In the morning of November 28, 2014, VEPR’s Chinese Economic Studies Program (VCES) successfully organized the scientific conference “China rebalancing the economy and variable impacts to region”.
The whole view of conference
The conference brought together numerous scholars, top researchers from pretigious research institutions in the fields of economics, politics, diplomacy, as well as lecturers and students and reprentatives of media and public relation agencies.
In the opening remark, Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh, President of Viet Nam Insitute for Economic and Policy (VEPR) gave a brief introduction of conference. This was the third year of annually conference on Chinese Economic, organized by VEPR’s Chinese Economic Studies Program (VCES), aiming at strengthening the scientific exchange among national and international scholars on Chinese contemporary economic situation. Following the success of conference in 2012 and 2013, conference this year continued discussing on current economic issues and economic strategies of China when this country was putting effort into rebalancing the economy, as well as evaluating impacts of this rebalancing process in Asia-Pacific Ocean area.
After that, Dr.. Pham Sy Thanh – Director of Chinese Economic Studies Program presented a report on “China rebalancing the economy and variable impacts on region”. In his presentation, Dr. Pham Sy Thanh pointed out that China seemed to retake its position from the Opium War, while the GDP of China accounted for 32% of total GDP of the world. Particularly, in the last 14 years, the growth rate of China was ten times higher than the US and twelve times higher than the EU. It meant that in term of “law of one price” comparison, Chinese economy’s size was greater than that of the US. However, in this period, China was being unbalanced both in producing and distribution. Dr. Thanh analyzed: “The most observable point is that the Chinese economy has to rely heavily on the investment. China is going against the world’s trend when they increase the investment rate up to 50% GDP, while other developing economies tend to decrease the investment rate to 20-30% GDP. In particular, in the period of responding to the financial crisis 2008-2010, China maintained the growth rate by investment as usual. A huge amount of investment was spent to the real-estate sector. Moreover, investment in railway and infrastructure is another familiar method of China”. The imbalance in growth creates many negative consequences such as increasing debts of firms and locals, wasted energy and pollution.
Dr. Pham Sy Thanh was presenting the paper
Later on, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh – Vice President of Central Institute for Economic Management presented about “China’s development shifts in current regional and global economic context”. In term of global, there was two biggest movements. It was the shifted power from the developed contries to the emerging countries as China. “This shifted power is continuing and has not yet reached the equilibrium. This process can last for another10 to 15 years, which creates the complex and unstable impacts on the region and the whole world”. – PhD. Vo Tri Thanh emphasized. He also pointed out two ambitions of China at the moment: (1) in term of foreign affairs, China wants to show that world their rising power in the fields of trade, foreign investment and the internationalization of CNY, (2) in term of internal affairs, in agreement with Dr. Pham Sy Thanh, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh believed that China was falling into the imbalance of consumption and investment, efficient growth issue, technology, management, environment friendliness, therefore China was yearning for structural rebalance. At a regional level, he analyzed the two dimensions of China’s impacts on Asian-Pacific countries, which were: the positive effects on those having the same direction of growth with China and the effects on others in ASEAN who bore the competition with China.
Dr. Vo Tri Thanh with the presentation: “China’s development shifts in current regional and global economic context”
In the second session, scholars continued discussing on China’s economic development strategy. The first subcommitee investigated the topic “China economy rebalancing and its impacts” by As. Prof. Ph.D. Nguyen Thuong Lang. He gave a presentation on “The four new emerging egdes of quadrilateral in East Asia and the inevitable strategy for the next 20 years”. According to Dr. Lang, there are 4 economies that can be seen as the four new edges of a polygon in East Asia, which are China, Japan, Korea and Singapore, each of which has its own core strong values. The fact that these four economies are simultaneously running in a rapidly changing world brings inevitable strategic choices for all economies and enterprises not only in East Asia but also over the whole world as a united body in the next 20 years.
From the left: Mrs. Tran Hoang Anh, M.A. Phung Thanh Quang, Dr. Pham Sy Thanh, M.A. Nguyen Thanh Trung
M.A. Phung Thanh Quang and M.A. Nguyen Thanh Trung – National Economics University talked about “Foreign direct investment (FDI) of China and Recommendation Policy for Viet Nam”. Since 2002, when China government set out strategy “exploiting foreign investment”, the capital flows of OFDI has significantly increased. The presenation focused on analyzing the current situation of OFDI in China, the government’s supporting policies, and the roles of state-owned corporates (SoEs) in implementing the OFDI. Whereby, the author group recommened policy for Viet Nam in term of using OFDI capital from China and of competition with Chinese enteprises in a number of major markets, Laos for example.
