Viet Nam News
DAVOS – Việt Nam will focus on developing human resources, science and technology in a bid to keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said yesterday at a debate in Davos, Switzerland about the future of production.
At the session, which forms part the 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he noted that Việt Nam can no longer count on exhausting natural resources and cheap labour to achieve a fast and sustainable growth in the new era.
He briefed participants at the prestigious summit of the world’s political, economic and business leaders about Viet Nam’s renewed growth model that emphasises improved growth quality, labour productivity and economic competitiveness, as well as the development of sectors with high added value, scientific and technological applications and a highly skilled workforce.
He affirmed that businesses are positioned as the centre of Việt Nam’s renovation course and pledged to create a fair and favorable business environment.
Up to 110,000 new businesses were set up in 2016, he said, reporting on the country’s 2020 goal of having over 1 million new enterprises and assisting 600 businesses with 2,000 creative start-up projects in order to help them access novel technologies. In addition, he said, Việt Nam will speed up international integration in order to nurture renovation and creativity.
Focus on IT
PM Phúc also had a candid dialogue with the chief executive officers of leading IT groups, on the margins of the WEF.
He said information technology is booming in Việt Nam, especially in industry, agriculture, transport, healthcare and education. In fact, he added, Việt Nam has been one of the highest growth information technology and telecom markets in the world over the past decade.
Nearly 60 per cent of the country’s population under the age of 35 are able to access new technologies, while over half of the population is using the internet, he noted.
Last year, Việt Nam exported over US$55 billion worth of mobile phones, computers, cameras, and accessories. The country was also listed among the top 10 software outsourcing providers in the Asia Pacific region and among the top 30 in the world.
By 2020, Việt Nam strives to rank among the top 10 suppliers of software outsourcing and digital content in the world, with around one million workers in the field of information and technology, the PM said.
Việt Nam is due to host the APEC Summit in 2017 under the theme “Creating a new driving force for a common future”, he said, noting that promoting information technology innovations will be one of the most important forces to enhance competitiveness in the digital era.
Whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is approved or not, Việt Nam still has dozens of trade agreements, including an FTA with the European Union, and other relevant pacts, he said.
Việt Nam has continuously pursued its policy of trade liberalisation and customs reform, particularly the application of e-customs, he said, adding that the Southeast Asian country is one of the few nations in Asia to grant e-visas to foreign tourists.
Việt Nam and the World Economic Forum (WEF) earlier on Wednesday have signed a partnership agreement to support the country’s economic development as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds.
“Việt Nam has recorded tremendous success in reaching middle-income status in just a few decades and we look forward to helping the country navigate the new global context so that it is able to raise growth and living standards even further,” WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said at the signing ceremony on Wednesday afternoon during the 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Under the agreement, the Forum will work with Việt Nam to assess the country’s preparedness for the transformation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The agreement will bring together the Forum’s ongoing initiatives in Việt Nam, which cover areas such as food security, trade, infrastructure and the future of manufacturing, and launch new ones. The work will focus on the Forum’s capacity to convene expertise on issues related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to understand what impact this will have on issues such as development models, industrial structures, and the inclusiveness of growth.
WEF will connect Việt Nam with a network of leading businesses and experts and also help the country improve its human resource capability by receiving Vietnamese officials for internship programmes at WEF bodies.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said he hopes the co-operation with WEF “will contribute to ‘future-proofing’ our economy and ensuring that our citizens continue to benefit from out development journey.”
Earlier, in his talks with Schwab, Phúc had asked WEF to continue organising its forum on the Mekong Region, a Vietnamese initiative which was held for the first time last October.
He also expressed his hope that WEF will provide the country with policy consultations on hi-tech agricultural development and improving national competitive capability.
The PM engaged in various activities on the sidelines of the WEF annual meeting over the last two days in Davos.
In his meeting with World Bank (WB) President Jim Yong Kim yesterday, PM Phúc said that Việt Nam appreciated WB’s role and its contribution to the socio-economic development of the Southeast Asian nation.
He also extended to President Kim an invitation to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit to be hosted by Việt Nam this year, which Kim gladly accepted.
Phúc asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to support Việt Nam in the implementation process of the WTO pacts, trade negotiations and dispute settlements as he met with WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevedo.
Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma, meanwhile, told PM Phúc in their meeting that his group was developing a co-operation plan with Việt Nam with a focus on digital technology.
In his talk with Austrian Prime Minister Christian Kern on Wednesday, the two leaders agreed that bilateral relations had seen positive developments. They agreed to convene a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic and Trade co-operation and organise activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2017.
PM Phúc urged Austria to recognise Việt Nam as a market economy and push for the European Union’s signing and ratification of the Việt Nam–EU Free Trade Agreement. He also asked Switzerland to support Việt Nam’s candidacy for a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.
At a meeting between the Vietnamese leader with President of Asia Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao, the two sides agreed to implement various projects on infrastructure development, climate change response, economic restructuring, and poverty reduction.
PM Phúc asked ADB to continue supporting Việt Nam in transport infrastructure development, energy, administrative procedure simplification, and trade and investment facilitation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).
He invited the ADB President and other leaders to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum High-Level Week in the central city of Đà Nẵng and related meetings later this year in Việt Nam.
In response, Nakao pledged to extend preferential credit for Việt Nam until 2019 and help the country launch projects within the framework of GMS co-operation.
At a meeting with the President of Microsoft Corporation, Brad Smith, PM Phúc asked the corporation to continue its investment in Việt Nam while also supporting the country in high-tech transfers. Smith said the corporation wants to intensify co-operation with Việt Nam in cyber security, human resource training and software industry development.
VN welcomes global media
Meeting with foreign media, PM Phúc affirmed that the country always welcomes international media to the country to cover its development and global integration.
Asked about Việt Nam’s policies on investment attraction and ties with important partners, he said Việt Nam boasts a vibrant economy with an annual growth of 6 per cent-plus over nearly three decades. The country is considered an attractive destination for foreign investors, having attracted total committed capital of more than US$300 billion in over 22,000 foreign-invested projects.
He also invited the international media to cover activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Year in Việt Nam this year. – VNS