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Speeches & Transcripts December 6, 2018

Vietnam Business Forum

Vietnam Business Forum 2018 - Sharing opportunities in a world of changing trade

Excellency Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Excellency Minister Nguyen Chi Dung

Excellency chairman Mai Tien Dung

Leaders of the government

Excellencies of the diplomatic corps

Business community

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for the rich discussions-good recommendations - Many of these are practical and forward looking. In a world of changing trade pattern and profound disruptive technologies, the ones who survived and succeed are not necessarily the smarter nor the conservative, but instead the ones who adapt faster and better to changes.

The forum today discussed issues related to infrastructure investments and how to crowd in private sector participation. There is a need for a comprehensive legal framework - the proposed PPP law should effectively address competitive procurement, viability gap financing, risk sharing mechanism and capital market instruments. Let’s start the PPP agenda with pilot projects, not necessarily large, but the one that can demonstrate the operationalization of PPP framework to kick-start the market.

We have also discussed issues related to bringing the relevant knowledge for modern industry. Education and the 21st century skill sets are at the center of the discussion. It is now an opportune time to revisit regulations on higher and vocational/training institutions to strengthen their governance, financing mechanism, and importantly, foster linkages to businesses. Effective institutional and support arrangements are needed to nurture innovation, where firms should be placed at the center as primary driver for improved technology transfer and innovation.

Vietnam has done well in many fronts thanks to the vision and strong determination of the government, and tireless efforts of the business community. But Vietnam aspires for more and it has already embarked on a TRIP toward becoming a successful upper middle income country. SINCE WE ARE ALL IN A SHIP CALLED VIETNAM, let me share some of the takeaways for this TRIP to successfully reach its destination:

T- as Trade. But also T as technology - Vietnam is already a vibrant trading partners for the World- This is where I see Technology critical for Vietnam’s growth in a digital era. Ensuring knowledge transfer, sharing innovation between domestic and FDI and promoting incubation are critical - This is the engine of our common ship called Vietnam.

R- as resilient (to navigate in high seas)- but also R as risks- because of the changing trend of world economy to which Vietnam is rightly integrated four dimensions of risks are critical - Managing risks - mitigating risks -adapting to risks and finally sharing risks - this is the latter where the business community expect more from Vietnam. This is the break of our ship and the way we maneuver it going forward will determine the speed to reach our destination.

I- as investments- But also I as Institutions- I will focus on Institution as the wheel of our ship. Steering this wheel towards the necessary reforms for Vietnam is key - Modernization of the administration through the e-government - reforms of financing models through flexible and implementable PPP law, enhancing regulations, tariff setting and taxation through new mechanisms and instruments all of which building on digital will be important.

P- as Partners but also P as people - In the WB Human capital index released last month is Bali, Vietnam is ranked 48 out of 157 countries. Investing in people and knowledge is a paramount in a digital era to keep the path of productivity, meet the required skill for an increasing sophisticated business agenda and to maintain competitiveness. This is the fuel of our ship.

For this TRIP, T-R-I-P, to head to successes, let me reassure the government leaders and the business community that the WBG will remain a trusted co-pilot and also an active passenger.

I wish all members of the government and business community good health, Merry Christmas and many more successes to come for the benefits of Vietnamese people.

Good afternoon.