President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) Nguyen Quang Thuan highlighted sustainable development as a fundamental target in Vietnam’s process to switch growth model and ensure social equality and environmental protection.
The country has gained certain achievements in the field, but many challenges still lie ahead, he said, pointing to such global common issues as scarce raw materials and exhausting natural resources, the gap between rich and poor that results in social instability, global warming, desertification, and threats to biodiversity.
Therefore, harmonising economic growth and social equality and environmental protection has become urgent for the world, he said.
He noted that Japan successfully implemented its economic development policies after the Second World War (1939-1945) and reaped remarkable outcomes in striving for social equality and addressing environmental pollution and natural disasters. Therefore, Japan’s experience will be valuable for Vietnam.
Vice President of the VASS Dang Nguyen Anh said the growth model in Vietnam is focusing on investment in material and economic growth at the cost of social, cultural and environmental development, which could bring high growth in a short term, but will cause unbalanced development in the long run.
A sustainable growth model pays attention to balanced investment in economic development, human resource, education, health care, regeneration of natural resources and clean energy, he said.
Participants proposed various measures to promote sustainable development such as improving the social welfare system and building policy for the green economy.