Science, technology departments urged to strive for breakthroughs

06:00 | 08/05/2021 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Breakthroughs in science and technology (S&T) are vital for Vietnam to speed up its development and become a high-income country. That was the message conveyed by Science and Technology Minister Huynh Thanh Dat at an April 13 online conference for directors of all provincial departments of science and technology.

science technology departments urged to strive for breakthroughs
An April 13 online conference for directors of all provincial departments of science and technology

Overcoming difficulties

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Le Xuan Dinh reported at the meeting that science and technology has contributed greatly to national development, as reflected in the growing contribution of the total factor productivity (TFP) to national economic growth, from an average 33.6 percent in the 2011-2015 period to 45.2 percent in the 2016-2020. The country’s Global Innovation Index (GII) was ranked 42nd among 131 countries and territories, third in ASEAN, and topped the group of nations with the same level of income.

The country has begun to form an innovative startup ecology with around 3,000 innovative startups, which attracted approximately US$1 billion of investment in the past two consecutive years, Dinh reported. Investment in S&T now comes from both the state budget (52 percent) and businesses (48 percent) instead of relying entirely on the state as was the case a decade ago.

Nguyen Hoang Giang, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, said 2021 is an important year both in terms of launching implementation of the XIII national party congress resolution and the party congress resolutions at all levels, and of the socioeconomic development plan for the 2021-2025 period.

On January 1, 2021, the government issued Resolution 01/NQ-CP on major socioeconomic development tasks and annual state budget estimation, and Resolution 02/NQ-CP on continuing improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness.

science technology departments urged to strive for breakthroughs
Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat speaks at the meeting

The resolutions stress the need for S&T innovation to create a breakthrough for Vietnam’s growth model, improve productivity, product quality and competitiveness.

Digitalization of prime importance

Giang also told meeting participants that in recent years, science and technology have made practical contributions to socioeconomic development but the national S&T sector in general and especially local S&T activities are still facing many obstacles.

According to Hoang Minh, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), on the basis of the socioeconomic development strategy for the 2021-2030 period approved by the 13th National Party Congress, the MoST is building a strategy for S&T development and innovation for the period of 2021-2030, with an emphasis on removing obstacles from economic mechanisms, policies, investment, trade and public procurement.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said many things need to be done to turn S&T into the driver and a source of power of the economy, but the first task is to digitalize and use information technology to enable connectivity in management. Obstacles in financial mechanism should also be removed, the Deputy PM added.

Minister Dat urged the departments of science and technology to be very proactive and creative in advising, formulating and implementing S&T development plans, ensuring their suitability in the local context and conditions and proposing feasible solutions in order to best serve economic development goals.

Hoang Nguyen