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Vietnam must develop its own growth model to thrive amid pandemic: Minister

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HCMC – Vietnam must proactively adopt a breakthrough and growth model, be determined to take measures to remove existing obstacles, take advantage of opportunities to thrive under the pressure caused by Covid-19, but not by following in the footsteps of others, said Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment.

Minister Dung was speaking at the third annual Vietnam Reform and Development Forum 2020, themed “Vietnam: Actions for making growth recovery inclusive and sustainable in the Covid-19 era”, which took place on September 29 in Hanoi.

The minister said the country has emerged from an underdeveloped country that was ravaged by wars and had a high poverty rate to a low-income country in 2010. The size of Vietnam’s current economy increased 40 times against that of 1990. The average per capita income rose from some US$100 before 1990 to nearly US$2,800 to date, with the quality of life of local residents having improved.

However, these achievements are under threat due to the major challenges caused by the pandemic, which has upended all aspects of life. As a result, many enterprises have had to scale down their businesses or suspend operations with a host of employees being furloughed or accepting a salary cut.

Besides this, Vietnam is facing the obstacles and shortcomings of a developing country, whose growth chiefly relies on capital, a low-cost labor workforce and the foreign investment sector.

Accordingly, for the medium and long run, the country has to complete major missions such as getting rid of the medium-income trap, narrowing the development gap with other countries, addressing environmental challenges and building an independent and self-reliant economy.

In the short term, Vietnam needs to work on recovering its economic growth, ensure social security and identify and take advantage of development opportunities arising since the pandemic broke out.

The post-pandemic era and the fourth industrial revolution have created favorable conditions for the country to restructure and make digital transformations toward fast, inclusive and sustainable growth, the head of the ministry stated.

Further, Vietnam’s participation in many free trade agreements has smoothed the way for it to integrate deeply into the global manufacturing network and to select high-quality foreign direct investment projects to advance in global supply chains, Dung added.

Overall, the minister stressed that Vietnam has to work out effective strategies to spur the growth of the economy. It must develop a flourishing mindset to overcome obstacles as well as take advantage of the opportunities mentioned above. Otherwise, the development gap between itself and other countries will be widened and it will lag further behind them.

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