises develops toward stability for GDP growth, higher income for consumers, protecting competitiveness capacity and exploitation of national resources (privatization to diversify capital sources, personnel management structure reform and employment to increase competitiveness, creativity, contribution to state budget); 
(c) Creating a buffet zone business capacity, competitiveness.   


Victoria Kwakwa

Thank you for sharing this paper. 

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Võ Thị Hà

For the development of Science-Technology: I’ve written a paper on Introduction of CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) – The French National Centre for Scientific Research to share experiences in organization model of research activities in France. 
For more detail, see this link: (Vietnamese)

Some personal opinions: 
- Scientific research: 
+ Construct a research network in which studies are implemented by research groups. 
+ Encourage lecturers in universities to attend these research groups. These research groups can (or can not) be belong to The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology  (VAST)
+ Encourage each research group to have their own websites and journals. 
+ Establish a database, focusing on background studies, human resources, specific projects, facilities….so that researchers/ organizations/ research units can look for necessary information to cooperate. 
+ Financing can be implemented in various ways: providing through national projects/ plans or salary. For example, a lecturer of an university signs a research contract with VAST to work part-time. 


Victoria Kwakwa

We fully agree. No country in the world has prospered over several decades without also improving the way the country is governed. Strong accountability and transparency are principles for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. Key elements to ensure this include timely publication of budget and plans to all citizens, a competitive and meritocratic civil service, and opportunities for citizens’ to hold public servants to account.  In Vietnam, however, there are some perennial challenges that relates to the very concept of "state management” where these principles and elements are yet to be fleshed out and implemented. To improve the efficiency as well as the effectiveness of the state three important changes are needed:: 

1) Stop doing certain activities, e.g. production of goods that are better left to the private sector such as beer and other consumer goods
2) Start doing certain activities, e.g. regulatory impact assessments as envisioned in the "Law on Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents” 
3) Perform state activities  differently: e.g. improved delivery of public services through greater transparency and accountability and regular performance and results monitoring.
We also know from global experience that a high-performing state is characterized by a capable civil service that is well trained, well paid and works  on the basis on merit, accountability, transparencyand a strong results orientation. The vision is already nicely outlined in the article 2 of the Vietnamese constitution: "…The State is of the people, by the people and for the people”. Key to achieving this ideal is providing opportunity for citizens to provide input into policy and program formulation and implementation

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Đặng Thảo

I think state management is an important factor in implementing the goals of socio-economic development, security and defense. What solutions are needed to make a breakthrough in improving the efficiency of state management ?


Victoria Kwakwa

You put your finger on a very important topic for Vietnam. A healthy financial system is essential in order for Vietnam to remain a vibrant and globally competitive economy. To its credit, it has already introduced a number of reforms in the sector: for example, by rolling back public sector dominance, introducing more competition in the banking sector, and improving some of the regulatory and institutional aspects. 

However, as you rightly note, there is a still a long way to go in order to support domestic entrepreneurship with not only a strong banking sector but also robust domestic capital markets. We are hoping that the Vietnam 2035 report will highlight the main policy actions that are necessary in this regard.  

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Tran Hoang Nguyen

Vietnam lacks a strong financial system. Lack of participation by the population prevents huge domestic potentials to be tapped into. The result is a private sector dominated by inefficient tiny and small household firms, a deficient of medium size firms and overwhelmingly large foreign firms. Efforts needs to be made to encourage more public participation in finance. In addition, risk management institutions and products need to be developed and popularized to protect our soon-to-boom agriculture and manufacturing sectors. I would like the report to discuss at length on these crucial matters.


Victoria Kwakwa

Thank you for sharing these thoughtful comments. One of Vietnam’s strengths is youthful population, with all the energy, verve and new, creative ideas that it brings. You, as a young citizen of the country, therefore have a lot to contribute. We hope that the policy recommendations of the Vietnam 2035 report will help harness the energy and creativity of young Vietnamese such as yourself. I would very much welcome your ideas, both to outline your expectations for the kind of future you would like to see and suggestions for positive change. We look forward to receiving your detailed report.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Nguyễn Thúy

Dear Ms Kwakwa, first of all, I’d like to say thank you for being here since your experiences and knowledge can help us – Vietnamese people - a lot in finding a way to step forward. My country and yours are both not developed countries and I am firmly believe that you are here not just as WB’s representatives but also as a Vietnamese’s friend who shares the same plight. Because of limited time I couldn’t jot down all the suggestions that I propose, but if I have a little bit more, I am willing to send you and the Minister a detailed report that I am about to prepare dedicatedly and carefully on my own and at my best. Maybe I’m too young to have a full understanding of what you adults are handling but as a Vietnamese citizen, I am always here to give my best. Hope it worth reading. Thank you. 


