New reform, development forum makes debut in Hanoi

12:26 | 13/01/2019 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Vietnam will become a middle-income nation with the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$10,000 and more than half of the population will join the global middle class. This was the vision of Vietnam 2035 presented to hundreds of Vietnamese and foreign participants at the first Vietnam Reform and Development Forum (VRDF) held recently in Hanoi.

new reform development forum makes debut in hanoi

The annual forum on reform and development, co-organized by the World Bank and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), is designed to open a new chapter in the relationship between Vietnam and its partners and present opportunities for future development.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said Vietnam’s position and prestige in the international arena have improved and been recognized and highly rated by international communities. In 2017, Vietnam economy reached about US$224 billion in value with an average per capita income of more than US$2,300 and an economic growth of 6.81 percent, he said. Vietnam is expected to reach higher achievements in 2018.

However, Dung warned, the country’s natural resources are being depleted and cheap labor is unlikely to continue to be a driver of economic growth. The future drivers of the economy will be the development of the private sector, innovation capacity, the development of the infrastructure system, and the development of modern and effective institutions, he said.

Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director to Vietnam, said Vietnam has emerged as a strong exporter, with inclusive growth and poverty rate dropping to below seven percent as compared with 60 percent in the late 1980s.

However, Vietnam’s journey to become a modernized and industrialized economy has just begun, he said, stressing challenges facing the country such as rapid population aging, low growth in productivity and investment, and increasing environmental costs of development.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam would continue to focus on easing three bottlenecks - institutions, human resources and infrastructure - and would transform them into strategic breakthroughs. The government will accelerate administrative reform, improve the business environment, create direct channels of interaction between the people and the government, and build a mechanism that allows members of society to participate efficiently and directly in policymaking, the prime minister said. Vietnam will also prioritize investment in smart and digital infrastructure, he said.

Over 500 representatives of embassies, development partners, international organizations, research institutes, leading economic experts from both Vietnam and abroad attended the forum. Representatives of the business associations and investors, and nearly 100 foreign and Vietnamese correspondents were also present.

The Annual Vietnam Reform and Development Forum (VRDF) is the successor of the Annual Vietnam Development

Forum (VDF). Unlike that event held every December, which concentrated on policy dialogue between the

government and development partners and donors, this annual national-level forum is solely focused on reform and

development issues.

Phuong Vu