VietNamNet Bridge – Some scientists and analysts believe that Vietnam would gain bigger benefits in its socio-economic development if it applies the GMT+8 time zone instead of the current GMT+7. The issue remains controversial.
As all the regional economic centers, including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan) are located in the GMT+8 zone, the financial news always “go ahead” of Vietnam and Thailand because the markets open sooner than Vietnam and Thailand.
Therefore, the negative impacts, if they occur, on the finance market would seriously influence Thailand and Vietnam. Meanwhile, since the other regional markets close one hour earlier, investors and economic policy makers would have one more night to think carefully until the markets open the next morning.
What happened with the 1997 Asian financial crisis could be seen a valuable lesson for Vietnam. The Bangkok stock market then incurred the “tsunami” when investors rushed to bargain stocks away. Meanwhile, the Singaporean market, which ignited the tsunami, closed the door one hour before.
This explained why the then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin in 2001 announced the intention of applying the time zone GMT+8 to foster the Thai economy, even though Thailand is geographically further than Vietnam from the GMT+8.
The GMT+8 time zone would also help shorten the night and lengthen the day.
If so, cities would light up later than currently. Street lamps would be turned on at 6.30 am or 7 am instead of 6 am as currently. This is enough to save trillions of dong.
And people would go to bed sooner. At present, they go to bed at 10 pm, which means that they use electricity for four hours, from 6 pm to 10 pm. But if the new time zone is applied, they would use electricity for 3-3.5 hours only.
Doan Huu Nguyen, a reader, in the email to VTC Editorial Board, affirmed that this is a very cheap and easy method to help save electricity, especially when Vietnam still faces the power shortage, while the Electricity of Vietnam is hungry for capital to develop electricity plants.
Some scientists have also agreed that the GMT+8 would bring more benefits. At present, people finish their working hours at 5 pm and get home at 6 pm, when it is dark. But with the GMT+8, they would get home when it is still light, and they can delay the turning of the light on for one hour.
GMT+8 would also help create more jobs and accumulate demand. If people finish working hours when it is still light, they would try to go shopping, playing sports or taking extra works, which would create more GDP to the society.
Meanwhile, if people leave the office late, when it gets dark, they would rather to go home instead of joining other activities.
Especially, the GMT+8 solution has been applauded by economists. In principle, the smaller the difference between the Vietnam time and international time is, the better it would be for Vietnam.
This explains why Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which are located at a lower longitude than Vietnam should apply the GMT+7 time zone, but they are applying the GMT+8.