Victoria Kwakwa

You made a valid point that strengthening Vietnam’s competitiveness requires action on multiple fronts. Vietnam has shown a lot of promise compared to other countries, growing at a faster rate than almost any other country baring China since the early 1990s. However, this rapid growth has been mostly on account of more intensive use of resources. 

We know from international experience that this is not a sustainable strategy. In fact, it is a recipe for hitting the middle-income trap and jeopardizing the country’s environment and natural resources. What is required going forward is much more productive use of resources for growth. And that, as you rightly note, requires competitiveness at all levels – be it national, provincial or city-level. The policy agenda to support this will be developed in the Vietnam 2035 report. The suggestion for developing a set of competitiveness indicators is also a good one.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Thanh Bình

The issues mentioned above by the Minister are all difficulties and challenges that Vietnam is now trying to tackle. I’m concerned about the national competiveness capacity. The private enterprises survey in 2005 in 63 provinces, cities helped to construct a set of provincial competitiveness capacity indicators. This is a positive sign because the private sector is now highly evaluated in terms of role and importance in the National development strategy. Currently, the Prime Minister expressed special attention on national competitiveness capacity through the Resolution no 19 dated 03/18/2014. Moreover, sustainable development and economic integration, which should be carefully discussed, is also long-term development strategy of Vietnam. Vietnam competitiveness in region is quite low. 

To reach the higher level, Vietnam needs to have more plans and strategies on reform. I am concerned about the competitiveness capacity because it is created from economic, social, environmental and culture background. To strengthen competitiveness capacity from these aspects, it should be two-way promoting and coordinating strategy: from the government (top-down) and from the province (bottom-up) by a series of indicators and policies that are suitable with the current situation of Vietnam. The strategy should be implemented seriously and thoroughly. Therefore, to raise the competitiveness capacity, difficulties and weaknesses need to be solved at all levels, areas, sectors and firms, etc. Hence set of competitiveness capacity indicators should not only constructed at provincial level (already completed), but also at all mentioned levels.

For instance, urban areas, big cities are now important representatives with more outstanding contributions than other regions in the growth of the country. However, we don’t have indicators/ indexes on competitiveness capacity for these areas. I am now studying this issue and I realize that it is really essential and important in accelerating development process of a nation and reaching future visions. selecting and establishing an appropriate set of indicators  through many basic or decisive criteria through major aspects of sustainable development, making them key conditions willl increase the competitiveness capacity in all environments. It also brings the prosperity for the nation.



Victoria Kwakwa

This is an excellent comment and suggestion for Vietnam’s development. Radical and structural reforms are needed to improve the business environment for the country, as you can tell from international rankings for Vietnam, such as Doing Business. It is great to aim to catch up with the most advanced countries in the region, but it is also important to benchmark the country against the peers in the region such as Indonesia, Thailand so that the country can design and implement appropriate policies in its transitional periods, given its country specifics and current stage of development. 

In our opinion, the current business regulations (e.g. Enterprise Law, guiding documents) do allow people to freely do business and contribute to the country’s development. What really matters is the implementation of the regulations so that lawful interests and business undertaking by the people in business are nurtured for the country’s sustainable prosperity.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Bảo An

Vietnam prosperity, keep up with Singapore and Korea – To achieve this status Vietnam needs to have similar institutions, economic enviroment and human resources like those countries; have a democratic business environment, discipline, and personal interest linked to national interest. Rights to freely do business should be ensured. We should also encourage all citizens to do business. Agriculture modernization should be encouraged to produce abundant food for the society.


Victoria Kwakwa

Vietnam has made some progress during the last 20 years in simplifying administrative service delivery. The introduction of the One Stop Shops has greatly increased efficiency, transparency and accountability in the way administrative services are delivered to citizens. The improvement in issuing land user right certificates is a case in point. Also, through resolution 19 on tax reform, the government has also swiftly reduced the number of hours that businesses spend on paying taxes.

