Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh spoke to the newspaper Tien Phong (Vanguard) about challenges that Viet Nam must overcome in the next five years.
Speaking at the 2015 Viet Nam Development Partnership Forum, Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director, praised Viet Nam's institutional reform. But she also said the reform must be well implemented. What is your response to her comment?
We have good laws, but there are some gaps between what is written in the law and what is done in practise. No one can deny this fact. After the laws were approved by the National Assembly, the Government issued decrees or circulars to guide the implementation of the law. However, the dominant ideology embedded in these laws has not been correctly reflected in the circulars or decrees. Added to the problem is the quality of Government staff. Quite a few of them have not wholly devoted their hearts and minds to their duties. They have tried to find loopholes in the legal system to bring benefits to themselves by putting absurd demands on the people and enterprises. That's why the same law is differently interpreted in different localities. In my opinion, we need a strong mechanism to penalise anyone who deliberately distorts the laws for their own benefit or creates obstacles for the people or enterprises when they ask for help from Government agencies.
You've voiced your commitment to uphold the institutional reform. What's the main drive for you to make such strong commitments?
Our institutional reform has been carried out for 30 years already and many achievements have been recorded. The underlying reason for the success of the last 30 years of institutional reform has been the switch from the command economy to the market economy. Such a change has created an effective motivation for development and a change in the society at present. But after 30 years, in my opinion, factors promoting changes have become exhausted and even been frozen. If we don't take action, it might be going downhill.
There is no doubt that Viet Nam will face many challenges in taking the country to a higher plane if we don't continue the current cause of reform.
Frankly speaking, at present, Viet Nam is just at the threshold of a market economy as we don't have all the required factors of a market economy. Our current allocation of resources is still operating along the lines of the administrative mechanism, particularly land issues or the labour market.
Speaking at the Viet Nam Development Partnership Forum, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Viet Nam would develop by using its own human resources and democratisation. Do you agree with the PM's idea?
The PM's idea is clear. Institutional and human resources are decisive factors for development. Talented and hardworking people should be respected and treasured. They are the driving force to take the country to a higher plane. Besides that, it is important that Viet Nam should have a good institution. I hope, in the future, our country will make the best use of these two factors. Natural resources and capital are conditions to contribute to that process. — VNS