Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019

Golden population structure - impetus for Vietnam’s future economic development

Updated at Friday, 12 Jul 2019, 17:06
The Hanoitimes - The country has a total workforce of over 56 million - a driving force for the economic growth.
Vietnam is experiencing the golden population structure, or in other words, the proportion of economically active population doubling the dependent population, which is expected to accelerate economic growth of the country in the coming years. 
Newborn babies at Tu Du hosiptal in  Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Duyen Phan/Tuoi Tre News.
Newborn babies at Tu Du hosiptal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo Tuoi Tre News.
However, it also poses a number of issues relating to manpower quality to be tackled, experts warned.

According to Director of Institute for Policy Studies and Media Development Nguyen Quang Dong, Vietnam’s population pointed out some advantages including large market size fostered by high population density, rising purchasing power which is proportional with people’s increasingly high incomes and the comparatively high number of students finishing high schools.

However, to take advantage of this golden population structure, Vietnam needs to tackle some challenges including the difference in fertility rates among regions. For instance, the birth rate in Ho Chi Minh city of 2 or even at 1.7 or 1.8 children per woman is lower than the country's poorer areas, and falls below the replacement fertility despite the fact that the city has the better development index.

Another bottleneck that hinders Vietnam from tapping into the golden population structure is the poor manpower qualifications.

The country has a total workforce of over 56 million but only 23% of them are qualified and certified, Deputy Director General of the General Department Of Vocational Training (GDVT) Truong Anh Dung said.

Dung emphasized that in the coming time, the Ministry of Labors, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) would focus on increasing the rate of trained laborers in order to remove the poor manpower quality issue.

According to the Government’s plan, the proportion of high school students registering to vocational training will increase to 30%-40% compared to the current proportion of 10%. The GDVT will work with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor and industrial associations to mobilize and provide vocational training for employees to enhance their skills.

Economist Bui Trinh said that Vietnam is a strong nation in terms of population and market size, however, these advantages may not be translated into economic benefits if the country fails to improve the qualifications of workforce in manufacturing sectors.

The labor supply is huge but mainly unskilled workers. Therefore, the first thing to do is to improve the qualifications of laborers, contributing to improving the production sector of the economy, Bui Trinh stressed.
Ha An
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