At the high-level dialogue of the 4th Vietnam Economic Forum themed “Building up a resilient, independent and deeply integrated economy in the new landscape” that took place in Ho Chi Minh City on June 5, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Director of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) delivered his remarks on the challenges for Vietnam’s economy in 2022 due to the influence of the global economic downturn.

The Vietnam Economic Forum (VEF) is an annual event that has been organized by the Central Economic Committee since 2027. This year, along with a series of workshops, VEF hosts a high-level dialogue with the participation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, senior officials, economic experts from Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and local institutions.

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh delivers his remarks at the 4th Vietnam Economic Forum. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP

From the perspectives of a researcher, Dr. Tu Anh made his comments on the challenges for Vietnam’s economy, fueled by global challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine war making indirect impacts on energy and food prices and causing supply chain disruptions.

On the other hand, Vietnam should still pay attention to inflation rate, which has gone up to 8 percent in developed countries, despite the fact that it has not shown warning signs in Vietnam.

There are three reasons why Vietnam’s inflation rate is not high. First, given Vietnam’s trade openness, the country needs some time to “import” inflation. Second, Vietnam’s economic growth rate is not high, so is the inflation rate. Third, Vietnam is not affected by the surging prices of food as much as other countries in the world since Vietnam is a food exporter,” Dr. Tu Anh explained.

He mentioned economic downturn as one of the major challenges for Vietnam’s economy due to the reliance on the global economy; accordingly, the global economic downturn may badly affect Vietnam’s economy.

Dr. Tu Anh listed three factors that are putting huge pressure on Vietnam’s economy: inflation, financial and fiscal problems, especially bad debts, and the threats to growth prospects caused by the pandemic, the war, the supply chain disruptions and monetary contractions.

As a researcher, he also gave positive reviews on Vietnam’s macroeconomic management in the past two years.

Vietnam is still stable in a turbulent world. To put it another way, Vietnam is a shelter in the time of storm… For the first time in 20 years, we’ve managed to safeguard macroeconomic stability despite external shocks,” he commented.

👉 Click here to read more about the high-level dialogue on the government portal:

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), Fulbright University Vietnam, was recently honored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for his contributions to the training, research, and consultancy of economic policies over the past years.

On November 9, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Vu Quang Minh bestowed the medal “For the Cause of Vietnam’s Diplomacy” on Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh at the MOFA headquarters in Hanoi. Assistant Minister Vu Quang Minh noted that the medal represented the recognition and appreciation of Dr. Tu Anh’s significant contributions to the country’s foreign affairs in general and economic diplomacy in particular. Specifically, Dr. Tu Anh actively engaged in the training, research, and consultancy of economic policies, enhancing the country’s global integration and economic development.

Assistant Minister Vu Quang Minh said the Ministry wished to see Dr. Tu Anh and his colleagues – economists and scholars, continue to support the Ministry as well as other Vietnamese diplomatic agencies around the world to promote policy research and consultancy in international economics, development economics and global economic integration.

At the ceremony, Dr. Tu Anh thanked the Ministry for the medal and emphasized it was a great honor in his professional career. “This medal recognizes the contribution of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, the predecessor of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, and the Vietnam Program at Harvard for closely working with the Vietnamese government and MOFA to successfully organizing series of Vietnam Executive Leadership Program (VELP). From the beginning, VELP was set to be a formal forum for Vietnam’s predominant policymakers to exchange thoughts and ideas with the world’s leading scholars and experts,” he said.

Dr. Tu Anh pledged that he and FSPPM would enhance their efforts to cooperate effectively with MOFA’s agencies for the development of Vietnam’s diplomacy in general and economic diplomacy in particular, contributing to the implementation of socioeconomic recovery and development goals and enhancing the country’s sustainable growth.

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh believed many underlying problems with HCMC’s growth model have been identified for decades; however, the absence of an effective implementation mechanism is causing the city to lose its growth traction.

