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Speeches & Transcripts September 19, 2019

2019 VRDF: Vietnam Aspiration for Prosperity: Priorities and Actions


Excellency Mr. Nguyễn Chí Dũng, Minister of the MPI

Leaders government ministries and agencies,

Excellencies Ambassadors, representatives of development partners and international community,

Distinguished guests,

Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning to all, xin chào.

It is my honor to join Minister Dung to welcome you, distinguished guests, to the Vietnam Reform and Development Forum 2019: Vietnam – Aspiration for Prosperity: Priorities and Actions.

I would like to thank Minister Nguyen Chi Dung for his strong leadership and commitment, the MPI team for the collaboration and support to make the preparation of the Vietnam Socio-Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) a broad-based consultative process. I would also like to thank the Australian Government for their continued strong collaboration with us on this agenda- from the preparation of the Vietnam 2035 Report to the implementation of the report’s reform agenda, including the support to the formulation of the SEDS 2021-2030 and SEDP 2021-2025.

Minister Dung, ladies and gentlemen,

As we look ahead to the next decade, I see opportunities, but I also see risks. We live in a volatile time, when borders reappeared, and trade tension is rising. At the same time, technological changes are occurring at an unprecedented pace - robotics and automation, 3D printing to name a few. These developments are particularly important for Vietnam, which has been relying heavily on global trade as an engine of growth. At the time, Vietnam’s economic model is also facing several domestic challenges, including but not only a fast aging population, low capital formation and investment return, the degradation of its natural capital, human capital to enhance and likely declining productivity gains.

So, while Vietnam has every potential to sustain its development success, bold reforms are required so that the country will be able to seize future opportunities and manage risks. Today we will discuss two critical areas of reforms for Vietnam and make contribution to the formulation of Vietnam’s  development roadmap for the next decade.

The first reform area seeks to address a fundamental weakness of the current growth model. That is the excessive reliance on factor accumulation with limited contribution of productivity improvement. With the rapidly evolving industrial revolution 4.0, there is a significant room for Vietnam to improve its productivity by moving closer to the global technological frontier... Identifying policy options to promote innovation-based growth, and taking full advantage of IR 4.0 is one of the motivations of our today’s forum.

The second reform area relates to “market” institutions. Despite impressive achievements in economic transformation, Vietnam has not been successful in creating an effective and efficient system of full-fledged market institutions. This has hampered the healthy development of a dynamic competitive domestic private sector. How can Vietnam modernize its market institutions and the national governance to enable an environment where private sector firms, including domestic ones, can flourish and become the engine of growth? Seeking answers to this important question will be another focus of our discussion today.

Minister Dung, ladies and gentlemen,

A well-designed SEDS is critical for Vietnam, but successful implementation will probably be more important. For this reason, priorities and actions need not only to be clearly identified but also practical to implement bearing in mind the local context and players. This is exactly what we would want to get out of our dialogue today. We want to focus our discussion on how Vietnam can prioritize its policies and formulate an actionable reform agenda for the next decade.

So, let us all think together and innovate. Let us be open, bold and ambitious but also practical and concrete.

In conclusion let me thank all speakers, especially the external speakers who have travelled a long distance and made necessary adjustments to their busy schedules for joining our forum today.

I wish you all a very productive and fruitful discussion.

Xin cảm ơn rất nhiều!