Vietnam mulls solutions to improve productivity level
VietNamNet Bridge - To ensure sustainable development, economists emphasize the need to reform the growth model and improve productivity.


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Vietnam's productivity is still low



Some analysts say that productivity is ‘unacceptably low’ because it is even lower than that of Laos. 

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), if calculating in accordance with the purchasing power parity of 2011, Vietnam productivity in 2016 would be $9,894, which is 87.4 percent of Laos productivity.

In 2013, the Asian Productivity Organization pointed out that productivity relative to purchasing power parity was $8,600 per worker in Laos, higher than the $8,500 in Vietnam.

Dr Tran Kim Chung, deputy head of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), said there were several reasons for this. 

The number of people in Vietnam joining the workforce is high. However, as the proportion of unemployed and underemployed workers is high, the productivity is low, because the value created by real workers must be shared with unemployed and underemployed workers.


The number of people in Vietnam joining the workforce is high. However, as the proportion of unemployed and underemployed workers is high, the productivity is low, because the value created by real workers must be shared with unemployed and underemployed workers.

Vietnam has a high proportion of workers in agriculture with low productivity. And the percentage of Vietnamese workers who receive training is low, he said.

According to VCCI (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry) chair Vu Tien Loc, there are different approaches to the concept ‘national competitiveness’, either through brands, market share, productivity, living standard or institutional quality. 

However, VCCI’s research found that the approach through productivity is the most commonly used, because productivity is the core factor that reflects nations’ competitiveness. The Vietnam 2035 : Toward Prosperity, Creativity, Equity, and Democracy Report is using the approach through productivity.

Loc said though competitiveness has improved, Vietnam’s rice brand is inferior to Cambodia’s.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, head of CIEM, also emphasized the necessity of improving productivity. 

He cited figures to prove that Vietnam’s GDP growth rate is on the decrease (7.3 percent in 1990-2000 to 6.7 percent in 2001-2010 and 5.96 percent in 2011-2016) and pointed out that low productivity is one of the reasons.

An analyst said the recommendations on improving energy use efficiency in industrial production, developing transport and logistics networks, and restructuring agriculture are just theoretical, and they will only bring benefits with technology application and other measures.

In related news, a report says 74 percent of workers in the manufacturing & processing industry in Vietnam are expected to lose their jobs because of the impact of the fourth industrial revolution, the highest level among ASEAN countries.


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Luong Bang

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