In a recent conference hosted by HCMC People’s Committee to formulate development strategies for the city from 2021-2030, academic think-tanks and policy experts were invited for their consultation on breakthroughs and solutions to tackle bottlenecks hindering HCMC’s growth.

By 2025, HCMC is committed to becoming a smart city focusing on modern services and industries, maintaining its status as the primary and dynamic growth engine for the South Economic Key Zone and Vietnam in general.

By 2030, HCMC aims to become a modern industrial and service city spearheading the nation in the digital economy and a prominent economic, financial, commerce, S&T, and cultural hub in ASEAN. Looking towards 2045, HCMC is expected to spur as an emerging economic and financial hub in Asia, with its GRDP per capita around 37,000 USD.

Among other speakers attending the conference, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, FSPPM Dean, identified fundamental problems and important considerations for leaders in devising development strategies for the coming period towards 2045.

Dr. Tu Anh’s speech is grounded on three overarching themes: positioning the city, growth incentives, and mindset looking for breakthrough accompanied by an in-depth analysis of how to address three underlying bottlenecks facing the city in infrastructure, institutional reforms, and human capital.

The vision of a mega-city

 Dr. Tu Anh emphasized positioning the city appropriately against its counterparts on the growth map as top priorities. The perspective that HCMC is Vietnam’s economic engine and growth driver partially reflects the true picture. Given its population scale, HCMC is essentially a “mega-city” and for its next course of action, HCMC should aim to become a global city and a prominent economic, financial, and cultural center in Asia.

“It is important that we choose the right track for our marathon. Our strategies, trainer, and resources have to adapt to the tournament we are competing in. As a result, how the city positions itself determines the level of the game we engage in. The current global landscape is completely different from what we knew 10 or 20 years ago, hence, our strategies must be totally revamped to take into account emerging factors.”

To realize such ambition, Dr. Tu Anh suggests that the city needs to set its priorities right considering constraints in time, resources, and human power. An appropriate set of priorities make sure opportunities and resources are optimized for the most achievable outcomes.

“An important question HCMC leaders need to ask themselves is whether manufacturing industries remain a top priority. Personally, I believe the city should move away from manufacturing sectors and towards services since the world we are living in is a post-industrial society. Continuing to invest in manufacturing industries will reap minimal benefits and forgo opportunities for greater growth in the next 10 or 20 years.”

 Increased productivity as the new growth driver  

In his analysis of new growth drivers for the city, the Fulbright expert argued that: cheap production costs, investment inflows from FDI and domestic private sector, and influx of immigrants have been driving HCMC’s enormous growth for a long time. Over-reliance on these factors may hinder the city from improving its productivity. First, productivity is the keyword for the next decade and the domestic private sector is counted on to trigger the productivity improvement.

“A dynamic private sector has endowed HCMC natural advantage over Hanoi and Da Nang,” Dr. Tu Anh noted.

Second, the city needs to work on building a competitive market to spur domestic competition. He believed this is an imperative mission since failure to create a solid competition market would drag the city to fall behind in its progress. Third, HCMC has to continue its national lead in market openness and integration into the global economy. Fourth, the city needs to put in place a mandate for productivity improvement and infrastructure development in which “infrastructure” is defined differently to integrate modern understandings of the concept. And last but not least, some core industries to fuel the next growth waves for the city must be identified, e.g., developing an international finance center based in HCMC (the finance center is rather a national project than a local one).

“Looking further to the next 10 years, we need to move on an innovation-based economy instead of looking upon investment and productivity for prolonged growth. Successful departure from the traditional model demands high-skilled manpower, innovative institutes, R&D centers, and a plethora of sound policies for innovation to take flight. We should not be dispersed in choices but rather focus on a few nucleus industries.”

 The futuristic vision

 For long-term vision, Dr. Tu Anh suggests problems facing the city should be considered in a new framework to seek effective solutions. Despite its lead in the country, HCMC might find it harder to sustain its growth rates under the conventional mindset lacking creative and bold ideas.