However, the low hanging fruits have been harvested. Some of the tedious obstacles for businesses remain. While Resolution 19 on tax reform was a major step forward it did not reform the administrative step of tax audit. While all modern revenue systems should perform tax audits it is important that it is done in a transparent and accountable fashion.

Innovation in administrative service delivery is also key. Here Vietnam can learn from countries such  as South Korea, which has introduced e-governance in administrative service delivery. Citizens can easily access internet to have e.g. a driver license or birth certificate issued. Delivering administrative services through an e-governance platform not only reduces the cost of service delivery, it also reduces the opportunities for abuse of power by introducing a direct electronic interface between the public sector and its citizens. But innovations to improve administrative services need not only to be based on electronic technology. Increasing the voice of citizens in rating the quality of administrative services, like several cities and provinces in Vietnam are doing through user feedback surveys supported by the World Bank, is also a means to improve administrative service delivery. The survey will be available on the World Bank website in the next few months.  By understanding what specific constraints citizens are facing in accessing and using administrative services, local administrative agencies can take action to improve their services immediately.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Bùi Thị Mến

It would be important to discuss and find the solutions to improve the public services.


Victoria Kwakwa

Investment in education, and with it the deep base of knowledge and skills that it builds in a country’s people, are indeed a fundamental component of wealth and prosperity.   

Vietnam has made excellent progress in providing its young people with sound basic education.  Its recent success on the PISA exam is making many countries look toward Vietnam as an example of what a developing country can achieve when it invests broadly and smartly in ensuring broad access for everyone to high-quality schooling.   

However, in the 21st Century, no country can rest on past achievements.  Vietnam still faces challenges to ensure its education system continues to be an effective part of the path toward becoming an upper-middle income country.  

An educated population has many advantages, and chief among these are the skills and adaptability it uses in the changing world of work.  Virtually all aspects of work these days require both more skills and more adaptability.   Today’s jobs require workers who react more quickly to everything,  from changing technology for growing rice to the latest trends in smartphone production.   Today’s worker will change jobs more often and be expected to bring new and better skills.   So countries like Vietnam that want to prosper assure that all children—whether from richer or poorer families—get a good start early in childhood and come to school ready to learn.   

Vietnam investments should pay attention to ensuring that nearly all students are able to complete high school, and go on to choose among a variety of high-quality college and university programs.   As part of this, investments need to promote world-class levels of excellence and innovation capacity in Vietnam’s best universities. 

Building on Vietnam’s solid educational foundations will be a key part of a more prosperous country in the next two decades.      

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Nguyễn Quốc Cảnh

I think education is important and fundamental factor for the development of any society. Investing in education is the best investment.


Victoria Kwakwa

Despite the fact that Vietnam has been successful in providing opportunity broadly to the population, substantial inequality of opportunity remains. I use the term "opportunity” in a particular sense, referring to children’s circumstances which affect their outcomes later in life. Inequality of opportunity is unfair because it means that children’s chances for prosperous lives are determined by factors beyond their control. 

In Vietnam, children from poor households are far less likely to attend upper secondary school and have access to improved sanitation facilities and healthcare, and are much more likely to be malnourished. Renewed policy efforts focusing on the least fortunate children are needed to close the opportunity gap.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Trần Hải

Vietnam no longer a poor country is good sign. What I''''m more concern is social justice. How to ensure people have same access to opportunities. What plan does government have for this?


Victoria Kwakwa

I agree that corruption if not dealt with could be a source of instability. And not only would corruption constrain Vietnam to move to higher stages of development, it could undermine the socio-economic strides Vietnam has achieved so far. The Government has put in place various preventive measures. They include enhancing openness and transparency, declaration of assets and incomes of public officials, merit-based recruitment or merit-oriented promotion, or regulations about returning gifts. 

Yet, various reports by the government and studies of the World Bank have shown that many of these measures aren’t being properly and effectively implemented. It would, therefore, be important to enhance the implementation of these anticorruption measures. Even if all these measures are being fully complied with, it is still not enough. The measures that are not yet effective for addressing corruption, such as asset and income declaration or merit-based recruitment and promotion, need tightening. At the same time, new measures that help minimize rent-seeking opportunities, i.e. managing conflict of interest, need to be introduced.  

