The MPI Portal respectly releases the whole opening speech of Minister of Planning and Investment NGUYEN CHI DZUNG at the first annual Viet Nam Reform and Development Forum (VRDF) “New Vision, New Drivers of Economic Growth in a New Era”
H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Member of the Politburo, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam,
H.E. Vuong Dinh Hue, Member of the Politburo, Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam,
H.E. Vu Khoan, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam,
H.E. Ousmane Dione, Country Director of the World Bank Viet Nam,
Representatives of leaders of central ministries and agencies, localities, representatives of leaders of businesses, universities, research institutes and development partners of Viet Nam,
Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
With the permission of the Prime Minister, today the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), in cooperation with the World Bank, organizes the Annual Forum on Reform and Development (VRDF) for the first time with a cross-cutting aim of further strengthening the cooperation between government agencies and the development partners community, national and international experts, and the broad participation of organizations, individuals, private economic sector… to discuss relevant issues in order to put forward effective recommendations to accelerate the process of reform and development of the economy of Viet Nam. The Forum is the first step that lays development foundations to become an international and regional level reform and development Forum that contributes to the prosperity and sustainable development of not only Viet Nam, but also the region as a whole, enabling nations, including Viet Nam, to bring into better play their roles in the international arena.
The Forum is the succession and development of the previous Donors Consultative Group Meeting (CG Meeting) and the Viet Nam Development Forum (VDF), which is linked to the new realm of a rapidly changing world, increasingly strong and far-reaching impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the positive changes of the economy of Viet Nam over the past years. More specially, this first Annual Forum on Reform and Development is of great significance as it is held at the time we are entering the final years implementing the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020) and the 5-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (2016-2020), as well as the preparatory stage for the formulation of the 10-year Strategy and 5-year Plan for the new period.
Given its annual frequency, the Forum will provide an opportunity for policy makers, experts, organizations and individuals to meet, discuss, share and discuss in an open and frank manner about the issues of reform and development of the country, thereby creating a consensus among the community and society, and propose short- and long-term solutions with an aim to bringing about visible and fundamental changes in policy actions towards rapid and sustainable development of the country. The reality of Viet Nam’s development over the past more than three decades since the adoption of Doi Moi shows that reform must go hand in hand with development if we are to achieve the goals of increasingly inclusive and sustainable development. This forum is therefore expected to become the largest annual Viet Nam Reform and Development Forum participated by the world’s leading experts and scholars, proposing highly feasible reform and development solutions and actions.
The set task is very heavy and important. The Resolution of the XIIth Party Congress affirmed the great policy of "Pushing up comprehensively and synchronously the Doi Moi process; achieving rapid and sustainable development, and striving to soon turn our country into a basically industrialized nation along the line of modernity" In addition, many important resolutions on institutional and legal improvement, key tasks of reforms, socio-economic development, enterprise development, private economy development, human resource development, social security... have been put forward. These require the Government to develop a set of specific solutions and actions to guide and execute the comprehensive development of various sectors of the economy, enabling the country to attain rapid and sustainable development, overcome the middle income trap, and narrow the development gap with the rest of the world.
As you know, the most significant achievement of the 30 years of "Doi Moi" has been a dramatic change of the face of Viet Nam's economy, improved people's living standards, and sharply reduced rate of poverty; Viet Nam has become a middle income nation and has been integrating in a far-reaching manner into the global economy. Currently, the stature, position and prestige of Viet Nam in the international arena have gradually improved, highly recognized and appreciated by the international community. As of the end of 2017, Viet Nam’s population was about 94 million people, ranking number 14th in the world; its GDP was about US$ 224 billion which ranked Viet Nam number 45th ; per capita GDP exceeded US$ 2,300, ranking number 134th; an economic growth rate of 6.81% was seen in 2017 and is expected to be higher in 2018; Human Development Index (HDI) ranked 116/189 countries; the income distribution inequality coefficient (GINI) is in the positive range at 0.43 points. Indicators of national competitiveness and business environment have witnessed encouraging progress. In 2017, the country’s global competitiveness index (GCI) ranking was 55/137, showing a moving up of 5 places; business environment ranking was 68/190, indicating an increase of 14 places; and innovation ranked 47/127, up by 12 places. Among the group of lower middle-income nations, Viet Nam moved up from the third place in 2016 to the first place in 2017.
Achievement of the above-mentioned positive results is thanks to unceasing efforts of the entire political system, the whole society, the business community and effective cooperation and support of the international community, development partners in particular. In the years to come, the economy of Viet Nam promises both challenges and opportunities that are intertwined. A number of economic scenarios for Viet Nam have been put forward with an expected average growth rate of 6.85% during the years of 2018-2020. Nevertheless, the Government remains constantly aware of the challenges and difficulties, both internal problems and external objective impacts that may affect the development of Viet Nam’s economy.
