Hanoi banking on education to modernise economy

Asia Society business conference ——————————–

VIETNAM is banking on education and training for its workforce to modernise its moribund command economy.

“In the coming years, we intend to develop education and training in an active and diversified direction…to help Vietnam integrate into the region and the world as a whole,” the chairman of Vietnam’s state planning committee, Prof Do Quoc Sam, said yesterday.

Speaking at The Asia Society business conference, he said that despite the country’s low economic development, Hanoi was promoting education and training to improve its labour force.

But more needed to be done so that the workers could adapt to technological advances and work in a modernised economy, he said.

The Vietnamese government hoped to wipe out illiteracy by the year 2000, and introduce secondary school education in cities and urban areas. Emphasis would be placed on developing talent in science, technology, business and management.

He added that the “government has worked out priority policies in the cause of education development” as part of its strategy to develop the economy.

Prof Sam said Hanoi would need up to US$50 billion (S$75 billion) over the next six years to develop the country’s economy.

Vietnam’s open-door policy had encouraged foreign investment. So far, investment licences worth over US$8 billion had been committed.

Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet said on Wednesday that Vietnam was anxious to develop its war-torn economy and return to the mainstream of South-east Asia.

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