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Thúc đẩy tăng trưởng bền vững về kinh tế ở vùng đông nam bộ đến năm 2030 tt tiếng anh




Economic Development


HÀ NỘI – 2020

The thesis was completed at:

Scientific Advisor:
1. Assoc. Prof.Dr. Lê Thanh Sang
2. Prof.Dr. Nguyễn Trọng Hoài

Reviewer 1:
Reviewer 2:

The thesis will be defended at the Academy-level Judging Council
at: the Graduate Academy of Social Sciences, 477 Nguyen Trai, Thanh
Xuan, Hanoi
On …… hour, date ……… month …… year ……
The thesis can be found at:
- Library of the Graduate Academy of Social Sciences

- Vietnam National Library

1. Rationale of the study
Sustainable development and sustainable growth are based on a
harmonious combination of all three pillars of economy, society,
environment for the needs of the next generation. It becomes the most
effective strategy for long-term economic growth and development after
receiving the support of the participants of the UNCED Conference held
in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the WSSD Conference in Johannesburg in
2002. In Vietnam, Documents from the 7th National Congress to the 12th
National Party Congress affirmed that the direction of sustainable
development should be used as a basis for accelerating industrialisation
and modernisation to let Vietnam basically become a modern
industrialised country. In particular, the implementation of sustainable
development and economic growth in the region, especially in important
economic regions such as the Southeast region (DNB), is also proposed as
an important task for implementing the direction of sustainable
development nationwide.
The South East region has many advantages in terms of geography,
favorable climate, mineral resources, and abundant human resources. In

addition to the achievements such as the GDP growth rate of the region,
especially in Ho Chi Minh City (9.6%), Binh Duong (11.3%) or Dong Nai
(12%), which are higher than the general growth rate of the country
(5.6%/year), being the region attracting the most FDI in the country,
having the highest urbanisation rate in the country (reaching 64.15%) ... ,
but the region still faces many challenges in the process of sustainable
development and growth in the economy: while Ho Chi Minh City, Dong
Nai, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau show the rapid development of all
aspects. the growth rates of Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh clearly have not met
the expectations and real potential of these two provinces during the past
time; economic growth in the region is mainly based on broad growth
factors such as untrained labor resources, the increase of capital
investment, resource exploitation; The population is concentrated mainly
in Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City; The ecological environment in
localities has been degraded and seriously polluted.
Up to now, it is undeniable that there are many regional research
works of provinces, studies of the development of key economic regions
of the Ministry, the State as well as provincial and local plans. Despite the
values of their referencing and local development planning, the results of
these works are still mainly in the form of master plans, which give


directions for sector development and resource determination. regional
development (Nguyen Xuan Thu, 2006: 6). In other words, there are not
many works focused on analysing and assessing the status of equipment
security in the regions such as the Southeast region, pointing out
achievements and limitations in the process of economic growth of the
region, finding solutions and the new direction for the strategy to promote
the economy growth in the region to effectively deal with uncertainties and
challenges in the future. In order to meet the above requirements, the PhD
candiate decided to choose the topic "Promoting the sustainable economic
growth in the Southeast region to 2030" to be the doctoral thesis to
contribute to the theoretical and practical basis of evaluating the
sustainable regional economic growth, thereby helping the Southeast
region to come up with appropriate solutions to promote sustainable
growth in the economy.
2. Research objectives and missions
2.1. Research objectives
The thesis aims to further clarify the basic theoretical issues about
economic growth and the direction of regional economic growth in a
sustainable manner. On that basis, assess the current situation and propose
some solutions to promote sustainable economic growth in the Southeast
region with a vision to the year of 2030.
2.2. Research missions
Clarify the theoretical basis for sustainable economic growth in the
region and develop the criteria, indexes, measurement and indicators of
evaluating the sustainable economic growth in the region;
Assess the status of the economic growth model in the Southeast
region based on the criteria and sustainable economic growth index to
identify the limitations, weaknesses, and causes;
Propose the economic sustainable growth targets for the Southeast
region region with a vision to the year of 2030 and solutions to implement
and promote in order to achieve the proposed targets.
3. Subject and scope of the study
3.1. Subject of the study
The sustainable economic growth of the Southeast region of Vietnam.
3.2. Scope of the study
Scope of space: The research area of the thesis is the territory of SE
with 5 provinces and 1 city including Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung
Tau, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Tay. Ninh.


Scope of time: The thesis studies the status of sustainable economic
growth of the Southeast region from 2008 to 2017.
4. Methodology and research methods
4.1. Methodology
The study was conducted based on the common views of economic
development and the direction of sustainable economic development in
relation to other pillars of sustainable development, namely society and
environment. The organization and analysis process of data are based on
the following main theoretical grounds:
Theories on sustainable development, susbtainable growth and
susbtainable economic growth.
Inheriting achievements and research results from research works
related to the content of the thesis.
4.2. Research methods
Statistical analysis method is used to quantify and analyse the
collected data related to the socio-economic-environmental situation,
thereby clarifying the current situation of sustanable economic growth in
the region.
Logical assessment method is used to study the issue of promoting
economic growth in relation to sustainable development, assessing the
status of sustainable economic development process in the Southeast
region through analysing the unique advantages of the entire Southeast
region and make appropriate assessments.
Comparative method is used to compare the related data of the
Southeast region at different time, of the South East region with the whole
country at the same time.
In addition, a number of other methods are also used in the research
process such as interpretation, inductive methods...
5. Contributions of the thesis
Concluding lessons learned in the implementation of promoting
sustainable economic growth of regional economies in some countries
around the world, which can be applied to the Southeast region.
Systematising and supplementing the theory of substainable
economic growth of a region.
Developing a criteria to evaluate the sustainable economic growth in
a region in general and in the Southeast region in particular.
Systematising the data reflecting the current situation of sustainable
economic growth in the Southeast region in the period of 2008-2017.


