Representatives from Vietnam's development partners on Oct. 4 agreed that the country should restructure public investment to foster "quality" growth at a workshop held to assess the Ministry of Investment and Planning's five-year socio-economic development draft.

Deputy Minister of Investment and Planning Cao Viet Sinh said that the mindset related to public investment has to be redirected toward decreasing investments and mobilising non-budgetary funds from other economic constituents to develop the economy.

Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, Minister Bui Quang Vinh said that public investment has decreased from roughly 42 percent during 2006-10 to 33 percent in 2011. At the same time, the minister noted that there has been too much reliance on the national budget, which increases risks to the economy over a long-term period.

Other elements of the draft pertain to curbing inflation, stabilising the macro-economy, maintaining reasonable growth associated with economic restructuring and facilitate sustainable development by 2013, Sinh revealed.

Most donors supported a reasonable growth rate of 6.5 percent over the next five years instead of 7 percent, which will allow the country to improve social protection policies, increase basic services for the poor and the most vulnerable, and create more jobs. Eamonn Murphy, the UN resident coordinator in Vietnam , said that the country has to pay attention to equity issues as economic growth alone can not ensure human development.

Rie Vejs Kjeldgaard, ILO representative in Vietnam , applauded issue of labour being pushed to the forefront in an aim to reduce the unemployment rate among workers in urban areas to below 4 percent, creating jobs for over 8 million during the next five years. More detailed planning is needed however, she confirmed.

The draft will receive further comments from international donors before being finalised and submitted to the National Assembly at the end of October./.