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PM calls for more investment in science, technology
The Saigon Times Daily
Wednesday,  May 15, 2019,20:08 (GMT+7)

PM calls for more investment in science, technology

The Saigon Times Daily

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the conference on sci-tech investment on May 15. The Government leader called upon State-owned and private enterprises to invest more in science and technology - PHOTO: VGP

HCMC – Both state-owned and private enterprises should prioritize investments in science and technology, as they are considered pillars of the country’s socioeconomic development, the Government news website reported, citing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

At a conference entitled, “Science, Technology and Innovation as a Pillar for Socioeconomic Development in Vietnam,” held in Hanoi today, May 15, the Prime Minister noted that Vietnam’s spending on science and technology accounts for only 0.44% of its gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the world’s average of 2.23%; Thailand’s GDP at 0.78%; Singapore, 2.2%; Malaysia, 1.3%; and China, 2.1%.

However, investment in science, technology and innovation should be made in a practical and effective manner to prevent wastefulness.

Phuc remarked that investment in research and development is the quickest way to improve competitiveness and promote sustainable development.

In the coming period, Vietnam needs to create breakthroughs in strategies to boost innovation and technology applications, PM Phuc stressed, adding that science, technology and innovation are the foundation of the country’s fast and sustainable development.

He asked sectors and localities to raise awareness and responsibility in terms of science and technology development, and to continue working on the legal framework and policies to drive fast, inclusive and sustainable development.

The Ministry of Science and Technology was assigned to coordinate with ministries and agencies to propose the Government issue policies encouraging innovation in the business community and enhancing the connectivity between domestic and foreign innovation networks.

PM Phuc also called for the development of national hi-tech sphere to turn out new and high added-value products, especially those in sectors in which Vietnam has strengths, such as agriculture, processing, and manufacturing and information technology. 

It is necessary to work out solutions to evaluate the effectiveness of the digital economy, as well as the operations of science and technology universities and institutes, besides setting up a national database on science, technology and innovation.

The ministries and agencies must propose policies to attract more foreign and domestic specialists, especially Vietnamese scientists overseas, as well as apply the public-private partnership model to encourage enterprises to become involved in innovative activities.

At the conference, Lucy Cameron, senior research consultant at CSIRO’s Data61, the data and digital specialist arm of Australia’s national science agency, noted that digital transformation will help Vietnam’s GDP grow by an additional 1.1% a year through 2045.

Vietnam has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and has already become one of the most dynamic countries in the region.

For his part, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said Australia and Vietnam have launched Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy, a report that examines trends affecting the development of Vietnam’s digital economy.

He said he expected the report will help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system to adapt to challenges and opportunities ushered in by the digital economy.

Ousmane Dione, the World Bank country director for Vietnam, hailed the country’s significant development in recent years, saying that the growth rate, however, remains low compared with other regional countries.

Therefore, Vietnam should promote the development of science and technology with the involvement of the private sector.

Human resources training, digital infrastructure development and administrative procedure reforms are key jobs in the coming period, Dione added.

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