As evidence, he explained that infrastructure was previously defined as road, airport, seaport network, however, modern infrastructure including database, ICT systems, and data accessibility, transferability, and privacy. Our understanding of infrastructure should be renewed for greater competitiveness. On the other hand, for a long time, we were so eager with economic integrate. Although market openness is an evitable trend, Vietnam has missed one important thing: the domestic market and the competitiveness of private firms.

“These two factors exposed our vulnerabilities. An open market is important, yet domestic strength is what matters most. We must keep in mind no cities or country can grow strong and rich relying solely on external forces. We must nurture our internal strength. If we can keep the current growth rate, over 50% of the Vietnamese population will become global middle class in 2035. This is domestic demand, constituting a large domestic market for consumption. If we fail to grasp this opportunity of capturing this enormous potential market, we will lose a great deal to foreign investors while our private sector struggles to survive,” Dr. Tu Anh explained.

He also warned HCMC leaders of some long-term and irreversible trends, for instance, climate change and aging society. Finally, the city needs to take into consideration the fallout of trade wars among superpowers and its implications for Vietnam and HCMC. Strategies to behave appropriately under an emerging multipolar world divided by agitated conflict is necessary for the city.

Institutional reform is the key

Dr. Tu Anh once again reminded HCMC of three obstacles restraining the city’s growth: infrastructure, institutional reforms, and human capital. In order to realize the aforementioned ambitious objectives, the city has to come up with effective solutions structured under a new mindset to eradicate these growth traps. He emphasized institutional reforms as the top priority, stating that for the past 10 years, HCMC is no longer a source of inspiration for other localities in reforms and breakthroughs.

“Why did we lose the exemplary status? Without drastic reforms in the institutional environment, it is impossible for us to be on par with regional urban centers like Seoul and Singapore and we would eliminate ourselves from the race. Institutional reforms are urgent demands; however, we need to be very specific of what and how to reform.”

Dr. Tu Anh clarified for HCMC, institutional reforms involve changing management and planning approaches for an advanced urban city and improving the business and investment environment. In the past, the city focused on attracting low-cost labor with average skills. For the next periods, HCMC must strive to attract multinational corporations and prepare favorable working and living conditions for its immigrants and foreign corporations. Given the absence of modern living amenities, HCMC is stepping away from the global and regional race towards prosperity.

In regard to human capital, Dr. Tu Anh believed the focus on the number of graduates from the tertiary level should be shifted towards building higher-skilled workers and developing R&D centers to augment innovation capability. On the other hand, he believed excessive financial resources from HCMC is not necessary, instead, the city leadership could take advantage of a favorable institutional environment as political leverage to encourage market-led private investments.

He also emphasized the role of effective policy implementation on the city’s growth. Underlying issues articulated are not unfamiliar with HCMC leadership, yet the problem of how to construct an effective implementation mechanism remained unsolved.

“We all understand and acknowledge the fact so much has to be done, for example, the stranded infrastructure. We are aware of these bottlenecks 20 years ago. But why have we failed to tackle them? The plan to develop Thu Thiem as a modern city was first initiated 2-3 years after the advent of Pudong, Shanghai. Now, Pudong rises as a prominent international financial center while we still struggle with resettlement and relocation in Thu Thiem. We have set a straightforward development vision. We are fully aware of the obstacles and the following consequences if we cannot overcome them. Yet the dilemma remains that we cannot crack the code to implementation mechanism.”

 Dr. Tu Anh argued implementation mechanism is tricky and worth setting as the top priority of incumbent city leadership under this current term.

I hope HCMC leaders see this as a critical objective in their action plan for this term. We must fully commit to realize our objectives and reinstate citizen’s trust in the legitimacy of HCMC leaders,” concluded Dr. Tu Anh.    

Thúy Hằng

On June 27, Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) organized an event to introduce the Master in Public Policy program for the 2020 school year to interested parties, with the participation of FSPPM alumni and faculty members. 

FSPPM alumni shared their stories and learning experiences at FSPPM, testifying to the quality of training and the values fostered at FSPPM. 

