April 03, 2020 05:43

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"No allow for choosing FDI projects"

13:39 | 02/09/2019

VCN- Below is an interview with Prof.  Nguyen Mai (photo), former Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, on the Resolution of the Politburo on orientation to attract FDI to 2030.  

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The Politburo has just issued a Resolution on the orientation to attract FDI to 2030. In your opinion, what is the remarkable point of this Resolution?

On the Resolution, the evaluation of the achievements that we achieved is very important and it also points the shortcomings of attracting FDI. The Party and the State always attach great importance to the quality and quantity of FDI attraction, but more than ever, now the quality issue is the most important. We have been talking about a new growth model, a modern economic structure for a long time, but the transition of growth model and economic structure is slow, to speed up, it is clear that quality and effectiveness under the orientation of new growth model, a digital economy model, is the most important. Therefore, the Politburo decided that when the economy transformed into a new growth model, FDI must also convert. Thus, we attach great importance to high-tech, future-tech and environmentally-friendly projects that bring about high efficiency not only for growth but also for modern technologies and services to make the our economy change rapidly in a more modern direction, keep up with the development level of the world. The resolution also affirmed the need to increase the right to select investors and investment projects because without doing so, it could not achieve the target of attracting FDI to contribute to changing the economic structure under the new growth model.

What do you think about the goals set out in the Resolution?

This resolution sets two goals. The first is about quantity. The Politburo decides that average registered investment capital per year is US$30-40 billion; the average implementation capital is US$20-30 billion from 2021 to 2025. In 2026 - 2030, the investment capital is about US$40-50 billion per year and implemented capital is US$30-40 billion per year.

This is a very important number, because it is possible to talk about the amount of registered capital with quality, capital is first thing in investment. If 2019 does well, implemented capital may reach approximately US$20 billion. From 2021 - 2025, the implemented capital is from US$20 to 30 billion, on average US$25 billion per year. From 2025 to 2030, it is US$30-40 billion, which means that on average, the implemented capital must increase US$5 billion each year compared to 2019. This is a huge problem that if the ministries do not pay attention, only in general, the resolution could not be implemented. I think those numbers are reasonable to implement and should not be lower.

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The second is quality. This time, the resolution provides clear orientation towards high-quality projects, especially high-tech projects, future technology projects, environmentally-friendly projects, towards Industry 4.0. It is a great opportunity for us to express our national aspirations. The previous three revolutions did not have many opportunities for us to participate, but this time, we are able to participate more actively in Industry 4.0, so we do not allow for project selection but must follow the orientation in resolution of the Politburo to ensure quality and quantity, there is no situation mentioned in the resolution such as illegal projects, tiny capital or transfer pricing

The resolution emphasises to review the factors of national security and defense in projects as well as emphasises the quality of foreign investment capital and technology transfer, does this issue make foreign investors hesitate to invest in Vietnam?

The psychology of investors needs to be preferential and selected, but it is time for us to stand up and think our own way. We should also consult ADB, WB, and IMF, but only consultancy, the decision maker must be us. In the resolution, the Politburo still prioritises FDI and protects investors' rights, while the last part of the Resolution is a specific attraction solution. I think that true investors with clear investment strategies who want to seek profits and stick with Vietnam will not be afraid of anything. In terms of technology, I still have the opinion that we should be cautious for technology transfer. For example, without FDI, Vietnam would not own exploration and building in the oil and gas industry, with FDI our information technology industry has 3G, 4G and 5G; the electronics industry currently exports US$27.2 billion. Of course, we should not evaluate in general, we need to evaluate each industry separately for a suitable solution.

By Thu Hien/Binh Minh