Presenting and applying a comprehensive evaluation method to
determine the level of sustainability in the economic growth in the
Southeast region in the period of 2008-2017.
Proposing key views and solutions to promote sustainable economic
growth in the Southeast region region in the vision to 2030.
6. Theoretical and practical meanings of the thesis
6.1 Theoretical meaning
The thesis can be used as a reference to guide new research projects
for other regions or for a wider scale.
6.2 Practical meaning
The thesis proposes a set of criteria to evaluate the sustainable
economic growth for regions.
The thesis can be used to design the regional economic growth policy
for Southeast region to suit the new international and national context.
7. Structure of the thesis
In addition to the introduction, conclusion, list of references and
appendices, the thesis includes the following chapters:
Chapter 1: Focusing on the overview of domestic and foreign
researches related to the content of the thesis.
Chapter 2: Presenting a number of theoretical issues related to
sustainable regional economic growth including concepts, theoretical
basis, patterns, and influencing factors; assess international experiences
and lessons learned for the process of sustainable regional economic
growth in Vietnam.
Chapter 3: Analysing the current situation of sustainable economic
growth in the Southeast region, assessing the achievements and limitations
of the process of sustainable economic growth in the Southeast region in
the period of 2008-2017.
Chapter 4: Analysing new domestic and international contexts,
making forecasts on the growth of the South East region, and proposing a
number of views and solutions to promote the sustainable economic
growth in the Southeast region to 2030.

1.1. International research works
1.1.1. Research on economic growth models
Adam Smith's "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of
Nations" (1776) argued that society is a combination of individuals -


economic people, alliances. of exchanging relationships. In addition, he
argued that all personal communication is governed by their own
selfishness and interests. However, the impact of the "Invisible Hand" will
force economic people to protect the common good of society if they want
to protect their own interests, regardless of whether this is not intended.
Also in this work, Adam Smith also presented the theory of "Capital
accumulation". He argued that the source of labor wealth and social assets
depends on two factors: Number of employees in material production
activities; the development of labor division activities to increase
production productivity.
The theory of "Capital accumulation" by Adam Smith was later
inherited and developed by the economist David Ricardo (1817) with the
classic work "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation".
The Harrod-Domar model is a combination of two independent
studies by two economists Roy Harrod (1939) and Evsey Domar (1946).
Harrod-Domar stated that investment is the basis for creating future
production capital and production capital plays an important role in
increasing the size of the economy, in other words, by promoting the rate
of savings or the amount of capital invested, growth will be boosted.
The strong development of the modern scientific and technological
revolution led to the introduction of the Solow growth model (1956) with
the theory of "Technocracy" that made many new contributions in the
theory of economic growth. In particular, Solow emphasizes the role of
technical progress to economic growth when it is thought that the
development of production methods is the basis to maintain the expansion
of the size of the economy, thereby leading to sustainability of economic
By inheriting and applying the capitalist concept of classical
economics, Schultz divided capital into two forms: conventional capital
and human capital. He said that the development of health, education and
social security through investment will increase the quality, expertise and
technology of workers. Conventional capital has thus become human
capital, thereby increasing production output and promoting long-term
economic growth. Lucas (1988) built a growth model of the accumulation
of specialized human capital to supplement and develop the theory of
"Human capital". Accordingly, he divided capital into 2 types: "tangible
capital" (physical capital) and "intangible capital" (human capital).
The strong rise of globalisation requires the introduction of a new
stream of theory, the theory of "new growth", with two representatives


Romer (1986, 1990) and Scott (1989) to explain the economic growth in
the global economy. Romer's views were corroborated by Scott (1989) 's
study of capital-based growth models. In his paper, in addition to
emphasising the role of investment in economic growth (since investment
was the source of technical progress and human capital accumulation),
Scott supported the old-school economics view as he viewed capital and
labor were the determinants of "output growth".
Facing the economic downturns due to the negative impacts from
environmental pollution and exhaustion of natural resources, the urgent
requirement for the world economy is to implement restructuring. structure
and change a new growth model to ensure sustainable growth and
development. Most green economists agree to add the element of
ecological capital to the economic growth model and think that is the
decisive driving force for economic growth in the long term. On the one
hand, they still acknowledge the essential role of capital, investment, labor
and technical advances in economic growth; on the other hand, they
complement and emphasise the role of natural resources for economic
growth and the urgency of protecting natural resources to carry out growth,
as well as emphasise and expand the role of natural resources. government
in long-term growth.
1.1.2. Research on regional growth The theory of balanced growth in economics
The economists of this school think that in the process of
development and growth, all sectors are closely related to each other,
according to the relationship of one industry's input to the other. Therefore,
they support the growth direction of supply and demand in production,
especially in the industrial sector, and see it as the optimal way to achieve
a balanced development of the economy in a region. , territory.
Some influential representatives of this school include: (1)
Rosenstein-Rodan's big push theory (1943), (2) The vicious cycle of
Nurkse's poverty (1961) Theories about unbalanced growth in economics
This school argues that economic growth operates on the basis of the
rule of unbalanced, differential and specific growth, hence maintaining a
balance in the interdisciplinary structure is not really necessary.
Implications for regional connectivity, including intra-regional and interregional links, have also begun to be raised and discussed.
Some influential representatives of this school include: (1) the growth
pole theory of Perroux (1950) and Hirschmann (1969) growth pole theory,