In addition, ongoing efforts to make the management of public finances including public procurement more transparent and reduce opportunities for corrupt behavior are important.  Fighting corruption is a long-term agenda, and countries that have been successful in curbing corruption have never stopped doing so. It requires continuous, serious efforts from the government, the society as well the Vietnamese people.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Phạm Kim Ngọc

Corruption is an increasing and sophisticated problem that appears in many places. The government has more control measures, however still not strong and deep enough. If not resolved, it will be the biggest barrier to the stability and development of the country when people lose faith in society. What Government needs to do to tighten and solve this problem?


Victoria Kwakwa

Simplifying all tax procedures, e.g, registration, return processing, collection and debt management, audit, appeals etc. will help reduce compliance costs for both tax agency and taxpayers.  The fact is that the more complicated tax procedures the stronger propensity toward tax avoidance and evasion and associated risks of corruption.   

It would be best if tax administration business process will be entirely reengineered toward modern practice for all taxes.  Attention should be made, In particular for major taxes, including VAT, CIT, PIT, Excise etc. Simplification of tax administration procedures also helps improve business environment and competitiveness.  That is essential motivation for the Government Resolution 19 (March 2014), which targets to reduce number of paying taxes hours from the current 872 hours per year to the ASEAN-6 average level of 178 hours per year (according to Doing Business).  

The application of Information technology to automate simplified business process will further enhance tax administration efficiency.  It will in particular improve transparency and prevent direct contacts between tax officers and taxpayers and therefore reduce opportunities for corruption.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here


Tax efficiency collection imporvements:how? Improve Government IT intelligence on VAT and PIT revenues. These need to be enhanced to autofinance in future larger infrastructural works like ports,railways and foremost roads that separate motorbikes from trucks and a growing number of cars. Difficult: Attitude change of dodging ''''hoa don do'''', towards automated registry for everyone doing B to B pr B to C transactions in Vietnam


Victoria Kwakwa

Poverty reduction in Vietnam has been very impressive. Using a "basic needs” poverty line initially agreed in the early 1990s, the poverty headcount has fallen from 58% in the early 1990s to well below 10% today. Progress has also been substantial in other dimensions of well-being, ranging from high primary and secondary enrolments to improvements in health status and reduced morbidity and mortality. 

Vietnam has achieved and in some cases surpassed many of the Millennium Development Goals. What has been perhaps most striking about Vietnam’s record has been the fact that high growth has been achieved with only modest increase in income inequality – i.e. the rich-poor gap has not grown substantially. This is unlike the experience of other rapidly-growing countries China where inequality has risen sharply and gains in income have gone to too few. 

The challenge now is to consolidate these past gains, and achieve the goals posed by the commentator here – elimination of the scourge of poverty altogether and ensuring equal access to quality public services for all, including those in remote, rural areas. 

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here


I wish that Vietnam no longer has poor people. We wish the government to formulate policies and good development orientation for a Vietnam with no poor people. People in remoted areas can enjoy their benefits, public services as much as urban areas .


Victoria Kwakwa

Vietnam has made impressive gains in terms of economic and social development in the last two decades, enabling the country to nearly quadruple its average income and join the ranks of middle-income countries. The next phase of development is likely to prove just as challenging and will require reform measures institutional improvements in a broad range of areas. 

Particularly important will be reforms to strengthen the formal domestic private sector. Improving access to finance, leveling the playing field vis-à-vis the state-owned enterprises and foreign-invested companies, and addressing skills development issues are likely to be important for this. Modernizing the agriculture sector, managing the ongoing process of urbanization, building a strong foundation for higher education and technical training and ensuring equal access to basic public services such as health and education are also priority reform areas. 

In addition, Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of global climate change, which presents its own set of policy challenges in order to sustain long-term growth. 

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Huong Ngo

Currently, Vietnam posed too many priorities, so where are the key issues for Vietnam to basically become a modern industrialized country? As my view, social justice is not equality leveling, but how people are treated and access to social services. It is fairness and equality in access to opportunities.