The big question raised now is how to make the most of all the opportunities, especially those brought about by the fourth industrial revolution, to overcome the difficulties and challenges, to clarify new drivers of growth with a vision of development in the new era associated with innovative and reformed thinking, so as to find out the best alternative for the growth and development puzzle of Viet Nam, towards exceptionally rapid growth, rapid and sustainable development on the basis of making full use of scientific and technological achievements of the humankind, making Viet Nam become a modern industrialized nation with advanced market economy and sustainable development in which the focus is placed on human development goal, ensuring the attainment of the goal of prosperous people, a strong country, a democratic, equitable and civilized society.
In February 2016, the Government of Viet Nam and the World Bank jointly launched the Viet Nam 2035 Report and the report has become a valuable reference for Viet Nam’s socio-economic development policy making, making a great contribution to the translation of the policies and directions set by the Party and the State into specific actions. The report has set forth Viet Nam's aspiration by 2035, namely: Prosperity, creativity, equity and democracy with the goal of becoming a higher middle-income nation with US$ 10,000 per capita at current prices. This aspiration can be realized through institutional reforms and support policies based on three key pillars: economic prosperity coupled with environmental sustainability, equity and social inclusion, and a capable and accountable State.
At the APEC Summit at the end of 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed the vision of the next decade which is to turn Viet Nam into a dynamic economy, based on innovation, capable of achieving rapid and sustainable development. That is also the inevitable development viewpoint and strategy for the Vietnamese economy to have enough internal strength to break up and reach higher in the next section of path, catching up with the regional countries which have already laid firm foundations for their development.
Given the on-going rapid Fourth Industrial Revolution which has exerted profound impacts on all aspects of the social and economic life of all nations around the world, created dramatic changes, from changes in organization of production, supply of services, modes of business doing, to those in consumption styles, ways of communication and even human being, we are facing the historical requirement for strong and fundamental renewal and reform in order to continue to see growth and to move up. This is because without undertaking reform and development at the same time, we will immediately lag behind the era. This is the "golden" moment in time as we are offered valuable opportunities. Opportunities lie in high proportion of working age population, and increasing rate of trained workers; far reaching international integration; ability to access and make the most of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; increasing investment flows from developed economies, multinational corporations and transnational corporations into developing countries and emerging economies… Time and opportunity will not wait for us! We can not help grasping these significant opportunities. We must reform and develop with all our determination, and with the strength that we have been able to do over 30 years ago.
However, in order to succeed, we need to be aware of the difficulties and challenges to be addressed in the coming period, especially those regarding the relationship between reform and development, in both perception and action; to be able to predict and respond to the adverse effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in which we are required to: on the one hand, discover and make the most of the opportunities brought about by this revolution, in the area of technology in particular; improve the sub-indexes of Viet Nam's innovation index, especially in terms of legal environment, business environment, infrastructure, access to information and communication technology (ICT); mobilize fully all available resources for development, especially those from the private sector, and the high quality human resource; develop a dynamic, efficient and globally competitive private sector which must become an important driver of the country’s economic growth; create alignment and cooperation for mutual development between domestic and foreign businesses; effectively respond to the impacts of climate change; properly solve social problems, ensure sustainable development...; and, on the other hand, minimize the challenges and adverse impacts of this revolution, especially the increasingly widespread use of robots in replacement of humans.
Based on a clear identification of where the economy stands in the process of development, recognition of the difficulties and challenges, and identification and making the most of all opportunities, even the smallest, for reform and development, we need to focus on identifying the most important drivers of growth and development in which the underlying driver of growth for the Vietnamese economy is nothing but the institutional reform in combination with concentrated efforts on improvement of labor productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of businesses through suitable and effective policies and solutions, particularly those to promote high-tech applications; development of the private sector in close cooperation with the foreign invested sector; human resource development which is the determinant for the success and effectiveness of all other drivers.
At this forum, we will be honored to hear the guidance from the Prime Minister on the tasks to be fulfilled in the coming period in order to step by step transform Viet Nam's aspiration into reality through appropriate reform and development actions at the new stage of development.
We hope and believe that presentations by national and international speakers, thoughtful comments and contributions from distinguished participants to the Forum whose theme is "New Vision, New Driver of Economic Growth in the New Era” will provide the Forum participants, especially policy makers and businesses, with a more comprehensive and profound understanding of the international context and the global mega trends in the coming time, the new drivers of growth for Viet Nam; and the steps and solutions to overcome the challenges, successfully grasp opportunities for development and leverage the new growth engines of the country. In addition, the Forum is expected to help Viet Nam's development partners have a better understanding of the difficulties facing Viet Nam and the country’s development priorities in the coming one or two decades, thus facilitating your identification of the most suitable and effective forms of support/assistance and cooperation for Viet Nam.
We also expect to collect thoughtful comments on and contributions to the theme of the Forum for further study to make valuable recommendations to the Party and the Government, especially in the context of quickly preparing for important contents in service of the coming XIIIth Nation-wide Party Congress, including the study and formulation of the 10-year national Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2021-2030) and the 5-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (2021-2025).
On this occasion, on behalf of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, I would like to extend my deep thanks to the World Bank for its very effective assistance and support to Viet Nam over the past many years and co-hosting this Forum. May I wish the Prime Minister, development partners of Viet Nam and all distinguished participants attending this Forum good health, and wish our Forum a great success.
Thank you very much./.
Minister of Planning and Investment