Vietnamese USD billionaires.

In April, Forbes Magazine (USA) announced the list of world billionaires in 2022. Vietnam has seven representatives: Vingroup Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong, VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Hoa Phat Chairman Tran Dinh Long, Techcombank Chairman Ho Hung Anh, Thaco Chairman Tran Ba ​​Duong, Masan Chairman Nguyen Dang Quang and Nova Group Chairman Bui Thanh Nhon.

The presence of two billionaires in the field of processing and manufacturing, Mr. Tran Dinh Long and Mr. Tran Ba ​​Duong, shows that Vietnam's manufacturing and processing industry can produce billionaires.

However, there are not many such billionaires in Vietnam, and no one has appeared in the field of technology.

Dr. Jonathan Pincus, Senior Economic Advisor of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said that most private enterprises in Vietnam are very small, and large private enterprises are not manufacturing ones, but mainly real estate businesses.

Mr. Tran Dinh Thien, former director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, said that an "easy" growth model - based on exploiting available resources, unskilled labor, and cheap credit has had negative consequences: growth trade-offs for the environment, low-wage economy, high inflation risk. Those “negative” factors inevitably lead to a speculative economy.

“It is not a coincidence that for many years, the number of real estate businesses, real estate and securities consulting and brokerage centers often accounted for an overwhelming proportion of the total number of newly established businesses," said Mr. Tran Dinh Thien.

Dr. Tran Dinh Thien pointed out the typical motives of the "easy to do, hard to give up" growth model, which is the exchange rate regime that encourages imports, assembly, and speculation, discourages domestic production and export. Large capital flows into the economy can lead to many people having a lot of money while in fact economic activities create not much value.

That's why, after more than 30 years of transitioning to a market economy, there are only a few private enterprises capable of rising up to become a large economic group, especially in industry, he said.

Vietnam needs businesses that bring real value to society

The development of the processing and manufacturing industry with advanced technology, associated with the 4.0 industrial revolution, is becoming an urgent issue for Vietnam, instead of a growth model that encourages speculative and instant profit-earning activities.

Industrial or technology USD billionaires may be born if Vietnam follows this path.

Dr. Dang Duc Anh, from the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that low-tech industries still account for a high proportion, about 65-70% of total processed products, and also mainly focus on a number of labor-intensive stages that do not require high technical expertise, such as processing (textiles, footwear, wood processing), and assembly (electronics, cars, motorcycles...).

He suggested that priority should be given to the development of a number of fundamental and high-tech industries such as: information technology, telecommunications; and electronics and components industry to create a digital technology platform for other industries; new material industry; biotechnology application industry; automobile industry, mechanical equipment manufacturing and spare parts; and basic chemical manufacturing industry and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Dr. Thien said that at present, the conditions and development capacity of Vietnam have changed fundamentally. The world has been strongly transitioning to a high-tech era, globalization is associated with fierce international conflicts, and climate change and epidemics have had unprecedented negative impacts.

Vietnam needs to approach the issue of "the three driving forces of development" on a different level: looking for new motivations, new ways of promoting motivation combined with traditional ones.

Today, when technology and intelligence "take the throne" in the process of development, science - technology and human creative capacity are "dynamic" resources, which is endless in potential. 

Future-oriented development mechanisms and policies of all countries, in principle, must give top attention to promoting development and maximizing the effects of these resources.

Luong Bang