One such alumnus is Nguyen Xuan Ha. In November 2019, Ha decided to quit his job at a foreign-invested company to work for a small-scale Vietnamese private company. This constituted a tremendous change for someone who had worked in foreign-invested firms for more than 20 years.  

After graduating from Foreign Trade University’s International Business Economics concentration, Ha applied his skills to shipping, logistics and freight forwarding. He advanced in his career path through various management positions, from head of sales department, to head of procurement unit and trade director.

As an experienced manager, he signed up for FSPPM’s Leadership & Management class of 2020. This is when, on the cusp of completing his master’s, he decided to quit his job at a German group to become the CEO of Cargo Care Logistics Corp, a Vietnamese private company with only around 70 staff. 

“It was a very challenging time for me. Just two months after taking the job, the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. The global economy and supply chains were badly affected. As for those working in logistics like us, the impacts also came from US-China trade war. When Covid-19 became a global pandemic, logistics firms, especially small ones, were really hit hard,” he recalled. 

Nguyen Xuan Ha

With the survival of the company hanging in the balance, he outlined a plan for major restructuring, re-assessing the effectiveness of business activities and the productivity of the staff. At the same time, Ha was still halfway through finishing his thesis, and decided to apply the lessons of leadership and economic management gained at FSPPM to solve his company’s problems. 

As Ha explained, this was the very time he realized that what he was learning in class had real value as effective tools to adapt to changes and challenges. He understood that classroom knowledge could really equip him with the necessary skills to drive the company out of a crisis. 

“I made the best use of what I had learnt from Fulbright school,” he emphasized. Nearly half a year after the Covid-19 outbreak, the company weathered the storm, regained stability, and resumed normal operation. 

Fulbright spirit 

Is this master’s program right for you? And if so, which concentration should you pick? When considering a graduate program in order to continue their education, or to upskill in the face of challenges, these questions are very important, recognized Prof. Pham Duy Nghia, FSPPM Director.

Public policy is an interdisciplinary major, and thus is not reserved for those working in the public sector. Highly applicable and drawing from a wide range of disciplines, it has become increasingly attractive to those from the private sector or working for social institutions. 

“No matter what your background is, you’ll find something relevant at Fulbright school,” Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong, a student of MMP2020 class, claimed. 

In 2015, Huong was selected as a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) fellow for a short course at Fulbright Economic Teaching Program (FETP), the precursor to FSPPM. That was her first time getting acquainted with Fulbright school. She was impressed with the dynamic and modern learning environment at Fulbright. 

No matter what your background is, you’ll find something relevant at Fulbright school – said Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong

In 2018, she found herself in need of policy-related knowledge for her job as a communication strategy consultant for NGOs. She did a little research and remained impressed with FSPPM’s training reputation and prestigious faculty, but felt somewhat reluctant when considering our undergraduate program’s strong economic and quantitative base, given the fact she held a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a social sciences background. 

In the end, she decided to apply for the graduate program at FSPPM, trusting it was the best public policy school in Vietnam. Although the program offered many courses focusing on economics, its methodical teaching framework quickly shored up her economic knowledge. With her serious learning attitude, she shot up to become one of the best performing students of MPP2020 class. 

“No matter where you are working in, economic or social areas, you will find something suitable for you at Fulbright. I was not left behind in this environment because I was inspired by and learned a lot from my classmates and professors. The key to surviving any challenging program is finding the best learning environment for you,” she explained. 

Over the past 25 years of its history, FSPPM witnessed quite a few students who had joined the graduate program and then returned to study again. 

Nguyen Xuan Dinh, deputy director of Vietcombank’s East Dong Nai branch, was a student at FETP in 2004. In 2008, he came back to pursue our Master in Public Policy program. 

During the event, he shared some of the memorable moments of FETP’s K9 class in 2004, when FETP was just a small institution tucked in a back alley on Vo Thi Sau Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. 

