World Bank urges Vietnam to accelerate growth

Thanh Nien News

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Workers at a Samsung Factory in Vietnam. Photo: Doan Xuan Hai Workers at a Samsung Factory in Vietnam. Photo: Doan Xuan Hai

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Vietnam should strive for an economic growth rate of nine percent in the next two decades to catch up with South Korea and Taiwan and avoid the middle-income trap, according to the World Bank.
The target should be archived despite the fact that Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth hit 5.7 percent over the past 20 years the second-highest in the world during that period, the government website quoted a World Bank report as saying.
The report was released at a meeting Monday between Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, chairman of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Improvement and Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank's Vice President of the East Asia and Pacific Region. The meeting was held to discuss the Vietnam 2030 Report, which is expected to finish in late 2015.
The National Financial Supervisory Commission forecasted that Vietnam’s economic growth rate will hit approximately 5.7-5.8 percent this year.
If Vietnam maintains its present 5-6 percent growth, the country will fall into the middle-income trap, according to the World Bank.
The government has said that the Vietnam 2030 Report will lay out the country’s strategy for strengthening the economy, boosting sustainable growth and ensuring that the population benefits most from development in the coming decades.
The report will review nearly 30 years of Doi Moi (Renovation) and propose targets and relevant measures.
Economists at the meeting said Vietnam can improve its growth with a number or measures.
For example, cutting a day from the average time businesses spend on export procedures will add a whole percentage point to total export revenue of about US$2.7 billion a year.
Reducing time companies spend filing taxes from 872 hours to 171 hours a year would save VND6.6 trillion ($311.5 million).
According to Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, Vietnam has achieved impressive poverty reduction results in the last several decades given that its poverty rate has decreased from 60 percent in the 1990s to below 10 percent at present.
“To develop rapidly and in a sustainable manner, Vietnam must further promote institutional reforms, develop its private sector, ensure equality of opportunity and support poor people by building on the hunger eradication and poverty reduction achievements its seen in recent years,” he was quoted by Vietnam Economic News as saying.
He said the Vietnam 2030 Report will provide a very important study of what Vietnam must do to become a modern industrialized country within a generation.
“This study will focus on major subjects such as the renovation of thoughts and development viewpoints in the context of deep and broad international integration, and comprehensive reform of economic institutions,” he said.
Vietnam continues to be the world’s second-largest recipient of aid from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), with funds committed for Vietnam in the period from 2014-2017 totaling US$3.8 billion.

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