Economic Forum 2021: Fulcrum for economic recovery and development

Wednesday, 2020-11-25 10:08:01
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General view of the forum.
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NDO – The Vietnam Business Forum Magazine, under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), held an economic forum themed “Fulcrum for economic recovery and development” in Hanoi on November 21 to focus on analysing and predicting economic trends in 2021.

In his opening remarks, VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc said that, amidst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prestigious international organisations have simultaneously lowered the growth forecasts of countries, including Vietnam.

Despite the increasingly pessimistic picture of the world economy, in its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Update, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) still forecast that Vietnam’s economy could grow by 2.8% in 2020 and is projected to expand 6.3% next year, he stated.

Notably, the ADB report assessed that Vietnam is showing a stronger recovery than most other similar economies, with the economy’s medium- and long-term prospects remaining positive, Loc said.

He suggested that in parallel with the implementation of the first support package, the next one should focus on the potential areas that are currently facing provisional difficulties, which, if the immediate difficulties are overcome, will create drivers for growth, such as aviation and tourism.

VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc speaks at the forum.

Trinh Minh Anh, Chief of the Office of the Inter-Agency Steering Committee for International Economic Integration, said that in the current context of increasing protectionism and populism, Vietnam needs to maintain free trade agreements and international e-commerce deals, while prioritising the development of digital identification in the Vietnamese language, building smart barriers and strongly developing e-payment.

Discussing post-COVID-19 business trends, Vu Tu Thanh, a representative of the US-ASEAN Business Council, stated that the pandemic is causing uneven impacts according to each geographic location, each business sector, firm size, and the degree of digital transformation. The size of Vietnam’s Internet economy is now US$14 billion, up 16% compared to the previous year regardless of the disease, and is expected to expand to US$50 billion in the next five years, he said, recommending that Vietnam utilise and optimise opportunities from business on digital platforms with goods and service transactions via the Internet.

Going into each industry and economic sector, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi Supporting Industries Business Association (HANSIBA) Nguyen Van expressed concern about Vietnam’s limited participation in global supply chains despite being one of the world’s most open economies as assessed by the World Bank (WB).

In the medium and long term, Vietnam should make reforms based on a close combination of public-private initiative to attract investors when they seek new production facilities outside of China in order to diversify the global supply chains, as well as giving special priority to high-quality labour training and infrastructure construction.