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Nation considers development plans   2010-04-01 - VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Experts and policymakers gathered at a workshop yesterday, March 31,  to discuss and propose recommendations for Viet Nam’s socio-economic development strategy (SEDS) during the 2011-20 period.

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My Dinh New Urban Area in Tu Liem District, Ha Noi. The nation's socio-economic development strategies must take into account relatively new challenges, such as the results of rapid urbanisation.

Viet Nam is trying to develop rapidly and sustainably with the target of becoming a modern industrial country by 2020 and the strategy is being finalised to serve as a guidance for the country’s development in the next decade, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Bich Dat.

The strategy would serve as a basis for development plans in all sectors, draft master socio-economic development planning for regions, as well as development plans for the country each year, he said.

The previous two SEDS (1991-2000 and 2001-2010) served Viet Nam well in advancing from a largely poor, agricultural-based economy – that for many decades was isolated from the global economy – to a richer, market-based and rapidly developing one, increasingly integrated into the regional and global community, said United Nations Resident Co-ordinator John Hendra.

"The forthcoming SEDS will have a different, although no less difficult objective to meet: that of transforming Viet Nam into a successful middle income country with a high level of human development," he said.

"To achieve this, the new strategy must not simply build on earlier work and achievements, but must also address a different set of challenges – domestic and international, economic and social. Viet Nam will need to navigate through these challenges in the next decade and make the right choices," he added.

Giving recommendation to the building of the strategy, Tran Dinh Thien, member of the SEDS Drafting Team and Director General of the Viet Nam Economics Institute, said bias towards economic targets remained in the set of sustainable development goals, and it was essential to develop a deeper analysis on security, safety, quality of democratic decision-making, and access to information which are part of targeted social and environmental goals.

"Additional emphasis is required in ensuring that the objective of not letting Viet Nam fall into the "middle income trap" is included when formulating and implementing the development strategy," he said.

It was necessary to focus more on the objective of international economic integration and narrowing the development gap with Viet Nam’s forerunners in the SEDS 2011-20, he added.

Former Minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen said it was essential to learn from the experiences of other countries in promoting business competitiveness, to add more value in manufacturing, accelerate exports and product diversification; stimulating the development of agri-industrial activities; restructuring small-and-medium enterprises to promote productivity and effectiveness; building a more efficient and effective legal mechanism; maintaining the confidence of the private sector and promoting investment in high-tech productive activities.

"Infrastructure development, improved accessibility to financial resources and highly-skilled human resource development must be given high priority," he said.

Concerning the labour market, employment and urbanisation in Viet Nam to 2020, Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, director of the MPI’s Central Institute for Economic Management’s Public Services Policy Department, said that in the medium term, it was required to focus on employment growth, vocational training, continued development of labour-intensive and export-oriented industries, developing a favourable macro-economic environment, the further liberalisation of land use issues and the creation of favourable conditions for credit access.

"In the long term, human resource development strategy and plans should be ahead of demand; education and vocational training for labour should link with industries and diverse sources of investment and a good urbanisation strategy is required," she said.

To promote the development of Viet Nam, Mai Ha, head of the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy, said international co-operation in national development was extremely necessary in the context of globalisation and international economic integration.

"It is essential to identify and set up key industrial clusters that determine the country’s development and three parties, including producers, suppliers and government, should be linked together in the national innovation system," Dung said.

In addition to economic development, social welfare, environmental security and an effective response to climate change were factors ensuring the sustainable development in the context of globalisation, he added.

"Education - and science and technology-based growth is the model of choice of developed countries," he stressed.

"It is also needed to create a supply of skilled labour that is ahead of demand, with the goal of creating fertile conditions for more skill-intensive capital investment and technology," he said. The workshop is held as part of the United Nations Development Programme-funded project on supporting the formulation of the 2011-20 SEDS.

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