Vietnam should adopt incentives and “open” administrative mechanisms to improve the quality of research towards achieving the targets set in the 2011-2020 strategy for scientific and technological development.
This strategy, coupled with the national strategy for socio-economic development is focused on reforming financial mechanisms for improving scientific and technological operations, and encouraging businesses to invest in the field.
The science and technology sector in Vietnam is striving for regional and international standards in some fields by 2020.
Since 2000, just 2 percent of the State budget has been allocated to the development of science and technology, accounting for 0.45-0.5 percent of GDP, and investment from other sources is yet to come up to expectations.
Participants in a recent online exchange organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) underlined the need to increase both domestic and foreign investments in developing the science and technology sector.
According to MoST Deputy Minister Nghiem Vu Khai, it is possible to raise the level of investment to 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP by 2015 and more than 2 percent by 2020.
It is important to get businesses involved and pay 10 percent of their pre-tax profit. Under the corporate income tax law, if businesses allocate 10 percent of their profits for investing in the development of science and technology, they will be exempt from 2.5 percent of their income tax.
This aim is to encourage them to improve their operational efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
However, experts insist on imposing mandatory requirements when businesses are allowed to operate.
In their opinion, an industrial nation is credited with an abundance of advanced products, accounting for at least 45 percent of its GDP.
The bottom line is that we need a proper solution to apply modern scientific and technological advances in economic restructuring to achieve the targets for socio-economic development until 2020.
VUSTA Vice Chairman Dr Tran Viet Hung emphasizes the need to improve the application of scientific and technological advances in Vietnam.
Sharing this view, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) Duong Ngoc Hai says it is imperative to upgrade administrative mechanisms to international standard.
So to speak, scientists should be offered incentives and provided with favourable working conditions to contribute more to the process of national development.
The MoST is coordinating with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior to put suitable policies in place for them to enter the fray./.