Victoria Kwakwa

We agree with you on the importance and the need for a strong and effective people’s participation in policy-making process. People’s voice and participation play a very important role in helping government to make good policies that timely and effectively address development issues. 

Comments and feedback from people and communities contribute greatly to identification of the issues on the ground and can be used as the base for analysis before deciding on the policies. People and communities are also playing a crucial role in supporting and monitoring the policy implementation process toward sustainable and inclusive development.

Please view expert profile of Ms. Victoria Kwakwa here

Trần Minh

Communications can promote effective participation of citizens in policy decision-making process. We ( RED ) is currently preparing to deploy one project in this field.


Bùi Quang Vinh

I totally agree with your suggestion. All countries have to support their citizens and enterprises in doing business, facilitate market access and start-ups. As one saying goes, "every start is difficult”, the state should play "the role of a midwife” in two aspects.

First, the state should establish centers to provide support on both business orientation, and training of skills and registration procedures. Second, the state should provide support to innovative ideas, both successful and unsuccessful ones. More importantly, innovative ideas should be nurtured and respected. Only that way, we can progress and achieve the higher level of productivity.

Currently, the Ministry of Science and Technology has already established a start-up fund and is establishing further start-up centers in provinces to support citizens, especially young people. Provincial Youth Confederations are also providing support to young entrepreneurs. However, we need to do more on this going forward. 

Please view expert profile of Mr. Bui Quang Vinh here

Trần Hoàng Lâm

The country really develops when its people’s lives in all aspects thrive. It doesn’t mean too rich people existing with too poor in one society . Why doesn’t Vietnam have a mechanism to support start-ups as Israel? If such funds exist, I think a lot of people will support it. Students have a lot of ideas, but from idea to reality is still very fianancially challenging. Do you, as the minister have any solution?


Bùi Quang Vinh

The Law on Public Investment as well as the Instruction 1792 clearly stated that ministries and provinces make detailed budget allocations. The Ministry of Planning and Investment only makes recommendations regarding overall sector allocation to the Prime Minister. This is the overarching principle.

Ministries make decisions with regards to specific allocations as well as project size. The Ministry of Transport is right when sharing that it did not have enough funding because large projects are financed by ODA and bonds resources; state budget funding only formed a minor part, and mostly in the form of counterpart funding. In 2014, due to lack of funding for counterpart contribution in many mega project, many of which belong to the Ministry of Transport, the Government had to advise the National Assembly to borrow money for the public and enterprises by issuing bonds. This was not something that we wanted to do. We will need to review all projects under Ministry of Transport and focus on only a few that are important and affordable considering the country’s budget capacity.

Ministry of Science and Technology also wishes to make decisions regarding the budget earmarked for science and technology; but if all other ministries and provinces would like to make own decisions [on science and technology] the situation would become unmanageable. The Ministry of Planning and Investment would like to see a consolidated science and technology budget submitted by Ministry of Science and Technology. We have discussed this with the Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan and we agreed that a consolidated budget plan should be developed, especially with regards to investments. 

Please view expert profile of Mr. Bui Quang Vinh here

Tư Thành

Recently, Ministry of Transportation said that it does not have capital to invest in infrastructure projects anymore, most of its capital was from the budget of the following year. Now, the government does not allow Ministry of Transportation to use budget of the following year. What is the government’s solution to solve this problem? Minister of Science and Technology has mentioned about the issues related to public expenditure because many of them need approvement from MPI. Until 2035, is there any new mechanism for budget allocation to make public investment more efficient? Thank you Mr. Minister.


Bùi Quang Vinh

I must admit that our investments have been spreading over and not very effective although with ODA and bonds resources, we have completed many projects such as bridges, ports, air-ports, express ways, etc. Vietnam is seen as an effective ODA recipient. However, several problems are emerging because no sufficient counterpart funding has been arranged for large projects. This has led to delay in implementation, reducing effectiveness and accelerating debts. The Government of Vietnam has recognized these issues.

