Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at an online conference on science and technology with provinces and central level cities. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Scientific research must follow reality’s demands, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at an online conference on science and technology with provinces and central level cities on January 4.

Investment in science and technology should be made in line with real needs with priority given to projects of practical contribution to national development, the PM said.

He emphasized six factors ensuring the successful development of science and technology, which are institutions, mechanisms; human resources; financial resource; infrastructure; integration capacity; and the State management capacity.

“The general spirit is to release all innovative resources to take the country forwards and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) must submit solutions to remove barriers hindering the development of science and technology,” said the PM.

Leaders of ministries, agencies and local governments shared the view that science and technology are the driving force for socio-economic development.

In 2016, Vietnam’s budget for science and technology approved by the National Assembly was over 17.7 trillion VND (796 million USD), equal to 1.4 percent of the State budget.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, scientific and technological advances have contributed around 30 to 40 percent to the sector’s growth, helping raise the rice yield per hectare from 5.54 tonnes per hectare in 2011 to 5.77 tonnes per hectare in 2015, one of the highest yields in the region.
In the past, the country had to import 70 percent of domestic needs for plant and animal varieties, but the figure now has reduced to under 30 percent. 

In the industrial sector, domestic research institutes and enterprises have been able to produce sophisticated products or implemented big projects like the Tam Dao 05 Drill Platform.

Scientific and technological research activities have also helped promote innovative startups. Vietnam currently have around 1,800 startups and more than 20 foreign venture investing in startups in the country.

The science and technology sector has played an important role in dealing with natural disasters and environmental incidents and coping with climate changes.

Vietnam was ranked 59th in the Global Innovation Index  2016. - VNA