Hanoi seminar discusses new growth strategy

(VOV) – Nearly 100 domestic and foreign experts shared experience in drawing up and implementing a new growth strategy in Vietnam.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu said like other APEC member states, the Vietnamese government has started renewing its growth paradigm since 2009, with priority given to restructuring labour and sectoral mechanism, and improving the operational efficiency of the market economy to achieve rapid and sustainable development.

Dr Nigel Finch from Sydney University said in its new growth strategy, the Asia-pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum aims to achieve balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure growth, focusing on macroeconomic policies and structural reform to redress imbalance and improve operational efficiency.

The new strategy will help the member economies to benefit from the global economic recovery and protect the environment towards a green economy.

Introducing Japan’s experience, Akio Hosono from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute, said his government kick-started a new growth programme in June 2013 after experiencing annual low growth of 0.8% over the past two decades.

The strategy focuses on the financial-monetary and fiscal policy reforms and private investment promotion.

However, he said Japan is meeting a number of challenges in realising its strategy, especially in accelerating its institutional reform, privatising State companies, creating of a friendly working environment, and developing highly competitive human resources.

Kensuke Tanaka, an official of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), pointed to the fact that most Southeast Asian nations have now shifted to increasing exports, achieving green growth, generating jobs and reducing poverty.

He underlined the need to increase the quality of human resources and education, and develop small- and medium sized businesses, especially the private sector, considering this a key factor behind dynamic growth.

To reap a success, according to the OECD expert, Vietnam needs to address three issues: macroeconomic management, education and its quality, and middle-income trap.

He said Vietnam still has room to improve the quality of its human resources, citing the result of a recent survey which shows the country’s skilled labour force has yet to obtain high growth over the past five years.

The new growth model is now based on productivity rather than production, which has brought initial success to the Republic of Korea, Japan and Singapore. Yet, Tanaka warned lessons learnt from these countries cannot be applied to other Asian countries.

Dr Le Xuan Sang, an official from the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said the global economy is likely to face uncertainties and risks in the coming months.

World leading economic and financial institutions all lowered global growth forecasts made in late 2012. But they were optimistic the global economy is on the road to recovery, projected to grow by 2.4% in 2013 and 3.2% in 2014.

Vietnam is forecast to grow by 5.3% in 2013 and 5.8% in 2014.

The Vietnamese government has approved a master plan on economic restructuring, with a focus on State businesses, commercial banks, and the stock market.

Delegates agreed that to realise the new growth strategy, Asian countries need to pay more attention to regional integration, tightly control capital sources, shift their growth paradigm, improve productivity, and develop services.

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