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Population planning crucial to sustainable development

Update: December, 17/2015 - 10:12
Population and family planning work has been defined as a key player in Viet Nam's socio-economic development strategy, officials said at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.— Photo daidoanket.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Population and family planning work has been defined as a key player in Viet Nam's socio-economic development strategy, officials said at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.

The workshop, themed "Population and Sustainable Development in Viet Nam", was jointly held by the Party Central Committee's Commission for Popularisation and Education and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

A report presented at the event disclosed that Viet Nam's fertility rate has remained stable at 2-2.1 children per woman since 2006.

With the current population scale, the country is likely to fulfil the target of keeping its population at below 93 million in 2015, no more than 98 million in 2020 and about 115-120 million in the mid-21st century.

Viet Nam's human development index (HDI) jumped from 0.573 points in 2005 to 0.638 points in 2013, ranking 121 among the 187 participating countries.

Its life expectancy rose from 72 in 2005 to 73.2 in 2014. The figure is now higher than that in other countries sharing the same per capita income with Viet Nam, the report said.

Participants said such achievements have significantly contributed to national socio-economic development, the realisation of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the improvement of people's living standards, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

However, they said, Viet Nam is experiencing a "golden population structure", also known as an aging population, which offers both opportunities and challenges.

The workshop reported that an unstable birth rate, a big gap in the fertility rate among regions across the country and gender inequality at birth are among challenges to the population work.

Bui The Duc, deputy head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Popularisation and Education, said Viet Nam regards sustainable development as a national strategic target.

In order to reach this goal, the official suggested changes in the population work in the new context, including improving the quality of human resources, promoting high-value jobs to take advantage of the golden population structure, and developing the educational and health care systems in line with the strongly evolving population structure.

A representative from the UNFPA said the fund always works hand-in-hand with the Vietnamese Government by providing technical support and sharing experiences with the country on population-related issues.

It will assist Vietnamese policy makers in putting forth sound decisions that benefit locals, helping them fully enjoy their rights, including reproductive rights, the UN official said.

The workshop also looked into Viet Nam's birth rate forecast from 2015-35 and the predicted impacts of the population structure on national economic growth. — VNS

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