The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) along with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on May 3 held talks to discuss the use of other indices rather than GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to measure national prosperity.

The event entitled “From GDP to new prosperity indices” was attended by specialists from Belgium, UNDP, the European Union, VASS and Vietnamese organisations and agencies.

Until now GDP has been used as a tool to measure national prosperity, but the world has recently taken into account various new indices to assess prosperity. Some countries are considering alternatives, of them Bhutan has switched to gross national happiness index instead of GDP.

Professor Isabelle Cassiers, an economic specialist at Belgium’s Louvain University, said that capital should include natural capital and social capital while GDP only involves economic capital, overlooking other aspects such as inequality in gender, income and accessibility, life satisfaction and work quality. However, no other index can replace GDP entirely by now.

Participants noted that Vietnam’s ecological and biological diversity indices are much higher than GDP but still lower than the world’s average.

They said the country should take into account sustainability, inequality and other social aspects to calculate prosperity.-VNA