Nguyen Xuan Dinh

“There were 70 students in my class, who came from 56 provinces and cities across Vietnam. We lived together, studied together in the campus for the whole year. No one ever thought of going back home to visit their families because of the academic stress. We became close, even more than peers in college. After graduation, everyone returned to their hometowns, but we still kept in touch and supported one another in our work. There is one thing special about the Fulbright alumni community: you may not know each other, you may have never seen each other, but you can know they graduated from Fulbright after a short talk. There is a “Fulbright DNA” that helps us recognize each other easily. In my case, I’ve had several business partners from the alumni network. That Fulbright spirit really helped smooth our work,” he shared. 

The network of Fulbright alumni is one of the proud legacies of our school. Fulbright alumni work in various sectors and come from many parts of the countries. The Fulbright spirit is the thing that binds them together, helping them connect and support one another in their life and career path. 

A pioneer in public policy

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, FSPPM’s leading professor, said this year’s event reminded him of a momentous moment, a short year past. In the middle of last year’s event, he received the news of FSPPM’s accreditation by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). He had immediately shared the good news with the prospective applicants right then and there.

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh emphasized the school’s core principle: to be the pioneer in public policy teaching and research.

FSPPM was the first public policy school in Southeast Asia and among only 11 public policy institutions outside of America to receive the accreditation. 

When talking about FSPPM’s vision, Dr. Tu Anh emphasized the school’s core principle: to be the pioneer in public policy teaching and research. Accordingly, the school binds the public, private and civil society communities together in its public policy training environment. 

“From the structure of courses to the structure of students, our school always tries to connect all these communities. We aim to create a mini version of society in the class, involving all kinds of people that are related to policy: from policymakers in central and local authorities, to people working in private companies, university lecturers, and NGO staff. This will create a multi-dimensional space for discussions and debates, a public policy training in tune with the real world,” he explained. 

The professor further emphasized the keystone of FSPPM education: global knowledge is always localized, ensuring that the lessons learned fit in the Vietnamese context. And not just the knowledge: FSPPM students are also equipped with thinking methods, perspectives and attitudes towards current issues they can directly employ to bring forth constructive solutions tailored to Vietnamese society. 

In this year’s admission event, FSPPM for the first time held two demo classes for applicants to assess the teaching quality of the school. Prof. Pham Duy Nghia presented a case study: the Hanoi Urban Railway project for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong route. Case-study teaching was pioneered by FSPPM for our Master in Public Policy program and further refined over more than a decade. FSPPM inherited the cases archive from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School and has been constantly adding Vietnamese cases ever since. Students could approach international cases, compare them with Vietnamese cases, and draw key lessons for Vietnam. 

Led by Prof. Le Thai Ha, the second demo class introduced micro-economics through the lens of “Consumer Benefits and Policy Analysis”. 

In her lecture, Prof. Ha discussed social welfare, a highly relevant topic in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, a multitude of  governments around the world provided a variety of aid packages to families and companies in order to alleviate its negative impact on human lives and economies. Prof. Ha provided an in-depth analysis and insightful commentary on the effectiveness of these aid programs and how they affected consumer behavior.

Prof. Pham Duy Nghia

Xuan Linh

In July 2019, Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management has earned its accreditation from Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and entering the international network of leading public policy institutions. To international academics, NASPAA accreditation is commended as the “gold standard of public policy and management education.”

To Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh and his colleagues, NASPAA accreditation is the first medal obtained in their relentless race towards higher international standards over the past decades. Preceded by the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, the current FSPPM, had already firmly established itself as an outstanding public policy research and education institution within Vietnam. Yet complacency and contentment with the status quo or past glory have slowly eroded the foundations of many formerly successful organizations.

As such, international accreditation is not merely seeking recognition or prizes. Recognizing the pitfalls of “self-comparisons”, the board of the school set in motion the process of  “benchmarking against the world”. As Dr. Tu Anh puts it, “International accreditation is not our ultimate goal. We want to initiate the internal transformation to becoming a distinguished academic organization in the region and the world, striving towards the highest standards in academics, and making meaningful contributions to Vietnam society through our quality research and education activities.”

