Building a constructive business environment for social service providers is a focal task in urban zones across Vietnam through 2020, Deputy Director of the Urban Development Department Nguyen Thi Ha Anh stated during a workshop held in Hanoi on April 15.

According to Deputy Minister of Construction Phan Thi My Linh, urban development in Vietnam has long focused on building infrastructure rather than improving associated social services, negatively affecting citizens’ living standards.

A lack of comprehensive government orientations and incentives along with incomplete relevant legal frameworks lie at the root of the issue, she said.

At the workshop, participating experts discussed a number of subjects, including international principles guiding the approach to basic social services and practical experience in providing educational and water services.

The World Bank has called Vietnam the fastest urbanising country in Southeast Asia. In 1986, only 19 percent of Vietnamese population lived in the cities. The figure climbed to almost 34 percent in 2013 and is expected to reach 45 percent in 2020.

In accordance with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's Decision No. 445/QD-TTg in April of 2009, Vietnam's master plan for 2025 includes the development of urban systems with modern, high-quality and environmentally-friendly technology and infrastructure.-VNA