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Focus on science, technology key to fast development

Update: September, 11/2012 - 09:24


Students work at the Institute of Environmental Technology. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
HA NOI (VNS)— If Viet Nam wants to see meaningful development, the country needs to shift away from extensive reliance on human labour and natural resources and use more advanced technology.

This was according to Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, who spoke to leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Ha Noi yesterday.

Despite huge efforts to elevate the national science and technology (S&T) industry over the past 10 years, the sector was yet to become a "key impetus to socio-economic development", according to a report by Minister Nguyen Quan.

Under the guidelines from the Party on developing S&T, the ministry has completed a legal framework for it, with 8 laws and nearly 300 documents.

The legal system has helped encourage scientists, entrepreneurs and managers to involve themselves in creative works, and partly contributed to the successful negotiations to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2006, according to Minister Quan.

Many results from State-funded studies have been applied to production and business, creating huge economic profits, he added.

He cited several examples of efficient projects completed in 2011. These included the creation of self-propelled offshore drilling rigs at a depth of 90m underwater, production of biological fuel and diesel and state-of-the art three-phase power transformers of European quality.

Another example was the successful use of stem cells to treat patients with pidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare genetic skin disease, at the Ha Noi-based National Paediatric Hospital. Viet Nam was the second country in the world, after the US, to use this technique successfully.

The minister, however, also pointed out that there was room for further growth.

Party leader Trong lauded achievements in S&T over the past years, which he said had changed the nation from a self-sufficient economy focused mainly on agricultural production to a global rice and coffee exporter.

Yet he also invoked the need to remove obstacles in thinking and implement financial policies to help the sector.

He suggested mobilising various resources from society to develop S&T.

On the other hand, he said, it's also necessary to provide enterprises with funding to carry out vital S&T research.

Regarding human resources, Trong urged for a re-structuring of the current workforce that would mandate training for those working in certain key areas.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan also pinpointed some issues that the S&T sector should concentrate on.

He emphasised the crucial role of managers in leading scientists and enterprises to develop new S&T products. Marketing products and services should also receive more attention, Nhan said.

He also asked for socio-economic plans from various sectors on how they would incorporate S&T both for the next five years and in the long term.

The ministry is working on a scheme on "Development of S&T to serve the national industrialisation and modernisation in the market-oriented economy under the orientation of socialism and international integration" to be presented at the upcoming Party meeting. — VNS

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