(2) Friedman's central-peripheral theory (1966), (3) ) The reverse U-theory
of Kuznet (1955) and Williamson (1965).
1.1.3. Research on sustainable economic growth
The Brundtland Report emphasizes that the current growth trend is
not sustainable. For that reason, in order to ensure sustainable
development, reducing poverty through economic growth is not only a
duty of less developed countries but also a need to be implemented by
developed countries in the world through investing their capital in less
developed countries to promote the process of globalisation and promote
free trade between countries as well as pave the way for global sustainable
development (Hoyer and Naess, 2001). Economic growth, often
determined by GDP and GDP per capita, is the most effective solution to
solve the problem of inequality in living conditions between countries. In
other words, economic growth, in the form of income growth, is a
mandatory condition for the sustainable development process (Kemp and
Martens, 2007; Martens and Raza, 2010).
Economic growth to achieve sustainability today needs to emphasise
the factors of industrialisation and urbanisation (Ogbimi, 2007). Economic
restructuring is also a content often mentioned in the research related to
economic growth in general and sustainable economic growth in
particular. Temin (1999) further examined the relationship between
economic restructuring and economic growth by looking at changes in the
flow of agricultural labor in 15 European countries in the period of 19551975. The author then concluded that the economic growth rate tends to
increase by 0.8% if the proportion of agricultural labor in the total
workforce decreases by 20%. However, many studies also suggest that
restructuring towards modernisation does not mean focusing only on hightech modern industries and neglecting the role of agriculture and
traditional industry. Research conducted by Spence et al (2010) through
analysing the current state of economic development in China and
Thailand had concluded that growth in agriculture is one of the important
conditions for free labor to work and since the majority of the poor are
mainly located in rural areas, increasing agricultural productivity has a
positive impact on poverty reduction.
It can be said that the process of economic restructuring has a
significant contribution to economic growth and the role of the state
manifests itself in making appropriate policies to ensure a smooth
transition, thereby helping to keep the nation's economic growth over time
(Peneder, 2001). In addition, inheriting the conception of neoclassical and


new economic growth theories, many studies have investigated the role of
human capital in ensuring the sustainable growth in the modern economy.
Altinok (2007) argued that a causal relationship exists between the quality
of education and the quality of human capital. Accordingly, the
improvement and perfection in education is a decisive factor for the
improvement of the quality of human capital, which in turn leads to the
economic equipment of each country.
Besides, many issues are raised when considering the linkage
between the equipment and economy on protection of the natural
environment. In his paper, Solow (1991) viewed that economic growth as
the only condition to eradicate poverty can have negative effects on future
generations. Therefore, Solow (1993) argued that the economies of each
country need to find a way to pay environmental costs for the depleting
resources as an indispensable part to ensure the necessary requirements for
an intergenerational sustainable development process to go smoothly.
However, many economists, including Daly (1993, 1996), found that all
matters in the biosphere of this world are limited in number. For that
reason, the possibility of an infinite replacement of artificial capital for
natural capital, as Solow (1993) noted, is not really feasible.
The limited nature of natural capital, the limited capacity of artificial
capital, and the increase of environmental pollution, lead to an urgent need
for government intervention in order to develop strategies and policies to
manage and protect these valuable energy sources. Beckerman (1992)
strongly voiced his opinion to reduce the attention of global warming and
the environmental issues facing countries around the world. Kula (1998)
pointed out that many economic growth and development strategies in
many countries today, besides opening up new industries, contribute to the
renovation of urban infrastructure but also leading to unpredictable future
due to environmental issues often overlooked. The study then pointed out
the inadequacies of current economic development policies as one of
several causes of severe environmental pollution and the problem of
wasting materials in many countries.
Thus, it can be seen that many growth policies sometimes lead to
undesirable outcomes. Therefore, the policy of Sustainable Development
and Sustainable Economic Development needs to be assessed and
considered to be adaptable to the practical requirements at the time and
requires each country and region to take into account the management and
use these valuable natural resources as reasonably and efficiently as
possible to ensure the process of sustainable economic growth.


