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Selective approach to pre-eminent welfare model sought

VOV.VN - The experience of Nordic countries of boosting economic development in harmony with ensuring social welfare should be regarded as a reference for Vietnam’s own socio-economic development amid increasing global integration, experts have said.

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Priority has been given to offering healthcare services to disadvantaged people and ethnic minority groups.
Currently, Vietnam is on the right path to perfect its own socialist-oriented market economy and to develop the country’s economic development model, according to Ho Trong Hoai, Director of the Institute of Science Socialism. Hoai noted that Vietnam could learn useful lessons from the development model promoted by Nordic countries.

During a workshop themed “Continuity and Change in the Nordic Society Model - Adapting to a Digital Age” held in Hanoi on February 19, Hoai elaborated that the Nordic countries are believed to have achieved a range of successes in developing their economies and societies towards democracy, justice, and civilization.

These European countries have topped the world in terms of development criteria for the past years, maintaining high levels of political stability, persistent economic competitiveness, and extremely good welfare systems in the realms of education, healthcare, and social security.

The governments of the Nordic nations have always taken prompt measures aimed at anticipating and overcoming adverse impacts of the world’s economic crisis while pushing for a shift to growth models.

Therefore, Vietnam could take on some useful insights from the Nordic development model in order to perfect the country’s socialist-oriented market economy, Hoai said.

He explained that the welfare state acts as a macro solution in which the Nordic countries take on to further enhance their market control as well as deal with shortcomings faced in social inequality and promote economic and social well-being among citizens.

He said the welfare state form highlights the role of private sector, thus facilitating job creation and giving prominence to the social responsibility of private sector through its tax obligations.

In fact, the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam emphasized the development of the private sector as a key factor in developing the country’s socialist-oriented market economy, Hoai said. He stressed this as a sound approach in line with current development trends.

The efforts by Nordic countries to ensure social stability and equality is another positive example of their system. Hoai said that Vietnam could reference the way that the Nordic countries boost their trade unions by harmonizing benefits between workers and their employers.

The expert praised a vocational training model advocated by business owners and labor organizations which allows participants to update their professional skills and meet the requirements of enterprises.

According to Dr. Erkki Tuomioja, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament of Finland, the Nordic model is not for those living in security and welfare, but it is a model for bringing the security and welfare to those still yearning for it.

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“Vietnam is not that different from the Nordic countries, we have shared and continue to share the same challenges of rapid urbanization, aging populations and achieving ecological, social and economic sustainability,” said Tuomioja.

Dr. Le Dang Doanh, former Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said Vietnam has set the target of improving openness and transparency in a bid to foster its reform process.

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Meanwhile, the Nordic countries set good examples in assuring openness and transparency as well as accountability in the spending of governments and public officials.

Moreover, such spending is regularly supervised by the press, citizens, and others, thus helping to avoid negative issues related to overspending and misuses, Doanh said.

Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee, asserted that European countries, notably the Nordic countries, have been offering extremely high social welfare to citizens thanks to their powerful financial sources that have been accumulated during their hundred-year development process.

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Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee, address the event. 

Meanwhile, though Vietnam has suffered from a number of losses and consequences from previous wars, the country has always given importance to implementing social welfare policies regardless of limited sources, Chung said.

A large proportion of the nation’s GDP value is allocated to realize social policies with the aim of further aiding citizens, especially those who are disadvantaged, particularly in the fields of heath, housing, and access to loans.

As noted, the country’s poverty rate has plunged from 57 per cent to 12 per cent over the past 30 years. In Hanoi, the poverty rate dropped to 1.16 per cent in 2018 while many districts report no poor households, the municipal chairman stressed.

The Nordic countries consist of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland as well as The Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland.

Hong Quang

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