Opening Remarks at Training on Policy Planning Skills

11 Jun 2013

Speaker: UNDP Deputy Country Director, Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov
Date:       Tuesday, June 11th, 09:00am    
Event:     Training on Policy Planning Skills (Project ‘Capacity Enhancement for Intensive International Integration of Viet Nam toward 2020’)
Venue:     Movenpick Hotel

Excellency Mr. Hà Kim Ngọc, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga, Director-General for Multilateral Economic Cooperation
Ms. Lesley Craig, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United Kingdom
Ladies and gentlemen:

It is my great pleasure to be part of today’s training event. UNDP has been supporting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen its capacity for economic diplomacy since 2006. Our new project, which was launched earlier this year, aims to support the Government in developing national policies on international economic integration through evidence-based research and international and south-south collaboration. This training workshop is a key activity under this new project.

Given the strategic orientation of the project, we welcome the focus of today’s workshop, among other matters, on policy analysis and planning. Viet Nam is now a Middle-Income Country facing new challenges of reform and transition, including the need for advantageous international integration.

Policy-makers are looking for ways to restructure the country’s economy and renovate its growth model; to move upwards in the value chain; and at the same time to ensure that the growth is equitable, sustainable and resilient to economic and other shocks, such as the effects of climate change.

These development imperatives demand more nuanced policies backed by quality analysis, research and data. The old solutions are showing diminishing returns – or might not achieve the intended outcomes – in these more complex realities.

Viet Nam’s vision of fostering entrepreneurial spirit and economic integration over the last two decades has paid off as the economy grew exponentially and led to a remarkable improvement in the quality and longevity of life for most Vietnamese. Policy choices and incentives, especially those involving investments in quality education, internationally competitive skills and new technologies, can help re-gain the momentum of economic development. These measures would have to go hand in hand with structural reforms including reform of the banking sector and state-owned enterprises.

Finally, a truly effective policy-making process is one that is participatory and inclusive towards various stakeholder interests. The public consultations on the constitutional amendment are adding to the quality of policy-making, and signaling a change in the way citizens interact with the government. The United Nations is committed to supporting voice and participation of all Vietnamese citizens in the decisions that affect their interests and aspirations.

Ladies and gentlemen:

Through this partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP will continue to support Viet Nam’s access to cutting-edge development thinking and research on policies and partnerships to address some of these challenges.

Today’s training activity will be an opportunity for the Ministry to exchange views and build professional ties with the Center for Political and Diplomatic Studies, an institution with strong track record of expertise in policy and political work, international relations and diplomatic practice.

I would like to add here that this expertise was amply brought to bear yesterday when Dr. Hemery and Dr. Hill delivered a similar training on policy analysis to a cross-section of UNDP staff in Ha Noi. We were all impressed with the depth of their knowledge.

I would like to once again thank the Ministry for organizing this training workshop, and wish all participants a rewarding learning experience.