1.2. Domestic research works
In order to solve the problems posed by the fact that our country is
still at a low development and many regions have high poverty rates, a
number of scientific studies examining and assessing the reality of
Vietnam's economy in the direction of sustainable development and
sustainable economic growth are gradually increasing. The process of
sustainable development in general and the sustainable economic growth
in particular in Vietnam are still limited. Research conducted by Hoang
Thi Chinh (2012) analysed the scale of sustainable economic growth of
Vietnam in the period of 2001-2010 also pointed out the weaknesses of the
economic growth models at that time. The quality of human resources or
the quality of human capital have a strong impact on economic growth.
Nguyen Xuan Dung (2008) stated that the development of Vietnam's
industry, although fast in some key areas, has not shown the sustainability
in improving the potential of human resources.
The process of urbanisation also plays an important role and has a
significant impact on the sustainable economic growth of a country or a
region. However, many studies also show paradoxes and contradictions in
the process of implementing urbanisation in order to promote the
sustainable economic growth in our country this day. Nguyen Quang Vinh
(2013) in his study showed that the level of urbanisation in Vietnam in
general and the Mekong Delta in particular is still low and mainly
concentrated in a few big cities, thus causing population movement from
rural areas to urban areas and causing waste pollution in rural areas,
thereby negatively affecting the process of socio-economic development
in the rural areas of the regions.
In the concept of sustainable development, one of the important issues
is to find the harmony between economic growth and environmental
protection (Luu Duc Hai & Nguyen Ngoc Sinh, 2001). The Law on
Environmental Protection was amended and supplemented in 2005, which
clearly shows Vietnam's cognitive progress on the environmental impact
on the national economy. However, the lack of experience and effective
management capacity from the authorities and the effort of promoting the
goal of turning Vietnam into a modern industrialised country make it is
very difficult to strictly implement the Law (Clausen et al., 2011, Lafferty
and Hovden, 2003). Specifically, by analysing the data collected from the
General Statistics Office and many related sources, Ngo Thi Thanh Truc
et al. (2008) pointed out the instability and unsustainability in management
and use of chemicals in agriculture in the Mekong Delta. In addition, the


rapid increase of industrial zones in many regions of the country and the
limitation of investment resources in waste collection and treatment as
well as low environmental awareness in these industrial zones have led to
environmental pollution (Phuong Nhung, 2010; Le Thanh Sang, 2013).
The authors in Vietnam have defined the criteria to assess the process
of industrialisation and modernisation as part of determining the level of
sustainable development of the country or each region. Nguyen Ke Tuan
et al. (2015) in the book "Developing the country into a modern socialistoriented country" gathered quite a number of research works of the
domestic authors that propose the criteria for assessing industrialisation
and modernisation of Vietnam. Other studies, such as Ngo Dang Thanh et
al. (2009), proposed three basic groups of criteria, one for evaluating the
economic development and the second for evaluating the social
development, and the third is a group of criteria to assess the
environmental development, to reflect the level of the process of
industrialisation in our country. Do Quoc Sam (2009) based on data from
about 20 countries that completed the industrialisation process in the 19601970s and combined with other related criteria to build a basic criteria,
thereby assessing the process of industrialisation in Vietnam. Inheriting
the research results of the above authors, Nguyen Hong Son et al. (2014)
also proposed a set of criteria including 4 criteria: criteria on
income/person, criteria on restructuring, the criteria on sustainable
development and some reference criteria, in order to specifically assess the
level of industrialisation and modernisation of the country.
It can be seen that, for international research, the above studies bring
a high reference value when they have generalised the factors affecting the
process of sustainable economic growth, imposing an requirement that
sustainable economic growth must go hand in hand with the policise of
environmental and social sustainability through a rational social
management system, and approach these issues through interdisciplinary
and interdisciplinary method. However, the relevant research works do not
really provide clear policies and orientations for each growth period, and
do not show the feasibility of methods of sustainable economic growth in
each region. Most of the above studies are done with data from European
and American countries with the economies quite different from Vietnam
which is also a defect that is hard to ignore.
An overview of domestic studies shows that these researches are often
concentrated in the whole country and their approaches are at many
different senses. In other words, although there are many topics on


sustainable economic development in recent years, not many topics focus
on researching and giving specific policies related to sustainable economic
development in a specific region. In addition, similar to international
studies, most of the domestic researches usually focus on assessing the
impact of a number of factors affecting the economic growth process
without paying much attention to assess the combined effects of these
factors on the country's economic growth in general and in each region’s
in particular. In addition, specific methods to improve and promote the
sustainable economic growth and the contents of management and control
of policies to improve the sustainable economic growth at many levels
have not been clearly defined. The development of criteria and indicators
systems to assess the current status of sustainable economic growth at the
regional level is still ignored. It should be emphasised that economic
activities to promote development and growth are a continuous process not
only within each country but also within each region. This shows the need
for an in-depth study to comprehensively assess the process of sustainable
economic growth to become an important source of documents for the
suitable strategy of economic growth and development.
Chapter 1 has pointed out some limitations as well as clarifying some
gaps in the research related to the content of the thesis. For that reason, the
thesis focus on: (i) systematising the theoretical and practical basis in
assessing and reviewing the situation of regional sustainable economic
growth (ii) inheriting and applying the basis of above thesis to build a
system of criteria for the purpose of analysing and evaluating the regional
sustainable economic growth such as Southeast region; (iii) identifying the
peculiarities in the economic growth factors of the Southeast region to
propose solutions suitable to its regional characteristics.
2.1. Some concepts about regional sustainable economic growth
2.1.1. Region and economic region
Although there are many different opinions around finding a common
concept of region and economic region, but in general, many concepts
related to regions and economic regions acknowledge that each country is
a collection of many different regions and many different economic
regions will constitute the economy of that country. More broadly, while
region is defined as a form of physical existence limited to a defined space,
the economic region is considered a movement and development space for


