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Economic growth matters, but is just one facet of development. Policy makers are required to reconcile economic, social and environmental objectives to ensure that their country’s development path is sustainable and that the lives of its citizens improve. At the same time, the achievement of economic, social and environmental objectives needs strategies for reform that factor in the complementarities and trade-offs across policies.

The OECD Multidimensional Reviews (MDR) provide governments with concrete policy advice for their national development strategies. They identify the main constraints to more equitable and sustainable growth, and propose priorities for policy intervention. The MDR Viet Nam supports the drafting of the new Social and Economic Development Strategy that will guide Viet Nam’s development in the next ten years (2021-30).

MDRs are composed of three parts: Initial Assessment, Strategic Recommendations, and From Analysis to Implementation. The approach aims at the co-creation of reforms that fully respond to a country’s specific challenges and opportunities, and come with guidance on implementation. The process conjugates expert policy analysis with participatory approaches including “Governmental Learning” workshops that involve actors from the private and public sectors, civil society, and academia. Analytical work is based on statistics about individual well-being as well as macro- and microeconomic performance at the national, subnational sectoral, household and firm levels. Both domestic and international sources are used. The analysis is also based on forecasts and indicators constructed by experts at the OECD.

Benchmarking and comparison of results and experiences with other countries is a key element of the OECD method. For each MDR, a set of comparator countries is designed to include regional peers, countries from other regions with similar structural characteristics and OECD members. Depending on data availability, throughout this report Viet Nam is compared with a set of benchmark countries in Asia (Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand and the Philippines) and beyond (Morocco, Poland and Turkey).

In this report, the first part – “Initial Assessment” – builds on the SDGs’ structure of People, Prosperity, Partnerships, Planet and Peace. For each of these dimensions, strengths and constraints, as well as trends that could create opportunities or hamper future growth are identified. The second part of the report provides strategic recommendations to help Viet Nam’s transition towards an integrated, transparent and sustainable economy. In particular, the report suggests policies to create new opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and services; enhance the efficiency of State-owned enterprises; strengthen Viet Nam’s tertiary education in order to upgrade skills and create innovation; improve the management of natural and energy resources to secure sustainable growth and encourage a proactive transition to a low carbon economy. The third and last part of the MDR – “From analysis to implementation” – recommends Viet Nam to strengthen its capabilities for implementation and proposes a scoreboard to monitor the progress of reforms.

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Coronavirus COVID-19

This report is based on information and data available up to February 2020. The analysis presented does not consider any potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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