Giant sci-tech footprints on Vietnam’s development

15:31 | 22/02/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - From vaccines to rice seeds, from drilling rigs to cancer treatment – the scientific and technological achievements of recent years are the engines boosting Vietnam’s progress.  

Agricultural production

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said that together with outstanding efforts, science and technology have made great strides to actively participate in resolving socio-economic problems and directly support key sectors, contributing to improving the competitiveness of the businesses and manufacturing sectors.

Science and technology play a particularly important role in agricultural production. Scientific and technological achievements have contributed about 30-40 percent to growth in agricultural production. In particular, science and technology have been applied in all stages of the agricultural production process, from research, animal breeding and seed selection - to processing and storage. The application of state-of-the-art science and technology has turned Vietnam into one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural, forestry and fishery products. About 10 of these export items are each valued at US$1 billion or more. In particular, more than 90 percent of areas growing new rice varieties have turned Vietnam into a regional leader in productivity, with an annual yield of 57.7 quintal per hectare.

Engineering success

Regarding the industrial sector, through scientific and technological activities, research institutions, corporations and businesses have been recognized for their brands and positions in the domestic and international markets. For example, the Vietnam Machinery Erection Corporation (Lilama) signed engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts with the Vung Ang 1 Thermal Power Plant and Song Hau 1 Thermal Power Plant.

In addition, some industrial products have been found comparable to imported items and thus eligible to compete with foreign products such as the Tam Dao-05 Jack-Up Drilling Rig that was handed over to the Russia-Vietnam Joint Venture by PetroVietnam Marine Shipyard Joint Stock Company (PV Shipyard) on August 12, 2016. The 120m jack-up rig weighs almost 18,000 tonnes and can drill to a depth of 9,000 meters. Thanks to science and technology, Vietnam has also successfully manufactured a 220kV transformer conforming to IEC60076 standard.

Many advanced techniques in medical diagnosis and treatment have also been successfully applied. For example, the use of ionizing radiation has helped Vietnam’s specialized nuclear medicine and oncology catch up with the level of advanced countries in the region and a number of developing countries in the world. Vietnam has also mastered production technologies of dozens of vaccines of high quality and low prices. For example, the Rotavin-M1 vaccine used to protect against rotavirus infections that are the leading cause of severe diarrhea among young children is produced at a third of the price of imported vaccines, and with comparable effectiveness.

Enhancing progress

Minister Chu Ngoc Anh said that to help science and technology make further contributions to improving productivity, quality and competitiveness of the economy, as well as ensuring national security, the Ministry of Science and Technology has paid special attention to improvements of mechanisms and policies. This includes completing the amended Law on Technology Transfer and submitting it to the National Assembly for consideration and approval, and making recommendations to the National Assembly and the government on amendments and supplements to some articles of the laws regarding intellectual property, product and goods quality, and standards and technical regulations.

He said the country must also focus on effective implementation of the Development Strategy for Science and Technology during the 2011-2020 period, and the restructuring of the science and technology sector by 2020, with a vision to 2030. These need to be updated in accordance with changes in Vietnam’s model of economic growth in order to improve product quality and competitiveness. In particular, the restructuring and implementation of cutting edge science and technology are needed to conduct research on new varieties of farm products with high productivity and quality and ability to adapt to climate change.

Therefore, appropriate mechanisms and policies must be put in place to encourage businesses to invest in research and development and promote scientific and technological applications in order to improve their trade and production activities, he said. This means, specifically, enhancing the development of technology incubators, overcoming difficulties in administrative procedures for high-tech businesses, and strengthening international cooperation in science and technology.

Quynh Nga