many industries, sector, is "a relatively complete economic complex with
its specialisation closely associated with integrated development" (Thoi
Cong Hao et al., 2002; Nguyen Tien Dung, 2009).
2.1.2. Economic growth and economic development
a. Economic growth
According to Nafziger (1984), economic growth is defined as an
increase or decrease in output or income per capita of a nation's economy
over a short period of time (usually a year) or from previous period to this
period of time. This increase is reflected in the size and growth rate of
income. In particular, the growth scale indicates the degree of increase of
the economy, while the growth rate is used to relatively compare and
reflect the rapid or slow increase between two periods or more.
b. Economic development
According to Nafziger (1984), economic development is economic
growth accompanied by changes in output distribution and economic
structure. Thus, economic development reflects all changes in economic,
social, political, natural environment. In other words, economic
development includes the growth process, the process of economic
restructuring (towards reducing the proportion of agriculture and
increasing the proportion of industry and services in the economy) and
changing better in the context of society (increasing life expectancy,
reducing inequality in society...).
2.1.3. Sustainable Development
In 1987, in the Brundtland report titled "Our Common Future", the
World Commission of Environment and Development (WCED) proposed
for the first time an official definition of sustainable development as “a
development that satisfies the demand of this generation but not
compromises the ability to satisfy the needs of future generations...”
(WCED, 1987: 43).
In Vietnam, the Vietnamese Agenda 21 signed by the Prime Minister
has clearly defined the sustainable development strategy is to “achieve
material adequacy, spiritual and cultural wealth, the equality of citizens
and the consensus of society, the harmony between human and nature;
development must combine closely, reasonably and harmoniously the
three sides: economic development, social development and
environmental protection” (Prime Minister, 2004: 21). The 11th and 12th
Party Congress established the socio-economic strategy for the 10-year
period from 2011 to 2020 with many important contents associated with
sustainable development, including “sustainable development is the basis


for rapid development to create resources for sustainable development.
Rapid development and sustainable development must always be closely
linked in the socio-economic development plans and policies”
(Communist Party of Vietnam, 2011: 9).
2.1.4. Sustainable economic growth
According to Tran Binh Trong (2003: 309), sustainable economic
growth is “economic growth reaches a relatively high and stable level in a
relatively long time (usually a generation of 20-30 years)”. In addition,
based on the concept of sustainable development and the concept of
economic growth, it can be generalised that economic growth in the
direction of sustainability or sustainable economic growth is to maintain
the stability of economic growth in the long run in order to meet the needs
of current generation while maintaining natural resources and the
environment for future generations.
2.2. Models of regional sustainable economic growth and system of
evaluation criteria
2.2.1. Models of sustainable economic growth From economic perspective
According to Daly (1989), there are currently two most popular
models, the weak econmoc growth model and the strong economic growth
model. From environmental perspective
According to this approach, there are 4 models of economic growth,
a. Traditional economic growth model
b. Model of economic growth through remediation of pollution and
environmental restoration
c. Model of economic growth through control of environmental pollution
d. Model of green economic growth
2.2.2. System of evaluation criteria and methods for assessing regional
sustainable economic growth
The thesis has been based on the system of basic criteria related to
the system of monitoring and evaluating indicators for sustainable
development of Vietnam in the period of 2011-2020, the criteria system of
stone for regional sustainable development of Vietnam in the period of
2011-2020, together with inheriting the criteria for evaluating a new
growth model as announced by APEC leaders (2013) to structure the
system of criteria for regional sustainable economic growth. This is also
the basis for assessing the current situation of sustainable economic growth


in the Southeast region in the period of 2008-2017, including: 5
components with 15 components divided into 48 main indicators.
In addition, based on the criteria system to assess the sustainability of
economic growth of the region mentioned above, due to the fact that it is
difficult to collect all data of indicators. The thesis also propose a criteria
system of 14 indicators which have the most complete data source from
2008 to 2017 to determine the sustainable level of economic growth of the
Southeast region in the period of 2008-2017.
2.3. Factors affecting regional sustainable economic growth
2.3.1. Natural and socio-economic factors in the region
Including: (1) Natural conditions such as geographical location,
topography, climate, (2) Land resources, natural resources, (3) Human
resources, (4) Capital resources, (5) Science and technology.
2.3.2. Domestic institutional factors
Institutional factors including economic environment, political
environment, legal environment, and enacted and implemented policies
directly and indirectly affect the formation of complete and modern
economic structure. They create favorable conditions to promote the
strength of industries and fields of the economy as well as support the goals
of sustainable development at the national and regional levels.
2.3.3. International factors and conditions
2.4. Experience on regional sustainable economic growth of some
countries and lessons for Vietnam in sustainable economic growth in
the Southeast region
2.4.1. Experience of regional sustainable economic of some countries
in the world Experience of regional sustainable economic of countries in
a. Experience from central Thailand
b. Experience from Western China Experience of regional sustainable economic of countries in
Experience from Schleswig-Holstein state, Federal Republic of Germany
2.4.2. Some lessons from foreign experiences for regional sustainable
economic growth in the Southeast region
Firstly, it is necessary to focus on developing and persisting in
building highly productive industries but still showing the characteristics
of the region, thereby forming key economic industries and growth poles