The Law on Public Investment has imposed very stringent rules. The problem here is the investment policy. Chapter 2 of the Law clearly stated that projects of national importance must be submitted to the National Assembly; Category A projects must be approved by the Prime Minister while Category B projects must be approved provincial People’s Councils or ministries. The same chapter requires that multiple aspects such as technical, financing, socio-economic effectiveness should be taken into consideration. A project can only be approved if its socio-economic effectiveness and payback of investment costs are demonstrated. In the past investment policies were made fast; many steps and procedures were ignored; as a results many problems emerged during implementation such as low effectiveness, insufficient counterpart funding, delayed implementation, etc. The Law on Public Investment contains a chapter on investment project evaluation, and supervision by community and authorities at all levels. A proper implementation of the Law on Public Investment would improve the current situation as well as effectiveness of invested capital. For the five year socio-economic development plan (2016 – 2020), the Ministry of Planning and Investment has advised the Government to make specific plan for each ODA projects, appraise and monitor them strictly as provided in the Law on Public Investment. This would result in big changes.

Please view expert profile of Mr. Bui Quang Vinh here

Lê Nhật Linh

There are massive investment projects on infrastructure in Vietnam currently. This is a positive sign. However, there is a growing conecern about government debt, because most of them is foreign debt. According to Ministry of Finance, foreign debt accounts for about 50% of Vietnam’s GDP and this number is likely to increase. Do Ministry of Planning and Investment have any solutions to increase the efficiency of public investment? Make public spending more transparent? Thanks.


Bùi Quang Vinh

To improve state governance the first thing we should do is accelerating the institutional reform to create a modern market economy and strengthen the international integration. In addition, we need to create the rule of law in its truest meaning. Accordingly, we need a state that is ruled by laws; we need to respect laws; the country should be governed by a system of modern and comprehensive laws; etc.

At the same time we need a democratic and serving state. It means that the people must have true rights. They can take part in making important policies, mechanisms, institutional setups, and laws, including the Constitution. The people must be the ones who make such decisions. They have the right to select top leaders. If we can do this and create modern market institutions, Vietnam shall develop.

Please view expert profile of Mr. Bui Quang Vinh here

Đặng Thảo

What measures are needed to make a breakthrough in improving the efficiency of state management ?


Bùi Quang Vinh

I think there are 2 core things that help Vietnam to become a modern and industrialized country:

First, on the economic institutional front, Vietnam needs to take decisive reforms to create a modern market economy, to integrate more deeply with the international economy in all areas and to comply with principles of the market economy. This would help to allocate resources most efficiently according to market signals. A sound competitive environment would improve effectiveness and quality of public service such as health care and education. This is the most important point.

We have made progress in this area but there are other areas where we did not do right, causing waste of resources and creating barriers to development. The private sector needs to play a more important role in the provision of public services. At the same time, the state still provides basic services by redistribution measures and social security policies to help poor and disadvantaged groups. The more you contribute, the more you receive; the more effective you are, the more you get. Equity is not going to be "the same for everyone”.

Second, we need the rule of law, a state that serves the people and is owned by the people. This should be a performance criteria of officers. Those who do not act in this spirit should be ousted from the administration sector. The people must be able to enjoy democracy and their rights. Democracy means that the people are the masters of the country, who take part in making decisions, selecting leaders, and making the country’s Constitution. These are important elements of Vietnam’s development.

I agree that equity does not mean "the same for everyone”. Equity has its own principle. The more productive you are, the more you get.

Please view expert profile of Mr. Bui Quang Vinh here

Huong Ngo

Currently, Vietnam posed too many priorities, so where are the key issues for Vietnam to basically become a modern industrialized country? As my view, social justice is not equality leveling, but how people are treated and access to social services. It is fairness and equality in access to opportunities.


Bùi Quang Vinh

Yes, I agree that the "ask and give” mechanism is a barrier to the country’s development and a source of troubles, inconvenience, and distortions. It takes away so much resources of citizens and enterprises from their investment and business activities. Doing business has become more difficult as a result.

In the current reform program, the National Assembly and the Government are very committed to improve transparency and reduce as much as possible the "ask and give” practice. This is a huge and difficult task. All laws and regulations need to be reviewed. Ministry of Planning and Investment is a pioneer in the process. At the VIIIth Session of the XIIIth National Assembly in 2014 the amended Law on Enterprises and amended Law on Investment have introduced a new approach: a shift from "ask and give” mechanism ("to give what is asked for”) to "stipulate what is not permitted” which means that citizens and enterprises are free to do what is not prohibited by laws. This is a totally new thinking. There will be a related decree to be issued on July 1, 2015.

