Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a recent conference held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment that the calculation of GDP in Vietnam was unrealistic and different from other countries.
Previously, many economic experts had issued a warning about this “difference”. This was the first time the PM spoke about it and asked local governments to calculate the GDP so that it is close to reality, according to international standards and with guidance from the General Statistics Office.
The “different” method used by localities to calculate GDP aims to raise the “economic achievement” of local governments, but the “wrong calculation of GDP can result in wrong socio-economic development plans,” said Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh.
International organizations such as the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Organization (IMF) and others have not used GDP figures announced by Vietnam but have used their own statistics, calculated according to international norms. The GDP statistics from these organizations are usually lower than made-in-Vietnam statistics.
The consequences of inaccurate GDP statistics can be shown in many ways. Local governments ask for higher public investment to achieve higher GDP, resulting in waste and low investment efficiency, and overexploitation of land and minerals.
... and not just GDP
Not only is the GDP calculated inaccurately but other indexes in economic, scientific and educational areas in Vietnam are also done in “different” ways compared to international standards.
In the financial sector, many procedures, such as regulations on tax, customs, and insurance, are different from international standards. As a result, the corporate tax payment time in Vietnam has hit a record level of 872 hours per year.
The State Audit Agency also admitted that the auditing standards of Vietnam have not yet reached international standards. In the field of education and training, Vietnam has not been recognized to meet international standards in training and granting doctoral degrees, etc.
Such “differences” are one of the reasons that Vietnam has lagged behind other countries. It is hoped that the PM's instruction will help deal with the problem.
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