to creating spillover effects to promote other industries to develop
Secondly, it is necessary to make full use of the natural geographic
strengths to support the process of economic growth.
Third, economic development and growth strategies need to have a
solid roadmap, goals and specific targets, in which the integration of
development strategies and plans for each sector and industry as well as
the participation of localities in the region are extremely necessary.
Fourthly, it is necessary to have the support and cooperation between
the state, local governments and local businesses to successfully
implement the economic growth strategy.
Fifth, the experience of Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) shows the
urgency of mobilising and building a separate budget and financial
mechanism, a development fund for the Southeast region.
Sixthly, the implementation of regional sustainable economic growth
must go hand in hand with environmental protection, combining economic
growth with environmental protection in order to build a clean, modern
and beautiful living environment for the people of the country in general
and of each region in particular.
3.1. An overview of the factors affecting the sustainable economic
growth in the Southeast region
3.1.1. Economic factors in the region Natural condition
a. Geographical location
Southeast region is one of two regions located in the South of
Vietnam next to Southwest region. The Southeast region includes 5
provinces: Dong Nai (DN), Binh Duong (BD), Ba Ria - Vung Tau (BRVT), Tay Ninh (TN), Binh Phuoc (BP) and Ho Chi Minh City. The
Southeast region possesses a favorable geographical position, abundant
resources and potentials in many aspects, and has great advantages to
expand the economic exchange and cooperation with other regions in the
country and in the world.
b. Land and climate conditions
The Southeast region has relatively flat terrain with diverse soil
structure. In particular, faded gray soil occupies the largest area of
Southeast region, followed by brown feralite red soil on basalt. In addition,


the Southeast region also possesses relatively harmonious climate
conditions and is less affected by natural disasters. However, the region is
still affected by drought due to the dry season lasting from 5 to 6 months,
making it difficult for producting and living at that time of year.
c. Natural resources
The Southeast region possesses many kinds of mineral resources,
abundant water resources and tourism resources. Investment capital for socio-economic growth and
The Southeast region is able to attract a lot of domestic and
international investment capital. This creates a great force for the process
of production development thereby promoting general growth and
economic growth in the region in general and in each region in particular. Human resources - labor
The Southeast region has a high population growth rate. In addition,
the trend of labor restructuring from agricultural group to non-agricultural
groups is taking place stably. However, unskilled labor is still the main
source of the region.
3.1.2. Impact of domestic institutions
The Southeast region has always been strongly supported by the
Government through many guidelines and policies. In general, the national
and regional policy institutions have been reviewed and re-evaluated as
well as have many innovative adjustments to be more detailed, clear and
practical throughout the years. This shows the Government's
determination to create the best possible conditions for the Southeast
region to implement innovation, build and deploy strong and specific
strategic goals to create the sustainability and growth quality of the region.
However, the implementation of issued policies is still an issue that
needs to be considered. The fierce competition among localities to attract
investment leads to the trend of omitting or mitigating discipline and
sanctions for violations. The synchronous coordination among localities,
especially in bringing together to solve existing issues that may affect the
sustainable development of the Southeast region, has not been
implemented smoothly.
3.1.3. Impact from international conditions
The Southeast region attracts a lot of foreign investment capital and
receives new technology as well as is advantageous in exporting
commodity products. However, the region also faces strong competition
from other countries’ goods after joining trade agreements. In addition,


although the region attracts a lot of FDI capital, it is still based on the
"static competitve advantage", mainly with the dynamics of light
industries and food industries, accounting for a large proportion.
The influence of trade relations with other countries around the world,
including: China; America, Europe, Korea, Japan; ASEAN countries, also
have a significant impact on the growth and development of the Southeast
3.2. Analysis of the current situation of sustainable economic growth
in the Southeast region
3.2.1. Rapid growth group associated with regional economic
It can be said that the growth process of the Southeast region has had
many complicated changes with quite large fluctuations between years.
This proves that the economic growth of the Southeast region is
experiencing a "hiccup" growth phenomenon with many years of high and
low growth and it partly shows the instability in economic growth of the
Southeast region in the period of 2008-2017.
3.2.2. Group of effective regional economic growth
Increasing investment in the region has led to the introduction of
many new projects being implemented in the Southeast region. In addition,
the rapid increase of social labor productivity of the region also partly
reflects the remarkable development in labor qualifications, the ability to
apply science and technology, and modern machinery compared to the
country in general and other regions in particular. However, similar to the
GRDP growth rate of the region was negatively affected by complicated
developments in the domestic and foreign economic situation as well as
world oil prices, the growth rate of labor productivity is not really stable
during this period. This shows the shortcoming in current production
processes of the region and it requires a specific solution to solve these
3.2.3. Group of environmental sustainability
The forest area of the region is generally maintained at a stable level
due to the effort of protecting and preserving the sustainability of forest
ecological environment. However, despite the relatively high rate of
construction of wastewater treatment systems in the region, violations of
environmental regulations in many industrial parks and FDI projects in the
region have occurred frequently. This makes many canals in Ho Chi Minh
City such as Ba Bo, Thay Cai...became dead canals with a strong odor due
to the huge flow of waste from industrial production and local lifehood.


