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Labour productivity critical for growth: minister

HA NOI — Improving labour productivity is now critical for Viet Nam to boost gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to become an industrialised and upper-middle income nation in the next two decades.

 

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that with an ambitious goal of achieving a GDP growth rate of 7 per cent to 8 per cent set in the Socio-economic Development Strategy in the 2011-20 period, the Southeast Asian country must shift its economic growth model from extensive to intensive, and the core issue in the transition process was improving labour productivity.

According to Nguyen Quoc Viet from the Viet Nam National University’s University of Economics and Business, limitations of an extensive economic growth model which are based on the expansion of the quantity of inputs such as capital, labour, and resources, were hindering the implementation of economic stimulus policies.

Viet wrote in a story published on bnews.com that the capital now contributed around 60 per cent to GDP growth while total factor productivity (TFP) contributed about 25 per cent, compared to the rate of 50 per cent in developed economies.

An analysis by the General Statistics Office (GSO) said that labour productivity of Viet Nam remained lower than other countries in the region and was uneven between industries. The statistics office said that the gaps between labour productivity based on purchasing power parity in 2005 of Viet Nam were widened during 1994 to 2013 period with Asean+4 countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by between 50 per cent, 43 per cent, 17 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

The Statistics office said that this was due to the slow economic growth model transition, with labour in the farming sector accounting for a large percentage with low productivity.

According to Nguyen Thi Huong, Director of GSO’s Agricultural Statistics, many labour-intensive industries such as the farming sector had low added value, resulting in low productivity.

The 12th National Party Congress’s documents also pointed out problems of the Vietnamese economy. There was heavy dependence on investments for growth, low-skilled labour, modest application of science and technology, and slow improvement in productivity.

Improving labour productivity and growth quality were the two most important issues for Viet Nam with regard to macroeconomic stability, economic efficiency and sustainable development, experts said.

“Increasing labour productivity is the only way to reach a GDP per capita between US$15,000 and $18,000 by 2035,” Vinh said.

The TFP of Viet Nam must be increased to around 35 per cent to enable the country to fulfil its goals by 2020.

An economic expert said that one solution to enhancing labour productivity was shifting to sectors with high content of science and technology and high added value from sectors such as support, IT and processing.

Developing the private economic sector was also important to drive the development of a skilled labour market and improve management capacity, which would contribute to boosting productivity.

Christine Largarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, at a meeting with students of the National Economics University last week urged Viet Nam to boost labour productivity, adding that local SOEs and private companies currently have very low productivity, which was only about one-fifth of that of foreign-invested firms.

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Campaign ramps up cybersecurity

Intellectual protection enforcement agencies nationwide have handled 26,004 cases, with imposed fines totalling VND68 billion (US$3 million), according to Tran Minh Dung, chief inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Dung announced the figures yesterday at the launch of the one-month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day.

Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh speaks at the event. — Photo VNA

Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh speaks at the event. — Photo VNA

Dung said that according to rough statistics from Task Forces (Program 168) in the term 2012-15, enforcement agencies confiscated and destroyed or removed about 70 tonnes of food; tens of thousands of imported bottles of liquor; nearly 27,000 medicine products; 80,900 fertilisers, and millions of electronic goods, handbags, footwear and clothing, all of which faked trademarks and infringed the rights of genuine industrial property owners. They also confiscated tens of thousands of stampless and illegally-imported CDs and DVDs.

In computer software ownership enforcement alone, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Culture-Sports-Tourism (MOCST) Vu Xuan Thanh said, “In 2015, MOCST inspectors spot-checked 89 companies for compliance with existing computer software ownership laws in various places nationwide. Inspecting teams examined 3,942 computers and issued fines for civil offenses worth VND2.5 billion.”

As chairman of the one-month campaign’s launch, Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh said the purpose of the initiative is “press ahead the establishment, application, development and enforcement of IP rights; ensure that IP rights become a useful tool to promote science and technology development, and socioeconomic development as a whole; and create society-wide awareness on the need to observe international agreements related to IP.”

