Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

Scientific Discussion "Riding Big Wave: East Asian Miracle in 21st Century"


On the afternoon of December 13, 2017, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) in collaboration with World Bank in Vietnam (WB) organized a scientific seminar "Riding Big Wave: East Asian Miracle in 21st Century” at the 1st headquarters of Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

The session was attended by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh, Vice President of VASS; scientists, experts and leaders of some specialized institutes. The WB included Mr. Sudhir Shetty, Chief Economist, World Bank for East Asia - Pacific; Mr. Sebastian Eckardt, Chief Economist, World Bank in Vietnam; Doan Hong Quang, Senior Economist, World Bank in Vietnam.

The discussion was chaired by Vice President of Academy - Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh and Mr. Sudhir Shetty, Chief Economist, World Bank East Asia - Pacific Region.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh at the seminar Mr. Sudhir Shetty and Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh chaired the discussion

According to World Bank report, "Riding Big Wave: Miracle of East Asia in 21st Century", growth requires countries to overcome "equitable growth", resulting in poverty reduction, ensuring economic security. The report states: "Elevate status is becoming increasingly distant. Income and wealth are increasingly concentrated in a group of people, while access to essential social services is limited. "Therefore, ensuring economic security was becoming more and more difficult, especially when countries in the region faced new challenges: population aging, underdevelopment of economy and urbanization.

Poverty rates have fallen sharply, from almost half of population in 2002 to less than one per eight in 2015. However, in 2002-2015, the vulnerable group remained unchanged at one-quarter of population. These were good changes but growth policies needed to address difficulties that the economy was facing in order to increase the sustainability of poverty reduction. The policy for remaining groups should reduce barriers, open up economic opportunities and ensure growth to help them move up the ladder higher in income stratification.

Organizing the seminar was an opportunity for international exchanges to help VASS experts and scholars exchanged and learned experiences on poverty reduction; shared prosperity; faced with inequalities and policy for Vietnam's development orientation.

Mr. Sudhir Shetty presented the report  

At the seminar, "Riding Big Wave: East Asian Miracle in the 21st Century" was presented by Mr. Sudhir Shetty, Chief Economist, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Region. Divide countries into 5 groups and propose policies for each group:

Firstly, Malaysia and Thailand, the group of "progressive prosperity" have basically eliminated extreme poverty and have a large middle class that need to focus on satisfying their needs, mobilize and use resources to eliminate remaining distances.

Secondly, China and Vietnam, the group of "Just getting out of poverty and moving on to prosperity" also need to focus on meeting the of middle class and vulnerable groups; at the same time, these countries should also be prepared to cope with population aging.

Third, Indonesia, Philippines and Cambodia, the group of "Getting out of extreme poverty" which has a very low extreme poverty rate but the middle class is still small; these countries should prioritize improving their economic status and integrating safety net programs.

Fourthly, lesser developed countries such as Laos and Papua New Guinea are still extreme poverty high. They should focus on reducing poverty more quickly by investing in secondary education, promoting financial integration, and increasing social support and resistance.

Fifth, the Pacific Islands are a special group. These countries need to focus on exploiting available economic opportunities, such as tourism fishing, migrating abroad to work and investing in mitigation and disaster prevention.

Panoramic meeting

The seminar received many comments, questions, frank exchange of participants; consolidated some common arguments for strengthening economic status, improved quality of employment, enhanced economic security, including strengthening social security system, extending social insurance and strengthen institutions necessary for inclusive growth. Delegates also emphasized Vietnam which has just escaped from poverty, paying particular attention to needs of middle class and vulnerable groups; in addition, we should be prepared to deal with population aging. At the same time, comments pointed to the challenge of scientific and technological progress in context of Fourth Revolution (the difference between wealth and equity is more markedly between the countries that own science and technology. do not own science and technology).

On behalf of VASS leaders, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh summarized discussion, he would like to thank the WB team for visiting and exchanging at the Academy; he also appreciated the significance of discussion and looked forward to continuing the cooperation with the World Bank in the near future.


Nguyen Xuan Khoat


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