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Innovation thinking brings economic development

Released at: 16:10, 05/09/2015

Innovation thinking brings economic development

Conference told of what Vietnam must do to become an industrialized and modernized country.

by Thu Hoang-Doan Tran

Innovation in science and technology and using the country’s advantages to develop distinctly are some of the directions for restructuring the country’s economy in the context of global climate change and global integration, Professor Nguyen Quang Thai, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Economic Association, told the “Vietnam's Economy 2016-2020: Development Breakthroughs ” forum on September 4 in Hanoi.

To quickly bring the country out of its underdevelopment and provide the foundations for it to basically become an industrialized country by 2020, the only way is to “accelerate industrialization and modernization associated with the development of the knowledge economy,” Professor Thai said, recalling the content of a document from National Congress X of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 2006.

“It is necessary to further promote the industrialization and modernization of agriculture and rural areas and overcome problems relating to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers,” the document stated.

According to Mr. Thai, these are “beautiful” words and targets. They seem to not be practical at this point in time, however, due to a lack of cohesion amid ongoing global integration.

There are outstanding problems existing in the country, including low labor productivity, and Vietnam is the most underdeveloped country in the 12 participating in the TPP negotiations.

It is unfortunate that views on industrialization and modernization since 2006 have lacked specific criteria for evaluating the results in each period of development, according to Professor Thai.

“Should we reduce the number of ‘beautiful’ words and clichés and issue more radical solutions to make the country’s economy develop in a faster and more stable manner?” he asked.

Agreeing with Professor Thai, a group of authors, including Professor Luong Xuan Quy, Professor Le Du Phong, Professor Mai Ngoc Cuong, Professor Do Duc Binh, and Professor Hoang Van Hoa, believe there must be a new way of thinking in assessing the country’s socio-economic development.

According to the professors, Vietnam has recorded certain economic achievements in the 30 years since “doi moi” under the leadership of the Communist Party. It joined the World Bank's group of lower-middle income countries in 2010, which contributed to dramatically improving its position and profile in the world.

However, in Asia-Pacific countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, 20-30 years was enough time for them to emerge from being backward countries devastated by war and become developed countries.

More than 30 years of reform has brought miraculous achievements to China, moving from the sixth- largest economy in the world to the second-largest.

After nearly 30 years of reform, Vietnam’s economy has not escaped from the risk of falling behind, which is the result of low labor productivity.

Vietnam should not only recognize and be proud of its economic achievements but also compare itself to the development levels of neighboring countries, according to the group of professors.

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