15:28 | 03/06/2014 Economy
(VEN) - Many Vietnamese and foreign business leaders, researchers and economists who attended a recent Vietnam Business Insights forum held in Ho Chi Minh City under the theme “Redefining Sustainable Business Growth for Vietnam” shared the opinion that Vietnam must attract external resources and strengthen internal resources.
Intensifying FDI attraction
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said that in the first quarter of 2014, Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.96 percent compared with the same period last year; labor productivity increased by 3.18 percent; exports and imports grew 14.1 percent and 12.4 percent respectively; and inflation was curbed at a low level, 1.24 percent. Vietnam is boosting economic restructuring along with efforts to change its growth model towards sustainable development, focusing on restructuring public investment, restructuring the financial and banking system and restructuring state-owned businesses. The Vietnamese government has given priority to promoting strategic breakthroughs in developing the market economy, improving the quality of human resources and upgrading infrastructure. It has taken many measures to improve the investment and business environment and enhance Vietnam’s competitiveness.
Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation General Director Johan Nyvene said that the Vietnamese economy was recovering after suffering the impact of numerous challenges that faced the global economy, bringing investors new opportunities. To boost economic growth, in his opinion, Vietnam must continue to attract more foreign investment.
Sharing this opinion, European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham) chairwoman Nicola Connolly affirmed that in the eyes of foreign investors, Vietnam remained a market full of opportunities, so it still had great potential to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Moreover, Vietnam has joined free trade agreement negotiations with large markets such as the US and the EU via the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement. This will open lots of opportunities for Vietnam to increase exports in the future.
Caring for the private sector
In the opinion of economists, along with promoting FDI attraction, Vietnam must take care of private businesses to improve their capabilities and promote their development. Warrick Cleine, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at KPMG Vietnam and Cambodia, said that sustainable growth could not be achieved if the domestic private economic sector was not strong. Domestic businesses very much need to improve their services to become more competitive.
According to Nguyen Tuan Quynh, Chairman of the Board at the Saigon Fuel Joint Stock Company and Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Young Entrepreneurs Association, the government must apply suitable policies to facilitate private business access to capital sources. At the same time, the interaction between small and medium-sized businesses and the government must be facilitated so that businesses can have good knowledge of state policies related to their operations.
Dr. Le Dang Doanh, economist, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that the Vietnamese economy had good prospects and Vietnam’s annual GDP growth was predicted to reach 5.6-5.7 percent in the coming years. In fact, however, many challenges still wait ahead. To promote economic growth, Vietnam must continue to resolve macroeconomic problems and maintain “business health”, taking greater care of the private sector, preventing the stagnation of capital and human resources into less efficient sectors./.
By Ngoc Thao