Prof. Tran Van Tho, a former lecturer at Japan’s Waseda University suggested several measures for Vietnam to achieve sustainable economic development in the next period in an interview recently granted to a Vietnam News Agency reporter in Tokyo.
Tho, who is also a member of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory group, said the past five years could be said to be the best period during Vietnam’s 35-year Doi Moi (renewal) cause.
He cited an average growth of nearly 7 percent each year, along with stable macro-economic indicators such as inflation, public debt and unemployment rate.
Last year alone, Vietnam still posted a positive growth while others reported negative economic expansion amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the scholar, Vietnam’s most impressive achievement was in external economy with rapid export growth. The country has become the second largest exporter in ASEAN, leading to improved trade balance.
Regarding the 13th National Party Congress, Tho stressed that as Vietnam is going to enter a new development period with major changes in growth quality, social resources should be further tapped to meet development requirements.
In the face of great opportunities and challenges ahead, he said Vietnam’s new leadership should catch up with the new national and global developments, and take sound policies, especially in attracting and using talents.
About sustainable economic growth goals for the next five years, Tho described restructuring and related policies as the most important, especially labour and business restructuring.
In labour, with 35 percent of the labour force still working in agriculture with low productivity, he proposed channeling labour from agriculture to industry and services through stepping up industrialization.
As for the structure of businesses, SMEs and households businesses still account for a large proportion in the economy, so there should be policies to improve capital and land market, and actively help small and medium-sized enterprises to grow in size.
The scholar also pointed to the instable structure of foreign trade. He suggested in the next five years, Vietnam should hasten industrialisation to ease its reliance on imports from China and the Republic of Korea, and diversify export markets.
He said Vietnam needs a wiser strategy in attracting foreign investment and technology. According to him, domestic enterprises should be stronger so as to be able to become partners of foreign firms, especially those working in high technology.