Dr. Luu Bich Ho is the former director of the Institute for Strategic Development, under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. He talks to newspaper Hải Quan (Customs) on challenges in the course of reforming the State apparatus.
Do you think that Viet Nam will achieve its goal of achieving 6.7 per cent for its GDP growth rate in 2018?
In my opinion, that goal is achievable. If things go smoothly, the rate will be higher. But I’m pretty sure it can’t be higher than that of 2017. However, what’s more important is to have higher quality than that of 2017.
It is undeniable that when we have higher quality growth rate, that means we have achieved higher yield and have utilised better our available resources on the basis of restructuring our national economy.
A key driving force for national economic development came from our domestic private economy. Meanwhile, the foreign invested economy still remains the driving force in that national industry. What’s more important, the foreign investment has served as a locomotive pulling the domestic industry to travel on the same road in terms of high productivity and sound environmental protection.
In the industrial sector, the manufacturing and processing industries have been pulling other industries to approach the 4.0 industrial revolution. Meanwhile, the service sector is still able to maintain its role as a catalyst in the national economic development, of which the tourist industry has served as a locomotive in attracting more tourists and a driving force for the development of the service culture.
In the meantime, big changes have also been reported in the field of agriculture and rural economy, particularly in the course of improving the value chain in our agricultural products.
In the first quarter of 2018, our export recorded a very high figure – an increase of 22 per cent against the same period last year. It is projected that some $1.2 billion were recorded in trade surplus in the period under review. All in all, it is quite positive that in 2018, Viet Nam will gain a high national economic growth rate. In this tendency of development, Việt Nam economy will continue to grow in the years to come.
Economic reform is an essential factor to achieve high growth rate. What should Viet Nam focus on in its course of reform?
We should continue to focus efforts on both economic and administrative reforms as well as the synchronous co-ordination between ministries, sectors and localities. It is undeniable that the administrative reform is the most challenging as it will affect the interests of many people. In my opinion, the administrative reform should be considered as a revolution so that each person affected in the course would overcome their personal challenges and find motivation to move forward.
In the course of reform we should pay more attention to agricultural restructuring, particularly land transfer rights or land lease to create conditions to mechanise our agriculture activities.
Last but not least it is the current reform of our State owned enterprises and the forming of a committee for managing State capital at enterprises. The committee is an agency under the Government that acts as the ownership representative of the State.
What should the Government do to support the development of private economy?
The first thing I should say is that the Government should pull efforts to create a level playing field between the private economy and the State economy while continue to make efforts to further complete the business environment as it is written in the Government’s Resolution 19.
In this spirit, both the public and private economic sectors should up hold law and order in their economic performance.
What should the Government do to make sure the national economy will achieve its targets?
Government should continue to enhance achievements gained in 2017 particularly in the areas of economic efficiency and effectiveness while stepping up the fight against embezzlement and corruption as well as the ongoing administrative reform.
A guiding principle for the Government to operate in 2018 is “discipline, action, uprightness, creativity and effectiveness”.