I agree with Mr Luong Hoai Nam that Vietnam has many laws but the issues are with law implementers. So, what we need is a servicing state rather than a managing and governing one as it is now. This is a very important point. Authorities have to serve citizens and enterprises because they generate wealth and pay taxes to feed the state administration.

State agencies must devote all their efforts to serve enterprises and citizens; officer’s performance must be evaluated in accordance with client satisfaction level. Officers who do not act in this spirit should be removed. That is simply the principle. On that basis we can prevent corrupting and trouble-making behavior of state officers.

Please view expert profile of Mr. Bui Quang Vinh here

Lương Hoài Nam

I would like to send to Minister Vinh my article on the "asking-giving” mechanism for your research. Business Freedom of people and compannies has now been seriously violated , and not more than freedom of farmers. Legislation allows their freedom at 100, through many management hierarchies, the freedom is only 10-20. Managerial documents at all levels are scary sub-licenses. What does the government do to destroy the "asking-giving” mechanism, so people and businesses truly have free right? This mechanism makes our country poor, pushing Vietnam into poverty, dependent and economic slavery conditions. I think we should consider the "asking-giving” mechanism as treason and firmly reject by all means. What do you think as a Minister? 


Nguyễn Hoàng Quốc

I would like to go straight to the problem. To develop in a sustainable way, firstly Vietnam has to control and eliminates corruption. In the future I suggest the government and Parliament find the way to handled this problem thoroughly. A more solid and stronger legal system should be built. At the same time, the coordination with management should be strengthened to create a competitive environment and as clean as possible. The truth is clear that even though we have given so much effort, money, and technology advancement, corruption can ruin everything. Such as only one screw of the bridge is loose, it could destroy the whole bridge. It is the consequences of corruption and abuse of power . Just my two cents.


Peter Nelson - Address: 68 The Chase Rd Turramurra Stdney

Vietnam needs transparency. It needs to get rid of corruption which is so endemic it is treated as common knowledge. Worse it is now accepted as the norm.



A focus on tech and innovation is a good approach, but there should be more direction to help guide the investment of time and resources. At the grass roots level, there are 1000s of young Viet entrepreneurs who have the ambition to start new tech companies, but lack the financial resources and breadth of knowledge and experience to take these to scale. While at the top, investors seek > market returns, but lack reliable investment opportunities, and are unwilling to place small bets on risky projects, choosing instead to wait for lucrative deals to find them, leading to Herd mentality. To address these issues, the government could create tax incentives for pipeline development activities for investors that would help build the capacity of innovative growth companies in Vietnam.


trab do - Address: ha noi

To reach the current level of Korea, Japan or Singapore, the necessary condition for Vietnam is a truly free and democratic society. The sufficient condition is a transparent, accountable and high responsible government.


Đào Cường - Address: Nghe An

1. Vietnam will become a country that have “dirty” agriculture if it remains its current agriculure production. Uncontrolled use of pesticides in production as well as in livestock, poultry and aquaculture products; the “serving” manufacturing industry; the increasing gap between living standards of urban and rural area are the results of policies and the current institution. 2. Changing policy and institution appropriately and in time; creating a clean agriculture; autonomy industry (autonomy in technology and production inputs); reducing the gap between the rich and the poor are solutions.


Cao Đức Quang - Address: Hương Trà, Thừa Thiên Huế

Education should be invested for a rapid development in Vietnam! Vietnam education sector is now seriously under-developed! The core solution is investing in universities of information technology and universities of high-technology agriculture.


Bảo An - Address: Hà Nội

Promoting the development of green and clean energy, space industry, traditional culture and beliefs, especially Vietnam and South Asian culture should be encouraged.


Nguyễn Thị Phước Hiệp

I think, two important issues need to reform: 1- Higher education: everyone should have chance to access to higher education (whether public or private universities). However, there should be the same exam for all students in the same major, the same education system and same indicators to evaluate students before they graduate. 2- Public servant recruitment: it should be more transparent and the most important criteria would be the capability to work


Đỗ Đức Chi - Address: số4 ngõ599đường Phạm Văn Đồng

My suggestion is to find out what is the consensus for Vietnam’ development? What is the break-through opportunity for Vietnam’s economy (2015-2035)?


