Region needs a new growth model -- Vietnam's deputy prime minister

Dzung told the 22nd International Conference on The Future of Asia that there is a "common regional awareness" of the need for that transformation. After two decades of "groundbreaking milestones and social and economic development," he said, governments are quite aware that they now face considerable challenges.

In emerging countries, "the prevalence of aging populations and widening income gaps are the roots of social instabilities," Dzung said. He cited other risks that could impede Asian development as well: the sluggish global economic recovery, food and water security, and the "emergence of many 'hot spots' [and] the growing tension in the South and East China Seas."

"Small countries whose potential is limited need to adopt a creative, flexible and audacious approach," Dzung said. Vietnam's reforms over the past three decades, he said, present a good example of how creativity, prompt policy implementation and entrepreneurial spirit can fuel growth. Vietnam has so far attracted $290 billion worth of registered capital investment from over 100 countries and territories. More than 100 multinational corporations have set up shop in the country.

Still, Dzung said, those achievements are "only a part of Vietnam's potential." He touched on the government's ongoing efforts to create "a level playing field" for business, in order to attract more foreign investors and corporations. Those initiatives include listing state-owned enterprises on the stock market; fostering a fair and transparent investment and business environment; developing infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce; and forging trade links.

Vietnam's commitment to that last priority is symbolized by its participation in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, for which the basic framework was agreed upon in February.

As for bilateral ties with Japan, Dzung said during a Q&A session that his government sees the country as a "leading partner" in developing Vietnam's industries, including the electronics and auto sectors. Dzung said Vietnam wants to double the volume of trade between the countries by 2020. He also expressed hope that Japan will continue to provide developmental assistance aimed at upgrading Vietnam's infrastructure and training human resources.

Dzung hopes all of these efforts will "ensure rapid growth ... allowing Vietnam to become a modern-oriented industrial economy in the near future."

He added that multifaceted cooperation, dialogue and information-sharing between countries are vital if Asia is to be the central "driver of growth" for the global economy.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review