News / Economy

UNDP Chief: Economic Reforms Key to Vietnam Development

FILE - Clients sit in a branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Hanoi.
FILE - Clients sit in a branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Hanoi.
— A top United Nations official has called on Vietnam to open its partly state-run economy to more competition.

Helen Clark, head of the U.N. Development Program and a former prime minister of New Zealand, said in Hanoi late Monday that if Vietnam is to make progress economically, it needs to prioritize reform.

“I also come from a country which had a very, very large state sector of the economy,” Clark said. “And over the years, some of that was privatized, some of it was made very competitive.”

As with China, Vietnam has been facing pressure to scale back its powerful state-owned enterprises, which critics say have inefficient management, lower profits than private companies, and unfair access to loans from state-run banks. That, in turn, has contributed to a high rate of loans that end up in default.

Economist Le Dang Doanh said the government recognizes that these state firms are weighing down the banking sector and therefore the economy as a whole.

“The state-owned enterprises are very important because they own a lot of assets; they use a lot of credit from the banking system,” Doanh said. “But they also have low efficiency.”

In response, Vietnam has promised to privatize more than 400 state-owned companies in the next two years and restructure others. Doanh said these companies would benefit from the knowledge of foreign partners by forming joint ventures.

Some high-profile delays have skeptics wondering whether authorities can overcome the interest groups that benefit from keeping enterprises under state control.

“There are always vested interests in the economy, particularly where there have been monopolies or near monopolies,” said Clark, who is the first woman to take charge of the UNDP.

She said that if Vietnam moves toward more competition in the economy, consumers would benefit through better prices and innovation.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.