Impressed with “breakthroughs made by FSPPM in its search of international recognition,” Dr. Terry Buss, former Dean of Carnegie Mellon Public Policy School in Australia believes that “Fulbright School has great potential to be among reputable institutions in Asia Pacific region.”

Internal pressure to move forward

In its early days, FETP was hidden away in a small alley on Vo Thi Sau street, where classes with foreign lecturers were accompanied with interpreters and Vietnamese teaching assistants for language aids. It would be hard for these early cohorts to imagine their successors would one day take classes at prominent universities such as Harvard and confidently interact with international classmates and world-renowned scholars at these institutions.

The short course “Firms, Market and Economic Development in East Asia” last August at Harvard Kennedy School created a fantastic experience for Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Diep, Class 2020 of MPP Program – Leadership & Management. In over two weeks, participants attended courses by around ten professors, distinctive scholars in their respective fields and discussed the successes and failures of domestic firms as well as their effects on one nation’s growth and economic development.

“Despite its duration of around 2 weeks, this Harvard course was packed with astonishingly diverse and useful knowledge. Learners were immersed in the admirable learning environment of Harvard, debating and contemplating novel ideas with scholars well known for their academic achievements and deep understandings of Vietnam and its region. The instructors are always willing to answer in great detail long-standing questions we had. We are exposed to unique and diversified perspectives on controversial political and economic issues and practise essential skills for effective leadership and management in the public and private sectors,” noted by Ms. Diep.

Dr. Tu Anh believed that sailing FSPPM students to greater oceans and exposing them to international academic environment with foreign professors and classmates in world-acclaimed institutions is a strategic move of the school. In the past two decades, Fulbright worked hard to “localize global knowledge” and contextualize universal theories to equip leaders and managers with market principles and advanced management skills during the country’s transition towards reforms and modernization. However, the school has currently changed its focus on training the next generation of leaders with a “global mindset and willingness to make a positive impact on any fields they are devoted to, be it public or private.” A proven recipe for success, promoted by FETP for the last 20 years, is “to be excellent. The bar needs to be risen to allow to reach the world. International exchange programs will motivate our students to improve and compare with their international peers,” explained Dr. Tu Anh.

Dr. Elmendolf (right), Dean of Harvard Kennedy School during his visit to Fulbright University

In return, Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School, a long-standing academic partner of Fulbright believes there are many wonderful learning opportunities for Kennedy students when they participate in exchange programs with FSPPM.

“To a certain extent, challenges currently facing Vietnam are not uncommon to those we are grappling with in U.S., though set in a different institutional context. Therefore, the two schools (Kennedy and FSPPM) are shouldered with one same mission to address these global challenges. Knowledge transfer will drive innovation and transformation. I believe Kennedy students can gain a better understandings of development challenges confronted by developing countries and foster their new perspectives and experiences,” stated Dr. Elmendorf.

Continuing innovation – the DNA of pioneering institutions

“Benchmark against the world for knowledge innovation” is the philosophy adopted by Fulbright since the first days, unlocking the great potential of this 20-year-old institution to achieve even more. This philosophy inspires Fulbright to keep on innovating and improving beyond the school’s established reputation.

In order to meet the changing needs of labor market, innovation at Fulbright is not limited to the expected Master of Finance, Law or Business or to introducing new training programs, such as the Master of Public Policy in Leadership & Management. Innovation is woven into every level in FSPPM’s quest for solutions to Vietnam’s developing challenges, with issues ranging from urbanization, energy security, climate change, land reforms, and the environment, to sustainable development more broadly. Dr. Tu Anh revealed that his faculty are in talks with their Harvard colleagues to develop joint research initiatives serving as reference framework for Vietnam policy makers – a combination of universal knowledge and local policy actions.

One of the challenges Vietnam needs to address, according to Thomas Vallely, Director of Vietnam Program at Harvard University and founder of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program and Fulbright University Vietnam, is how to develop cities sustainably. Megacities such HCMC and Hanoi in particular should fulfill their great potential to be growth engines, driving Vietnam to the next level of modernization.

