Phan Xuan Dung, Chairman of the NA Commission on Science, Technology and Environment, spoke to Viet Nam Economic Times about the role of science and technology in national development.
Many people have said that without development in science and technology, Viet Nam may not be successful in its goal of integrating deeply with the international community. Do you agree with this argument?
I cannot agree more! Science and technology should be further promoted so that Viet Nam can catch up with other countries in the region and internationally.
In the recent past, ministries, sectors and localities have been pro-active in enacting the policies and legal documents coming from the National Assembly. As a result, science and technology has become important in developing advanced production, improvements in production yields and efficiency, and creating higher quality products. All these elements are important in raising the competitiveness of our economy and safeguarding our national defense and security.
In reality, however, our science and technology base has faced many difficulties and challenges, including low capital investment from the State budget and private enterprises, and a shortage in capable human resources.
In the long run, Viet Nam should continue to renew itself in the fields of science and technology, in terms of mechanisms, policies and development.
Do you think it is time for Viet Nam to reform its science and technology sector?
Reforming with focus on science and technology is necessary for Viet Nam so it can advance towards becoming a modern industrialised nation, as well as achieve a change in its growth model. Science and technology is an effective tool to help our workers achieve higher productivity and efficiency, and thus raise the competitiveness of our national economy.
In my opinion, there are three important things that must be done immediately.
First, the National Assembly should step up its supervisory role in science and technology law enforcement in ministries and sectors. This is a good way to further complete legal documents in science and technology development.
Second, the Ministry of Science and Technology should step up its co-operation with concerned agencies during the development of guiding documents on the full implementation of the 2013 Law on Science and Technology.
Last, but not least, an increase in the number of high-quality human resources working in the fields of science and technology is required.
Do you think the current 13th National Assembly legislature has done its best for the national development of science and technology ?
Yes! During the past five years, the National Assembly has exercised its high sense of responsibility towards the development of our science and technology. As a result, science and technology has become a driving force in yielding high production in all spheres.
What's more important, each Vietnamese citizen has been well aware of the importance of applying advanced technology in their daily life and production.
Would you please elaborate further on what the NA has done in the past five years?
The first thing I want to mention is that the role of science and technology was well reflected in the 2013 Constitution, including its role in reforming the national growth model and the national economic structure along the lines of high quality, efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability.
The 2013 Constitution emphasises that science and technology development is a pivotal policy for national socio-economic development.
"Every one has the right to carry out scientific and industrial research, engage in literary and artistic creation, and enjoy the benefits from those activities," says Article 40 of the Constitution.
In addition, the National Assembly in 2013 adopted the Law on Science and Technology, which has been considered as an effective tool to encourage individuals and organisations to apply science and technology in their production, human resources development and elsewhere.
The law also decided that every year, May 18 would be celebrated as Science and Technology Day in Viet Nam.
Over the last five years, the National Assembly has adopted many other legal documents to create momentum for further advancement of the nation's science and technology. — VNS