World Bank unveils plan for Vietnam to reach upper-middle-income status by 2035

26/2/2016| 4:29

The World Bank on Tuesday (Feb 23) released a new report that lays out the pathway for Vietnam to reach upper-middle-income status in two decades.

The Vietnam 2035 report, themed “toward prosperity creativity, equity and democracy”, suggests that Vietnam foster private sector competitiveness, promote social inclusion and bolster the state’s effectiveness to climb up the economic ladder into a higher bracket. Without this, Vietnam will find it very hard to avoid the “middle-income trap” and will fall well short of its significant potential, it warned.

“In the last 30 years, Vietnam has become one of the world’s great development success stories, rising from the ranks of the poorest countries,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. He added that the report, with inputs from international and Vietnamese experts, reflects Vietnam’s aspiration to become a modern, industrialised nation within a generation.

Reaching upper-middle-income status requires Vietnam to grow at least seven per cent per year, the World Bank noted, calling it an "ambitious goal".

Vietnam’s economy was estimated to grow 5.88% per year during 2011-2015, the slowest pace since 2010, said the Ministry of Planning and Investment in its report to the National Assembly late last year.

"Our country is at a turning point of reform and development. We face significant opportunities, but also big challenges. To reach our goal of a becoming a prosperous, creative, equal and democratic Vietnam, our only choice is to implement the reforms recommended by the Vietnam 2035 report,” said Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh as quoted in the World Bank's statement.

The agreement to work on the joint report was made in Hanoi between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Kim in July 2014. The report was produced by a joint team from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the World Bank Group, and external experts from Vietnam.