Prime Minister attends dialogue on development orientations with Harvard school professors

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended a policy dialogue on development orientations of Viet Nam in the 21st century with professors of the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 14 (US time) as part of his working trip to the US.
PM attends dialogue on development orientations with Harvard school professors
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo: VNA)

Speaking at the dialogue, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said in 2019, he led a delegation of researchers to the Harvard School to listen to experts’ opinions about the development strategy for the country. The delegation then studied and presented information on sustainable development. Accordingly, in order to achieve sustainable development, it is necessary to achieve sustainability not only in the economy but also in culture, society and among human beings.

Viet Nam defines the target of placing the people as the subject with all policies revolving around the people and benefiting the people, Dung said.

“Viet Nam sees that rapid and sustainable development must be based on new motivations. Apart from mechanisms and infrastructure, it is necessary to supplement two new motivations in the three breakthroughs, that are science and technology and innovation, and the cultural value of Vietnamese people,” he said.

Professor David Dapice appreciated that the participation in international trade agreements is a wonderful success of Viet Nam. Millions of agricultural workers have moved to work in factories. However, as the majority of the production materials of Viet Nam are imported, the country’s export products were affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic with borders closing or in case of trade tensions. Therefore, the professor said Viet Nam needs to develop domestic inputs and diversify sources for export.

Professor Dapice evaluated that Viet Nam’s trade surplus with the US could reach 100 billion USD this year. He said Viet Nam needs to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) attractions, trade exchanges with other countries and education and training cooperation, in order to create competitive advantages in ASEAN.

In addition, the economy’s opening must be maintained, attracting more talents and creating favourable conditions for investors, he said.

Many localities of Viet Nam are in remote areas without favourable infrastructure, making it hard for them to get access to and attract FDI, so the professor suggested the country test the application of property tax, allowing localities to use property tax for investment without the use of the state budget.

Speaking at the discussion, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Hong admitted that international integration brings many opportunities for Viet Nam but the country also has to face many challenges. The bank must increase forecasts to put forward synchronous policies in line with reality, and resolutely not use monetary policy to create competitive advantages in trade.

With that consistency, Vietnam has recorded impressive results in curbing inflation alongside a relatively high growth rate. The foreign exchange market is stabilised, which is a bright spot to help improve Vietnam’s credit rating.

Medical professor David Golan spoke highly of Viet Nam’s COVID-19 prevention and control measures. From the first days of the pandemic, Viet Nam decided to apply social distancing, limit travel and enhance the response of medical establishments. Doctors and nurses are the most vulnerable, so Viet Nam focused on equipping and protecting them to limit infections. The Ministry of Health mobilised final-year medical students to join the fight against the pandemic.

The Harvard Medical School donated 700,000 USD to help train 5,800 students who then were mobilised to pandemic-hit localities of Viet Nam to help strengthen their medical systems. He proposed Viet Nam set up a biomedical research centre to help transfer technology and build strategic biomedicine.

PM attends dialogue on development orientations with Harvard school professors
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits the Harvard Kennedy School. (Photo: VNA)

At the dialogue, Prime Minister Chinh answered questions from experts and students from the Harvard Kennedy School. He affirmed Viet Nam’s consistent policy of innovation which must be inherited, renewed and developed.

The Government leader stressed the need to have an innovation ecosystem, initially having mechanisms, resources and human resources in order to encourage everyone to join innovation. He also said it is necessary to have international cooperation to create an innovation ecosystem.

Regarding the development of the digital economy, Prime Minister Chinh said cyber security is a global issue and Viet Nam is boosting international cooperation and improving its own capacity to deal with emerging issues. He stressed that international experts could help to complete mechanisms and technology relating to cyber security, particularly in human resources training.

At the event, a representative from the Harvard Kennedy School announced that the school is cooperating with Sovico Group to build and sponsor an initiative on Viet Nam’s climate policy. The project focuses on research and training to strengthen the recovery capacity of cities in Viet Nam in response to climate change and to develop renewable energy.

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(Source: VNA)