Vietnam Economic Forum to take place next Wednesday
The 2019 edition of the annual Vietnam Economic Forum (VEF), slated for January 16-17 in Hanoi, will review the Vietnamese economy in 2018 and discuss its prospects in 2019, along with policy options to promote innovation and bolster socio-economic growth, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
The VEF 2019, held by the Government Office and the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, is expected to attract some 2,000 participants, including leaders from ministries, central agencies and local governments, as well as experts and representatives of businesses and organizations, at home and abroad.
With the theme “Strengthening the fundamental drivers for rapid and sustainable economic development,” the forum will look into opportunities, along with difficulties and challenges facing the Vietnamese economy.
Ngo Van Tuan, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, told the local media on January 11 that apart from opportunities, the Vietnamese economy is also facing many external difficulties and challenges, such as strategic competition, trade tensions among major economies, and financial, monetary and trade markets that display potentially risky and unpredictable developments.
“The potential and competitiveness of businesses and the economy are still modest. The business environment is not really favorable, while labor productivity, self-reliance, and self-improvement of the economy are still low. (Such issues) are threatening to the fast, sustainable and inclusive macro-economy,” he said.
Vietnam also needs to come up with timely policies to cope with unconventional security challenges, ensure energy security, protect the environment and respond to climate change and increasing natural disasters, he noted.
For example, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which provides artificial intelligence, digital technology, automation and the Internet of things, will create multiple opportunities and challenges. They will also make significant impacts on various aspects, and increase pressure, due to the execution of new-generation free trade agreements.
Tuan stressed that policy recommendations and proposals made by participants are expected to serve as inputs for the Party, the legislative National Assembly and the Government in fine-tuning institutions and governance.
The event will feature a plenary session and high-level policy dialogue, and three thematic workshops on financing and governance of infrastructure development; climate change adaptation and energy security for sustainable development; and opportunities and challenges for Vietnam’s digital economy in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Ten major businesses in the energy sector, including state utility Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), Bach Khoa Investment and Development of Solar Energy Corporation (SolarBK), German’s Siemens, Swedish mining firm ABB, Japanese gas supplier TokyoGas and U.S. Intel Corporation will be present at an exhibition on energy technology working toward sustainable development.
After two years of organization, VEF has served as a useful platform for stakeholders to discuss visionary initiatives and trends for sustainable economic development, as Vietnam transitions towards a more productivity-driven and green growth trajectory to sustain her economic growth.
Last year, the national economy expanded by 7.08%, the fastest pace in ten years, with inflation contained at 3.54% below the ceiling target and a record high trade surplus of over US$7 billion.