3.2.4. Group of creativity
The Southeast region is the region with the best TFP growth rate in
the whole country, with the overall TFP growth rate in the period 20082014 reaching nearly 6% per year. This is also the area that is not heavily
affected by financial crisis 2018 as its TFP only decreased by about 2%
during this period and has continued to recover strongly. Even so, the
proportion of TFP's contribution to GRDP growth rate across the region is
still low. This shows that the economic growth of the Southeast region in
this period is mostly due to the contribution of capital, especially foreign
investment (FDI) and labor resource. This type of growth is not sustainable
and short-term.
The rate of trained and graduated university workers in the region is
still very low and it is not really commensurate with its leading role in the
national economy. This partly reflects the shortage of skilled labor force
in the region. In addition, there is still a division of labor skills between
localities in the region and qualified human resources tend to concentrate
mainly in some areas with higher development such as Ho Chi Minh City
and BR-VT. This requires an appropriate solution to ensure the balanced
development among localities in the region.
3.2.5. Group of balance
Export turnover of the Southeast region is tending to outperform
imported imports. Overall, this is a positive signal for the regional
economy to ensure foreign exchange reserves and help stabilize the macro
economy. However, it must be recognised that the export of the region still
depends on the import of raw materials. In particular, support industries of
the region in particular and Vietnam in general have not developed
The deficit and instability in the national trade balance are still quite
large. Therefore, the deficit in the international payment balance will still
be a big challenge for the economy as it has to cope with external shocks
and low and uncertain foreign exchange reserves of the country.
The Engel coefficient of the region is quite low, showing that the
proportion of costs for food and beverages in household consumption in
the area is quite low, thereby reflecting the high standard of living and
quality of life of the population here. Although the poverty rate is low, the
inequality of income distribution (GINI) is still quite high, reaching an
average of 0.4. This reflects the income gap between the social strata
within the region.
3.2.6. Group of safety


The statistics show that the surplus of state budget revenue occurred
continuously in the Southeast region during the period of 2008-2017. In
general, this is a manifestation of a healthy and stable situation in the state
budget and creates a basis for increasing financial reserves for the region.
However, the current situation of the integrated and equalized structure of
revenue and expenditure is making the region unable to create and use the
revenue with its own strength.
In terms of security and social security, the statistics show that the
number of deaths due to traffic accidents in the region has decreased. In
addition, the proportion of malnourished under-5 children in the whole
region (among 100 children) has decreased. Even so, this rate is still quite
high. In addition, although the number of hospital beds per ten thousand
people in the region has improved a little bit over time, the number of
doctors per ten thousand people in the whole region has decreased.
The issue of safety of environment and hygiene in the region is
currently being paid attention by local authorities with appropriate
solutions. This is reflected in the indicators of environmental safety such
as the proportion of households with hygienic water sources, the
proportion of households using hygienic toilets and the proportion of urban
population provided with clean water and the rate of solid waste treatment
to meet environmental standards during 3 years from 2015 to 2017 are all
improved and are close to 100%.
3.2.7. The level of sustainable economic growth in the Southeast region
We determine the sustainability of the South East region in the
following stages:
S2008-2012 = V*𝐵2008−2012
= 2.1998 -> Medium sustainability
S2009-2013 = V*𝐵2009−2013
= 2.2317 -> Medium sustainability
S2010-2014 = V*𝐵2010−2014
= 2.2561 -> Medium sustainability
S2011-2015 = V*𝐵2011−2015 = 2.2770 -> Medium sustainability
S2012-2016 = V*𝐵2012−2016
= 2.2816 -> Medium sustainability
S2013-2017 = V*𝐵2013−2017
= 2.2459 -> Medium sustainability
3.3. General assessment of the current situation of sustainable
economic growth in the Southeast region
3.3.1. Achievements
Firstly, economic growth indicators such as GRDP per capita, labor
productivity, GRDP structure of non-agricultural areas of the region
always occupy an overwhelming proportion in GRDP structure of the
whole region. Secondly, the total state budget revenue in the region


