Policies needed to improve operational efficiency of regions

Update: June, 09/2020 - 10:00
Professor Nguyễn Quang Thái. — Photo

Việt Nam is thinking about changing its regional zoning to seven regions instead of six as currently. Professor Nguyễn Quang Thái, vice chairman of the Vietnam Economic Science Association, talks to Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper about the need for mechanisms to ensure the operation efficiency of regions

How will the regional zoning affect the socio-economic development of localities? 

Regional zoning plays a very important role in creating a connection space and maximising the potential and advantages of localities in the regions to create added value and promote socio-economic development.

Regional zoning has been implemented in Việt Nam for a long time but has not been effective, remained loose and lacked linkages. Besides, a shortage of related mechanism, policies and regulations for the operation of regions also hinders the effectiveness of planning.

It is necessary to renew and update related mechanisms and regulations to improve the effectiveness of regional zoning. The organisation of regions is not mentioned in the Constitution, the Law on Organisation of Local Administration or the Law on State Budget. How could a region operate without mechanism, organisation or budget?

What are the experiences of other countries in regional zoning and operation?

In other countries, regions play a very important role. Many countries establish regional councils and they operate effectively, creating links among localities within a region. In France, for example, each region has its own administration, organisation and budget to operate. When making transport development planning, the region's council will consider creating connections among localities in the region. The council chairman was appointed by the president and represents the central government in that region. So no decisions made by the council will be dominated by any locality in the region. 

What mechanism do you think is needed to create links and motivation for the development of localities in each region? 

As I said, it is needed to renew and upgrade related mechanisms to create operational efficiency of regions. The Law on Planning approved by the National Assembly mentions the concept of regions and regional planning. But the issue is not mentioned in the Constitution, the Law on Organisation of Local Administration or the Law on State Budget. So it is necessary to propose mechanisms relating to the management of regions. We could propose to establish regional councils on a trial basis. — VNS

Regional zoning proposals

Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng last week recommended renewing regional zoning at a meeting on Việt Nam’s regional zoning for 2021 and 2030 to implement the Law on Planning.

If the proposal is approved, Việt Nam would have seven regions instead of six as currently.

According to this plan, 63 provinces and cities nationwide would be classified into seven regions: northern mountainous provinces (10 provinces), northern plain and midland region (15 provinces consisting of 11 as currently plus four provinces – Hoà Bình, Phú Thọ, Thái Nguyên and Bắc Giang), north-central region (five provinces from Thanh Hoá to Thừa Thiên-Huế), south-central region (eight provinces from Đà Nẵng to Bình Thuận), Central Highland region (five provinces), southeastern region (six provinces) and Mekong Delta region (13 provinces).