Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that innovation is key to successful development
At the ceremony to break ground on the National Innovation Centre (NIC) and open the Vietnam International Innovation Expo today (January 9), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted the role of innovation in the productivity, growth, and competitiveness of the country over the last 20 years. He lauded innovation as a key to the success of the socioeconomic development strategies of all countries and territories.
Vietnam has set the target to become an industrial country and improve people’s income by 2025, the 50th anniversary of the National Reunification Day. By 2030, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party, Vietnam aims to be a developing country with modern industry and the status of an upper-middle-income country.
"We need to base our activities on knowledge, science, technology, and innovation in order to implement these targets. Technology and human resources who can use and create new technologies are key to long-term growth and to overcome the middle-income trap," said PM Phuc.
"In fact, a lot of countries rich in natural resources cannot develop fast and sustainably, while others with fewer or no natural resources have achieved high economic growth. The difference lies in the people and technologies," highlighted the PM.
"Vietnam's ranking in the Global Innovation Index has improved 10 positions since 2015, to 42nd among 131 countries and territories, one of the highest in our income group. This is an important foundation for future development, and it is important that both the public and private sectors improve knowledge and spend more on science and technologies," he added.
Vietnam lags behind several Asian counterparts – like India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore – in technology readiness, innovation, and labour productivity. The country's expenditure on science and technology is 0.44 per cent of its GDP, much lower than the 2.23 per cent average of the world.
The PM noted that without investing in science, technology, and innovation, Vietnam will not be able to improve productivity, added value, and will not be able to avoid the middle-income trap. Thereby, he highly appreciated the determination of the Ministry of Planning and Investment to organise the Vietnam International Innovation Expo (VIIE) to romote the role of businesses in the innovation ecosystem, as well as enable Vietnam to become a regional destination for innovation.
“I would like to make the VIIE an annual innovation event to boost connections among stakeholders and strengthen cooperation with international partners," PM Phuc said and agreed with the proposal to set January 10 as national Innovation Day.
"The NIC building, which has been symbolically designed as an eagle spreading its wings, will be an ideal place to develop the innovation ecosystem of the country thanks to new policies, incentives, mechanisms, and favourable infrastructure," he asserted.
The two-day VIIE has 150 stalls to showcase products, technology, solutions to lure in around 10,000 visitors. Notably, the expo has drawn the participation of numerous large technology companies like Viettel, Vingroup, MoMo, CMC, and local businesses like Sunshine, Hanaka, and foreign-invested firms Samsung, Hyosung, Intel, Dell, Hitachi, and Siemens.
Startups, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development centres, institutes, and universities have also joined the expo. With the participation of dozens of venture funds and big corporations, the event will be a good platform for connectivity and networking with startups and SMEs.
Various cutting-edge technologies related to smart factories (such as robots and turbines), smart city, digital technology (5G, fintech, and e-payment), environmental and agricultural technologies, and other innovative solutions are available for viewing at the expo.