increased; Thirdly, the attraction of investment capital in economic growth
activities has achieved positive results, becoming one of the important
driving forces for economic growth; Fourthly, many aspects of social
security and environment have remarkable improvement.
3.3.2. Limitations
Firstly, the region's economic growth in the period 2008-2017 is
uneven and unsustainable; Secondly, the regional structure of the region
in the period of 2008-2017 is uneven and unsustainable; Third, investment
capital for development is low; Fourthly, there are still many limitations
on the quality of human resources of the region; Fifth, environmental
pollution, especially in industrial zones, still exists; Sixthly, the level of
sustainability in the economic growth process in the region in the period
of 2008-2017 is still not commensurate with the potential and advantages
of the region.
3.3.3. The cause of the limitations
Firstly, mechanisms and policies for planning economic growth in the
region are not flexible; Secondly, although the education and training
system is paid attention, the quality of training is limited and fail to meet
the needs of society; Thirdly, difficulties in using limited investment
capital to achieve efficiency; Fourthly, the infrastructure system has not
kept up with the needs of economic growth and development and is
increasingly overloaded; Fifth, the mechanism of management and
handling of violations is still loose, not enough deterrent.
4.1. New development context
4.1.1. New context of global and regional scenarios Globalization and economic integration Complex movements of global politics Trends in science and technology development Increasing global climate change
4.1.2. New context of the country
Regarding to the national socio-economic development strategy, the
8th National Congress stated that by 2020 our country will become “a
modern industrialized country”. The 12th National Congress held in 2016
then made adjustments in the socio-economic development for the period
of 2016 - 2020 which defines the objectives:


“Ensuring macroeconomic stability, striving for economic growth to
be higher than 5 years ago. Promote the implementation of strategic
breakthroughs, restructure the economy associated with innovation of
competitiveness...Promote industrialization, modernization, and try to
make our country become a modern industrialized country.” (Document
of the 12th National Congress: 60).
4.1.3. New development contexts of the Southeast region
The Southeast region has continuously maintained its role as one of
the most developed regions in the country. Regarding the strategy of socioeconomic development to 2020, the Prime Minister approved Decision
No. 943/QD-TTg with the goal that by 2020, the region must be built and
developed to become a driving force for the process of growth and
development of the whole country; become the major economic, financial
and commercial center of the country and the region. However, the
development situation of the region still has many shortcomings. The
environmental quality is declining due to the consequences of the
expansion of the industrial parks and the lack of coordination between
localities to address the pollution, it causes many places to be seriously
polluted and affected the lifehood of people living in the region. Although
human resources are numerous, they are not sophisticated, the quality and
level of human resources do not meet the needs of key economic sectors,
especially in areas related to high-end science and technology. The uneven
development process among the provinces and cities in the region makes
the disparity of regional socio-economic development level become
increasingly clear.
4.2. Forecasting and identifying growth cases of the Southeast region
to 2030
4.2.1. Cases of regional growth of the Southeast region to 2030 Case 1
The more developed localities (HCMC, BR-VT and BD and DN)
continue to be the priority localities for development investment, thus
becoming a driving force for the process of growth and development of
the whole region. Case 2
The Southeast region does not focus on promoting economic growth
in more developed localities. Case 3


The more developed localities successfully take advantage of the
investment capital to make a breakthrough in economic growth, advanced
infrastructure, developed high-tech industries with a group of professional
and technical workers available.
4.2.2. Identifying growth possibilities of the Southeast region in the
period of 2020-2030
Comparing all 3 cases, it can be seen that case 1 is the feasible case
and brings the most prospects for growth and development in the South
East region to 2030.
4.3. Perspectives and goals for sustainable economic growth in the
(1) Restructuring the regional economy towards promoting
advantages and close links among localities in the region; (2) Focusing on
developing but paying attention to the development of all localities in the
region to ensure the growth stability; (3) Gradually transforming to a green
economy based on high science and technology, high quality human
resources and modern management; (4) Agricultural development on the
basis of close association with industry and services in the region; (5)
Regional economic growth must be in harmony and promote regional
sustainable society and environment.
4.4. Some key solutions to promote sustainable economic growth in the
Southeast region
4.4.1. Group of solutions for the state level
(1) Adjusting the regional economic development strategy and plan
to 2030 to suit the new international, domestic and regional context; (2)
Developing the institutional management of regional development.
4.4.2. Group of solutions for local authorities in the Southeast region
(1) Carrying out the modern restructuring of economic sectors in the
region; (2) Promoting the high-quality human resource training and
development to meet the region's labor needs, aiming to become the largest
high-quality human resource training center in the country; (3)
Modernising the science and technology in the region; (4) Synchronously
modernising the infrastructure systems in the region; (5) Promoting green
growth on the basis of environmental sustainability.
The Southeast region is a dynamic region with a particularly
important position in the national economy. In general, the economic
concentration process of the Southeast region in the period of 2008-2017
has achieved some certain achievements. However, the analysis also


reflects the limitations that exist in the period of 2008-2017 and these
limitations may have a negative impact on the process of regional
sustainable economic growth in the short and long term. In addition,
although the level of sustainability in the region's economic growth in the
period of 2008-2017 has been improved over time, but it is only at an
average level.
With a fairly wide scope of research and complex topics, the thesis
still have some issues in systematising related issues; The arguments and
solutions built in this thesis also need more time to improve. Due to
limitations of time, resources and research capacity, the thesis still has
some shortages, including objective limitations from existing data sources.
Currently, it can be seen that the development of a set of indicators
for assessing sustainability in economic growth at regional level has not
been consistent and the data that can be collected are not really
comprehensive. This is suggested for future researches to focus more on
solving these issues for providing a better solutions for sustainable
economic growth of the Southeast region in particular and other regions in


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