Afterwards, Mrs. Tran Hoang Anh, Management Faculty of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou China shared about “New orientation in microeconomic policy: the upgraded version of Chinese economy”. The speaker opened her presenation by pointing out the instability of the Chinese economy at the moment and stressed that “China cannot continue chasing the goal of high economic growth rate”. They need to have a sustainable strategy for efficient economic development. Then, she proposed a number of recommendations for the Viet Nam economic restructuring policies.
The second simultaneous sub-committee focused on the topic “China’s regional economic linkages and consequences”, starting with the prsentation of “China – Japan strategic competition in Asian – Pacific Ocean and impacts on region” delivered by speaker Bui Quoc Khanh from the Ministry of Public Security. The speaker analyzed the great strategy on the sea of China in order to have a clearer understanding on their process to modernize the navy, in line with evaluating the response of Japan in cope with China’s moves. The presentation attracted debates relating to the reason behind the strategic competition between China and Japan in terms of both soft and hard power and whether or not Viet Nam would fall into the dilemma between them two.
Mr. Bui Quoc Khanh giving presentation on ““China – Japan strategic competition in Asian – Pacific Ocean and impacts on region”
Being one of the countries influenced by the rise of China, Viet Nam need to have a flexible response strategy towards China’s strategy on the sea, especially after the HD981 Incident (May 2014). Discussing on this issue, M.A. Luc Minh Tuan from University of Social Sciences and Humanities, HCMC gave a presentation tittled “Synchronized cooperative initiative among media-legal-academic battles of Viet Nam in the East Sea dispute”. This synchronized method to deal with dispute with China proved to be efficient and gained support after the HD981 Incident, hence the speaker proposed it as the strategy for Viet Nam in response to further actions on China on the sea. This study received highly acknowledgement from M.A. Ho Cong Huong (Institute for Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment) and Dr. Vo Tri Thanh in term of appropriate approach, opening new direction for solving the East Sea issue.
MSc. Nguyen Quoc Truong was presenting the paper “Econoic Collaboration in widened Gulf of Tonkin: New context, new content and some issue raised for Viet Nam”
The last speech in the conference talked about “Econoic Collaboration in widened Gulf of Tonkin: New context, new content and some issue raised for Viet Nam” by MSc. Nguyen Quoc Tuong – Development Strategy Institute, Ministry of Planning and Investment. The speech focused on the changes of economic co-orperation in widened Gulf of Tonkin in the new context since 2012 when the new generation of Vietnamese leaders gained the power after the 18th congress and adjusted the foreign affair policies, when China became more active in pursing strategies towards their “strong nation on the sea” target and when there was changes in China’s relations with the US and ASEAN. According to the speaker, the idea of economic cooperation in the widened Gulf of Tonkin is not really a failure but it needs strong adjustments in the new context. Debating with the author, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh opined that Viet Nam need to re-consider our cooperation goals, regarding to the economic and political interaction brought by this collaboration, as well as taking China’s actions as necessary lessons.
The conference had a lively discussion participated by a great number of economic experts. They almost agreed in one point that in current context, China cannot continue to chase the target of economic development at the high growth rate. It was the time for China to solve the remaining problems targeting at sustainable development, increasing investment efficiency, decreasing the over-production, reducing environmental pollution and energy waste, etc. Besides, China needs to focus on administrative reforms, shifting toward stimulating the consumption demand. Regarding the economic cooperation between China and other countries in the region, scholars agreed that the rise of China worried other states. While China actively and aggressively pushed the econimic collaboration in the widened Gulf of Tonkin, ASEAN countries seems to have a cautious attitude and lack of consensus.
Furthermore, in the context of the economic rebalancing and the changes in China’s strategies, experts at the conference also suggested a number of directions for Viet Nam. In economic term, based on the search results on China, the biggest lesson for Viet Nam was: decresing the number of firms and sectors which the State envolves. Regarding international cooperation, experts suggest that Viet Nam should set the synchronized solutions on media-psychology-legality when resolving the East-Ocean problems, reconsidering the cooperation attitude in the new context and learn from the institutional reforms of China.
The conference on media
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Several images of the conference