The campaign, lasting from March 31 to April 30, will sponsor educational and training activities, followed by enhanced enforcement activities in the following months, Thanh said.

“Going forward, to stick to Viet Nam’s TPP commitments, we will scan, revise and update our legal framework related to intellectual property, especially in association with patents, trademarks, geographical indications, know-how, copyrights and enforcement of intellectual property rights,” Thanh said.

“Keeping this in mind, the Vietnamese Government and the country’s entire intellectual property right registration and enforcement system are making steps to improve and take to new heights the efficacy of intellectual property right protection and enforcement in Viet Nam.”

Building on the many years of co-operation with Vietnamese governmental bodies, Roland Chan, a senior director of BSA-The Software Alliance, said that over the years, BSA has initiated many awareness campaigns aimed at educating and assisting companies to address their software licensing and management issues.

Roland said the programmes have been successful, but they are now seeing a rise in cybercrime, which transcends borders. Organisations and business owners must be vigilant to protect themselves and their businesses from the growing threats of malware and data theft through the adoption of an effective and efficient software license management practice, Roland said.

The good news is that with effective management of software assets, the risk of a cybersecurity breach is greatly diminished. Part of BSA’s goal in this new campaign is to draw greater awareness of cybersecurity risks that come with the use of unlicensed software.

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Kaspersky Lab, WISeKey launch mobile app to secure users’ data

Kaspersky Lab and Swiss cyber security company WISeKey have launched a special edition of the cyber-resilience app WISeID Kaspersky Lab Security that integrates the best technologies from both companies to offer safety for mobile users’ data.

WISeID Kaspersky Lab Security protects mobile users' personal information from cyber criminals. — VNS Photo

WISeID Kaspersky Lab Security protects mobile users’ personal information from cyber criminals. — VNS Photo

The new app locks personal data such as account usernames and passwords, credit card numbers and access PINs into a secure personal data organiser, creating accountable identities for online activity while the data itself remains protected in a secure cloud vault.

It includes Kaspersky Mobile Security SDK, a robust and proven solution for protecting mobile phones against security threats. Its inclusion delivers advanced security features like web and network protection, device protection and risk detection.

WISeID keeps passwords in an encrypted vault, generates hard-to-crack passwords, and safely synchronises data between computers and devices on multiple platforms using secure cloud storage.

Mobile security threats are increasing in number and sophistication. Though mobile operating systems provide app developers with significant security features, hackers are still able to use many different infection vectors to place malware.

WISeID is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac OSX, Windows, and Kindle.

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VN network security at high risk: experts

Viet Nam is a main target for hackers in the network environment, said Nguyen Van Thinh, deputy head of the Department of Cyber Security under the Ministry of Public Security, at the Security World 2016 conference on Tuesday.

Up to 600 hacker groups attacked Vietnamese e-portals last year, and most of the attacks came from abroad. — Photo genk.vn

Up to 600 hacker groups attacked Vietnamese e-portals last year, and most of the attacks came from abroad. — Photo genk.vn

The event aims to set up security measures, ensure information security for e-Government, propose measures to protect enterprises’ databases and curb data leaks.

Thinh attributed the increasing number of attacks to serious security loopholes that have not been repaired on most electronic websites and information portals.

Up to 600 hacker groups attacked Vietnamese e-portals last year, and most of the attacks came from abroad. Foreign hacker groups continuously attack specific targets with upgraded malware, experts said.

According to Truong Thi Le Thuy, director general of Cisco Viet Nam, hackers are continually developing their technology and strategies, which are becoming more sophisticated in order to steal information, data and money without being detected.

“Network security in Viet Nam is facing an alarming situation, which requires organisations and businesses to urgently find technological solutions to protect themselves from unforeseen security invasions,” Thuy said.

To protect information security in Viet Nam, Thinh suggested solutions including strengthening communications and education to raise awareness on insecurity, as well as writing and enacting provisions and laws to address the problem.

In addition, he also proposed the early promulgation of instructions for the law of cyber information security and international co-operation in the field of information security.

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