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Vietnam Today

RoK industrialization a model to consider

Released at: 14:25, 19/11/2015

RoK industrialization a model to consider

Seminar discusses the level of Vietnamese industry and country's development strategy in the context of greater integration.

by Minh Tien

On the morning of November 18 Vietnam Economic Times and the Academy of Policy and Development (APD) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) held a seminar entitled “Industrial Development Strategy of Vietnam and Preparations for Joining the TPP”, with a focus on lessons from South Korea’s industrialization process.

The seminar was attended by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Vietnam H.E. Jun Dae Joo, former Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Vietnam and now Senior Advisor to Samsung, H.E. Ha Chan Ho, former Ambassador of Vietnam to the Republic of Korea H.E. Nguyen Phu Binh, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, Associate Professor Tran Dinh Thien, Emeritus Professor Kim In-Ho Stephen from Hanyang University in South Korea, and other economic experts, government officials, and policymakers in Vietnam.

In his opening remarks Deputy Minister Dong stressed that Vietnam has been implementing its Strategy for Industrial Development for 2025 and Vision to 2035 amid a range of difficulties and challenges. The country’s industries have contributed to economic growth but been forced to overcome various obstacles in turning Vietnam into a modern industrialized country by 2020. He therefore called on the seminar to identify solutions to keep Vietnam on the right path.

Professor Kim In-Ho then presented his theory of Dynamic Management and the lessons from South Korea’s industrialization process and the birth of the private business conglomerate known as chaebol. He underlined that Vietnam could learn not only from the successes of surviving and thriving chaebols like Samsung and Posco but also from those that disappeared after the financial crisis in 1997. He emphasized that Vietnamese enterprises must be extremely innovative not only in developing products but also in their management, in order to cope with a rapidly changing environment.

Other guest speakers spoke along similar lines, saying that the circumstances facing Vietnam and the world must be properly understood in order to identify solutions for industrialization and modernization in the context of global integration from FTAs and the TPP.

Associate Professor Thien noted that Vietnam’s industries are still at a very low level and transitioning to a higher level has been a slow process as they remain heavily involved in processing and assembly with virtually no assistance from domestic support industries.

Drawing experience from the process of Vietnam joining the WTO, Associate Professor Thien pointed out that it will be not be easy for Vietnam post-TPP and the question for government officials and policymakers is whether they can overcome existing limitations with a long-term vision and positioning. He suggested that, as a late starter, Vietnam could follow the economic development model of South Korea but noted this does not mean taking the exact same path.

“Changing the growth model towards a modern market economy and following standard integration commitments with giant private enterprises as the main driver are vital,” he concluded.

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