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Vietnam: Retaining Stability, Enhancing the Competitive Edge, and Reaping the Growth Potential

Vietnam: Retaining Stability, Enhancing the Competitive Edge, and Reaping the Growth Potential

Hanoi, Vietnam, April 18, 2013

A Conference Jointly Organized by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the International Monetary Fund.

Vietnam is at a critical juncture. Although the country has experienced stellar growth performance in the past, the burst of an asset price bubble, problems in some of the state-owned enterprises, weaknesses in the banking sector, and a significant growth slowdown call for an acceleration of reforms. This will ensure that Vietnam continues to reap its full growth potential going forward, entrenches gains in macroeconomic stabilization, increases its resilience against future shocks, and heads resumes the path of becoming an emerging market.

This conference will focus on a number of these critical reform objectives, including how to strengthen the tax system and improve the efficiency and accountability of state-owned enterprises, and what needs to be done to improve policy frameworks.

The conference is organized jointly by the IMF and the SBV, and brings together academics, policymakers, the private sector, and other multilateral institutions to foster an open and frank discussion about reform options.


The website contains papers and web links to papers that were presented at the conference. The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.


Thursday, April 18

8:30–8:45 am Registration and welcome coffee
8:45–9:00 am Opening Remarks

Deputy Governor Le Minh Hung, State Bank of Vietnam
PresentationOpening Remarks (English)
PresentationOpening Remarks (Vietnamese)

9:00–10:15 am Session I: Global and Regional Context

Vietnam is benefiting from increased global and regional integration. While this interconnectedness has contributed to the country’s stellar growth performance in the past, it also implies that the country is increasingly influenced by developments far away. This session will set the stage for the day’s discussion by providing an overview of global and regional economic trends and their implications for Vietnam.

Marco Breu, Partner, McKinsey and Company Vietnam Ltd.

Alfred Schipke, Division Chief, Asia and Pacific Department, International Monetary Fund
PresentationThe Global and Regional Context (English)
PresentationThe Global and Regional Context (Vietnamese)

Vo Tri Thanh, Vice President, Central Institute for Economic Management
Dominic Scriven, CEO, Dragon Capital

10:15–10:45 am Coffee break
10:45 am–12:00 pm Session II: Toward a More Robust Monetary Policy Framework

As Vietnam strives to entrench recent gains from macroeconomic stabilization, continues to integrate globally, and further implements important structural reforms, its institutional underpinnings for formulating and executing monetary policy need to be strengthened. This will not only increase Vietnam’s policy credibility, but also increase the country’s resilience to shocks. As in many emerging market economies, the design of the monetary policy framework has to take into consideration the country’s level of economic and financial sector development. This session analyzes Vietnam’s monetary policy framework, identifies key challenges, and discusses the crucial components of a more robust framework for monetary policy.

Nguyen Do Quoc Tho, Director General, Statistics and Forecasting Department, State Bank of Vietnam

Ashvin Ahuja, Senior Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, International Monetary Fund
Ms. Nombulelo Duma, Senior Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, International Monetary Fund
PresentationToward a more robust monetary policy framework in Vietnam (English)
PresentationToward a more robust monetary policy framework in Vietnam (Vietnamese)

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong, Director General, Monetary Policy Department, State Bank of Vietnam
Reza Siregar, Senior Economist, AMRO

12:00–1:45 pm Lunch: Le Panorama Restaurant, 19th Floor, Sofitel Plaza Hanoi Hotel
1:45–3:00 pm Session III: Vietnam: Trade Taxes, Regional Integration, and Growth

This session reviews the role of trade taxes, their evolution since Vietnam’s accession to the WTO in 2007, and the extent to which they are now subject to multilateral rules. It highlights how trade taxes may distort competition to the detriment of efficient resource allocation and thus productivity growth. The main features of Vietnam’s MFN tariff are summarized and compared with those of other ASEAN countries, China, Japan, and Korea. Also, the session discusses tax reform options.

Vu Nhu Thang, President, National Institute for Finance

Michael Daly, IMF Panel of Experts
PresentationTrade Taxes: Regional Integration And Growth(English)
PresentationTrade Taxes: Regional Integration And Growth(Vietnamese)

Nguyen Van Phung, Deputy General Director, Tax Policy Department, Ministry of Finance
Ms. Le Thi Kieu Nga, Tax Partner, KPMG

3:00–3:30 pm Coffee break
3:30–4:45 pm Session IV: Reforming and Restructuring SOEs

Vietnam’s draft constitution aims to put state-owned enterprises, which currently play a dominant role in the economy, on an equal competitive footing with private companies. This session analyzes the SOE sector and how best to improve its efficiency and growth. It assesses the government’s SOE restructuring plan to achieve these goals, proposes additional measures drawn from international experience, and highlights the fiscal risks both from restructuring and from a lack of adequate reform.

Deepak Mishra, Lead Economist, World Bank

Ms. Thornton Matheson, Senior Economist, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund
PresentationReform of State-Owned Enterprises(English)
PresentationReform of State-Owned Enterprises(Vietnamese)

Nguyen Huu Tu, Vice Chairman, Office of the Central Committee, Communist Party of Vietnam
Weiying Zhang, Professor, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University

4:45–5:00 pm Closing Remarks

Sanjay Kalra, IMF Resident Representative

5:00–6:00 pm

Cocktail reception: Le Panorama Restaurant, 19th Floor, Sofitel Plaza Hanoi Hotel
Note: Each session will be 1 hour and 15 minutes long. Presentations are expected to be about 25 minutes. There will be two commentators per presentation. Each commentator will have 15 minutes to comment on the presentation. Presentations and comments will be followed by a 20-minute open discussion.