Đỗ Đức Chi

We needs to carefully assess current status of socio-economic development to find out what are the positive and negative factors of development. From that we can promote positive factors and gruadually eliminate negative factors. To become an industrial country it is necessaty to transform politics system to boost economic growth and creat a consensus for Vietnam’s developemt


nguyễn trọng nghĩa - Address: thành phố Huế

For our country to become an industrialized country in the coming decades, I think important to develop human resources according to the real needs of the society. I do not understand why the Ministry of Education allows the establishment of too many universities in recent years. There are so many highy-educated people but unemployed. While many universities (non-mainstream) do not have enough students to operate. Both teachers and students are unemployed. This really affect our zcountry''s development .


Nguyễn Hoàng Ánh - Address: 91 Chùa Láng

I think there are two main problems hindering the development of Vietnam: 1. Quality of government officials are too low, due to 2 reasons : 1/ Recruitment is not based on knowledge but on political criteria; 2 / Therefore government officials are not unmotivated to improve. What are government’s plans to improve this situation? 2. Low quality of labor is partly due to poor quality of education. This is because we lack academic freedom and have low quality of recruitment. Is the government aware of this situation and do you have any solution to improve it?


Nguyễn Thị Ngần - Address: Phúc Lâm -Hà Nội

Government should deply realistic surveys, so the real poor households are able to benefit from support policies. Many are certified as poor but actually not. The real poor are not eligible for their own benefits! Sincere thanks!


Hạnh Hoa

Amid thousands of current issues such as health, education, science and technology development, infrastructure, etc., what is most necessary and pressing for the country?


Hoa Đào

How can an average citizen contribute to the development of the country ?


Hà Nội

How to promote the participation of all citizens in the process of policy making process?



Could you please share your suggestions for an industrialized and developed country?


Thoa Tran

Highest priority is an institutional reform, which must aims at more effective and widespread corruption fight and more open and real participation of people in public policy decisions. In short, more democratic and inclusive governance. Also we need to be more specific about what kind of ''industrialization'' we want to realize. Which industries are Vietnam''s areas of competitive advantages? What is the place of agriculture, taking into account the need for robust creation of new jobs? What is the role of SOEs vis-a-vis private SMEs? Then come reforms on several pivotal fields: financial system, education, health care.



A focus on tech and innovation is a good approach, but there should be more direction to help guide the investment of time and resources. At the grass roots level, there are 1000s of young Viet entrepreneurs who have the ambition to start new tech companies, but lack the financial resources and breadth of knowledge and experience to take these to scale. While at the top, investors seek > market returns, but lack reliable investment opportunities, and are unwilling to place small bets on risky projects, choosing instead to wait for lucrative deals to find them, leading to Herd mentality. To address these issues, the government could create tax incentives for pipeline development activities for investors that would help build the capacity of innovative growth companies in Vietnam.


Peter Nelson - Address: 68 The Chase Rd Turramurra Stdney

Vietnam needs transparency. It needs to get rid of corruption which is so endemic it is treated as common knowledge. Worse it is now accepted as the norm.


Paul Phillips - Address: Tan Tao Appartments

Most world leaders now accept the science of Climate Change, however they remain “in denial” with regards the impact it is going to have on their cities, economy & people. HCMC because of its geographical position cannot be saved from the rising tides & storms of climate change. We cannot change this outcome or the location of HCMC however we can prepare for the inevitable. If we were to establish a new satellite town with high speed access to HCMC in a safer geographical location and attract businesses to establish their factories & offices there, so creating jobs which would attract people to migrate to it rather than HCMC, we may find in 35 years there are only a few million people left in HCMC when the worst of climate change hits. This will ensure Vietnam''s economy thrives in 2050


Nguyen Quynh Phuong

I agree with you, Anthony. Vietnam''s education system needs a comprehensive reform, transfering from rote learning to more practical and innovation approaches that help students to develop soft skills and problem solving skills.



Vietnam should improve its competititveness regionally and globally, both in production and labor force. Vietnam has a young and passionate workforce, but it lacks a lot of skills that are required in the modern labor market, such as English language, critical thinking, etc. I think education is the key to solve this problem.



Institutional reform should be core issue in this report


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