Mr. Vallely believes that Fulbright has a mission to pioneer the most urgent development issues facing  Vietnam’s growth, and therefore needs to redefine its direction to be more involved in policy research and dialogue focusing on megacities, particularly HCMC, given the lack of effective urban development strategies in Vietnam at the moment.

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh and his faculty share this view. In recent years, they have been proactive in their policy consultation projects for the HCMC government, ranging from making HCMC into an international finance center to research solutions that will improve the city’s transportation network reduce the environmental degradation common in urban cities.

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of FSPPM

Fulbright researchers have to that effect a huge advantage unique to our modern times. They have at their disposal more accurate and more reliable research tools, as well as many avenues to utilize big data. Although large dataset research is only introduced at a few public policy institutions in the world such as Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech for their research purposes, Dr. Tu Anh believes utilizing big data in research activities are instrumental for leading public policy institutions forward in our era of digital transformation. To keep abreast with this trend, FSPPM quickly recruited outstanding big data experts into its faculty, such as Dr. Huynh Nhat Nam, who has over 10 years of experiences in working for Australian government and universities in big data projects and developed simulation models for urban infrastructure networks. Soon after joining Fulbright School, Dr. Nam and his colleagues have successfully earned a research grant worth 10 billion VND from Vingroup Innovation Foundation (VINIF), opening the path to harnessing big data to develop optimal and cost-effective operations for the HCMC public transport system.

Recently, as the world is hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, FSPPM has been particularly engaged in policy consultations for the central government as well as HCMC authorities. FSPPM research teams built simulation models to describe and explain the underlining dynamics that govern the spread of Covid-19 in HCMC, one of the two pandemic hot spots in the country. The research findings are expected to provide policy makers more accurate information and forecasts as basis for proper and timely policy responses to contain the epidemic. To provide the general public with expert analysis on Covid-19 developments, Fulbright faculty have also led public webinars to discuss the implications of the virus on Vietnam from different perspectives, from economics to public health, law, or public governance.

Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School, celebrated in Vietnam in January 2020 the 25 years anniversary of the two school’s partnership, and was quite impressed with how FETP and FSPPM grew over time, never losing their pioneering momentum while maintaining their commitment to public service.

“Nowadays, there are few problems that can solved solely by the government or private sector. Greater cooperation from all stakeholders are required for any effective solutions. I believe Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management is best positioned to build these relationships and enlarge the views of challenges facing Vietnam today,” noted Dr. Elmendorf.

  • Việt Lâm


A research by Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of Fulbright School of Public Policy Management (FSPPM) and Dr. Tran Thi Que Giang, FSPPM’s senior lecturer was recently published by Oxford University Press – a prestigious academic book publisher. Their co-authored book chapter entitled “Vietnam: The Dilemma of Bringing Global Financial Standards to a Socialist Market Economy” has been compiled in the book “The Political Economy of Bank Regulation in Developing Countries: Risk and Reputation”.

The book contains case studies on the political economy of bank regulation on eleven countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It focuses on the ways that regulators are responding to international banking standards. These standards are intended for the regulation of large, complex, risk-taking international banks with trillions of dollars in assets and operations across the globe.

Yet they are being implemented in countries with nascent financial markets and small banks that have yet to venture into international markets. Why is this? Their chapters explore the political economy drivers behind regulatory decisions. The case studies show how governments and firms in the core of global finance powerfully shape regulatory decisions in the periphery, and provides insights into the ways that governments and firms from peripheral developing countries manoeuvre within the constraints and opportunities created by financial globalization.

The book is the result of a collaborative research project between academics based in the UK, Burkina Faso, Germany, Kenya, Switzerland, the United States, and Vietnam. They have a project website where you can find other publications and policy briefs, and more about the project team.

It is available for free on their website (click on the open access icon and you will get a PDF version). HERE

Quynh Chi