This is the first time, a master planning has been implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Law in 2017, opening the opportunity to arrange and rearrange the development space of the country to create a new growth engine for the country.
According to the plan, the draft of the national master plan will be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and approval at the next meeting in October 2022.
Rearranging the development space
The national master plan will concretise the socio-economic development strategy for the 2021-2030 period, in order to rationally arrange the national development space based on the country's potentials and strengths, creating conditions to promote fast and sustainable economic growth, realise goals and aspirations for prosperity.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that an important content when making the master plan is to develop the country as a unified whole, not divided or bound by administrative boundaries, to help resources mobilise and use in the most effective method for the benefit of the country, along with specific contents in terms of development space, realising the goal of the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress.
In terms of scope, the master plan focuses on economic zones, intra-regional and inter-regional relationships to create new impetus. Regarding the orientation and spatial organisation of development sectors and fields, the master plan focuses on the economic sectors of industry, agriculture and tourism; social and technical infrastructure sectors; and selecting the priority for the overall development space in each period, suitable for mobilised resources, towards the goal of sustainable development.
The content of the master plan also orientates the zoning and linking of regions in the national territory, including the mainland, islands, archipelagos, seas and airspace, in a scientific manner to create a synchronous development space; as well as the development of urban and rural systems, completion of synchronous infrastructure, association with effective use of natural resources and protection of the environment, and active response to climate change, ensuring national defence, security and effective international integration.
According to Dr. Tran Hong Quang, Director of the Vietnam Institute for Development Strategies under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the master planning aims to create an efficient and sustainable spatial distribution model for national development, forming motivation regions, economic centres, strategic cities, concerted and modern infrastructure networks with strong connections among regions, urban and rural areas.
The draft master plan also provides socio-economic development scenarios of the planning period, specifically, by 2030, Vietnam's population will climb to about 105 million people, and by 2050 it will increase to 115 million people; the average GDP growth rate will reach about 7% per year in the period 2021-2030 and 6.5-7.5% per year in the period 2031-2050.
Regarding the orientations for the development of the national urban system included in the draft plan, Dr. Pho Duc Tung from the World Bank (WB) said that the development of the system should ensure sustainability and security-defence.
The scale of the urban system will inevitably increase, with the urbanisation rate expected to reach 50% in 2030 and 70% in 2050, accounting for 85% of GDP by 2030, he said, adding that land for urban areas is forecast to make up 2.3% of the country’s natural area.
Dr. Tung underlined that the urban system is the core of economic growth, therefore the structure of the urban system needs to be associated with the economic development strategy. Specifically, it is necessary to focus on developing corridors and key areas into locomotive of economic growth.
A corner of the Tay Ho Tay urban area, Hanoi. (Picture Duy Dang)
Private capital accounts for large proportion
In order to achieve the target of economic growth of about 7% per year in the planning period, the Ministry of Planning and Investment expects the capital mobilization structure in the 2021-2030 period to be more than 50 quadrillion VND (about 35% of GDP). In which, capital mobilised from the state economic sector is more than 10 quadrillion VND, equivalent to 20% of total investment capital; mobilised capital from the private sector is more than 33 quadrillion VND, accounting for 66%; FDI attraction is about 7 quadrillion VND (more than 270 billion USD), accounting for 14%.
Commenting on the draft master plan, Dr. Danny Leipziger from the WB said that the plan shows greater attention to the environment, climate change and economic corridors.
Large-scale projects need to be carefully selected, re-evaluate the current investment quality before considering new investment projects so as not to cause waste. This is also the view of many WB experts. Carolyn Turk, WB Country Director for Vietnam, pointed to the need to reserve room for factors that are not foreseen, while changing the approach according to the overall national - regional planning, instead of each locality as before.
In order to solve the problems that may arise in implementing the master plan , the WB recommends that the medium-term investment plans be closely linked, prioritised, and in the right order towards results, in order to improve national and regional spatial development master plans within a reliable forecast of budgetary affordability; and at the same time, improve the public investment process, from project selection to disbursement, because it is an important solution to achieve the objectives set out in the master plan.