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What’s the future for the southeastern region?

Tran Dinh Thien, a respected economist, believes that if Vietnam can exploit its potential, it will be a big player in the world’s energy map in the future.
Economist Tran Dinh Thien

On August 10, 2022, the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee organized a conference on social criticism to review the national overall development planning in 2021-2030, with a vision toward 2050.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung stressed that the national overall development plan is at the highest level as stipulated in the Law on Planning. This is the first time such a plan has been deployed in Vietnam.

Southeast creates most jobs

According to Thien, advantages and disadvantages must be analyzed for the national plan. He said Vietnam has very long borders, including a sea border, a characteristic different from many other countries.

The natural conditions affect the defending of national territory, the openness level of the economy and foreign policies.

He proposed clarification of Vietnam’s geopolitical situation in relation with other regional countries (their economic scale, capability, trends, prospects, political-economic-social regimes). In fact, the location near certain countries can be an advantage or disadvantage to the development of the nation.

Talking about human resources, Thien said some problems have been exposed recently, including the lack of skilled labor force. It is now necessary to review the industrialization and modernization strategy. To date, officials still emphasize the cheap labor force as an advantage, but they don’t think about prospects in the future.

The attractiveness of the eastern part of the southern region is the increasing number of workers. However, the economic development indexes which reflect the positions and trends of the region have been decreasing sharply, especially compared with northern economic regions (which can be seen in GDP, import-export, labor productivity etc).

He said that it is necessary to discover why the region creates the most jobs but has the highest unemployment rate, and the highest level of social labor risks (which could be seen in the flight of workers during Covid-19).

The region once created production volume equal to 45 percent of GDP, but it has decreased in the last 10 years as the potential was not exploited well. 

The industrial growth rate of the region has been low in the last 10 years, which is less than half of the industrial growth rate of Red River Delta and two-thirds of the country’s average growth rate.

Tran Thuong

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