Building an independent economy is crucial as Viet Nam industrialises, Pham Xuan Duong, deputy head of the Central Economic Commission, told the Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times).
Quite a few experts have been saying the target of becoming an industrialised nation by 2020 is too ambitious. What is your view?
I feel that the driving forces for our country to become an industrialised nation are not time-bound factors. Institutions, science and technology, and human resources are the three key factors that will decide whether or not we will achieve the target.
Industrialisation and modernisation should continue to be considered a central, most important task for the Party and the people in the coming years. This target is closely associated with knowledge economy and sustainable development, . This is the only way for Viet Nam to cut short the process and avoid falling behind other countries in the world.
We have embarked on this course with the institutions of a market economy and objective regulations. But it is important that Viet Nam maximises all resources it has and makes best use of external resources.
We'll have to build an independent and self-reliant economy while integrating deeper into the world.
On the path of industrialisation, rapid and sustainable development depends on skilled, high quality human resources that can effectively apply scientific and technological innovations. For this we need comprehensive educational reforms.
In formulating development plans and selecting investment projects and appropriate technologies, the main criteria we have to apply is their socio-economic effectiveness.
We must also ensure that industrialisation and modernisation go hand in hand with environmental protection and be pro-active responses to climate change.
For all this, the fundamental task is to protect national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, ensure political stability and maintain law and order.
There are those who say that our policies are responsible for the sluggish pace of industrialisation. Can you respond?
The Government needs to introduce policies and mechanisms to encourage and mobilise resources from all economic sectors to invest in important industries.
The State budget should only be used in special cases.
We should classify important industries into groups and direct specific policies for their development. For example, the hi-tech industry group can include IT, energy, engineering and supporting industries; the group of industries that Viet Nam enjoys particular advantages in will include processing of agro-forestry and fisheries products; tourism; and the opportunity industries like electronics, entertainment and financial services.
From an institutional standpoint, what should we do to speed up the industrialisation process?
First, as I said, we need to introduce specific policies for the development of each group of industries.
Second, we have to ensure State management policies are completed to avoid overlapping in the industrial production sector. At the same time, we should enhance management mechanisms for sectors/branch, regions and territories. This will enable effective leadership and proper linkages between different localities on the industrialisation and modernization path.
It is also important to create a level playing field for economic sectors, private and/or public.
Can you explain what you mean by "completion of the State management mechanism?"
It is imperative that we further decentralise State management of investment and development of modern industry. It is also imperative that we maintain centralised management of some important areas that the Government have control over.
We should maximise advantages of the free market in generating more materials for the society while following a management model that operates on the lines of the socialist- oriented market economy.
In addition, we should accelerate the ongoing administrative reform process, applying e-Government to ensure transparency and accountability and to provide better service to enterprises and citizens. — VNS