Growth quality has improved, reflected in the increase in labour productivity and no longer being dependent on mining and natural resources, as well as credit and investment expansion. The scale of the economy increased from US$6.3 billion in 1989 to US$245 billion in 2018, GDP per capita increased 27.4 fold during the period to reach US$2,587 at present.
In the 30 years of Doi Moi (innovation), Vietnam has been considered one of the bright spots on the global economic map, thanks to the imprint of high economic growth and the early achievement of the goals for poverty reduction. Vietnam’s economy has maintained a relatively high growth rate for a long time, with the average GDP growth rate during 1989-2018 roughly 6.8%, a high level in ASEAN. The biggest and most important achievement is that Vietnam has come from a backward agricultural country to join the group of middle-income countries. The nation joins the world with a new look, accompanied by an improved prestige and position in the international arena.
It can be said that the return to the high growth orbit in 2018, amidst the world economy facing multiple difficulties and challenges, is a miracle for Vietnam, reinforcing the belief in the opportunities for the country’s development. However, as Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said, it is not easy to maintain the average growth rate in the next 30 years at the same level of during the last three decades, as to surpass the previous high growth rate to an even higher level will be a great challenge.
However, Vietnam has always stirred a burning desire for prosperity, with the goal of joining the high-income country group. Furthermore, Vietnam also expects to contribute back to less developed countries in the next decade. The path leading to a prosperous country is defined as a thorny road. Difficulties facing Vietnam include constraints on institutions, limited human resources and the low competitiveness of several economic sectors. In particular, the main force of the economy – the business community – still faces a range of barriers in their development. Although there are over 100,000 enterprises on average established each year, the rate of those leaving the market is still high, affecting State budget collection.
Since early this year, the Government has developed a new development strategy for the 2021-2030 period, while preparing the agenda and laying the foundation towards 2045. Important lessons from the growth achievements in 2018 in particular and the experiences in responding to external fluctuations show that focusing on strengthening macroeconomic stability and the country’s potential through economic restructuring and innovating the growth model will help Vietnam have enough internal resources to overcome the shocks from outside.
Alongside that are solutions focused on boosting the driving forces for growth, such as the manufacturing – processing industry, services, private sector investment, science and technology, and promoting reform, especially reform in the institution and business environment. This is an important foundation for Vietnam’s economy to successfully make breakthroughs in its development and realise the national prosperity aspiration.