The World Bank in Vietnam and Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper have started a writing contest which encourages local youths to share their wildest, yet feasible, dreams about how Vietnam will change in 20 years’ time.
The global economic organization and the Vietnamese news agency introduced the contest to students at the Academy of Journalism and Communication and Foreign Trade University in Hanoi on Monday and Tuesday.
The writing competition is named “Ky Vong Viet Nam 20 Nam Toi” (roughly translated as “My Expectations for Vietnam in 20 Years”).
According to journalist Le Xuan Trung, general managing editor of Tuoi Tre, the contest has drawn 190 entries since being launched 20 days earlier, with an average of around nine submissions each day.
“The number of entries has far exceeded our expectations,” he added.
The youngest contestant is 15 while the oldest is aged 84.
Trung added most contestants expressed their expectations that Vietnam will emulate regional countries regarding socio-economic and educational growth in two decades.
The country will take pride in its civilized, equality-cherishing society; green, wholesome environment; and thriving tourism sector.
Worthy, intriguing ideas and solutions from the contestants will make contributions to the “Vietnam 2035” report, a joint study by the Vietnamese government and the World Bank focusing on how the country can achieve its objectives to become a modern-oriented nation that is wealthy and provides room for its people to prosper.
A number of the participating students voiced questions about how wild their dreams should be.
Addressing such questions, Sandeep Mahajan, lead economist of the World Bank Group in Vietnam and member of the group working on the 2035 report, said the organizers welcome all feasible, grounded dreams as long as they are presented clearly and convincingly.
“Dreams can be very different, but they must be believable and of critical thinking. If you say your dream is that 200 million tourists would come to Vietnam every year in 20 years’ time, the dream is quite unbelievable,” he explained.
Now that Vietnam draws between seven and 10 million foreign tourists every year, it would be more credible and workable to dream of around 35 million in 20 years to come, Mahajan noted.
The expert predicted Vietnam will undergo astounding strides and achieve notable accomplishments by that time, and face immense hurdles in the process.
The World Bank encourages students to discuss the challenges the country will be faced with and mapping out specific solutions in their entries.
The global economic organization has come up with scenarios for the Southeast Asian country’s growth, but the bigger picture will be largely dependent on the government’s and citizens’ efforts.
Following the introduction of the contest, Associate Professor Bui Anh Tuan, president of the Foreign Trade University, encouraged his students to join in.
“It’s not only a contest, but also an opportunity for students to voice their expectations of the country’s future growth and share their own solutions for how to surmount overwhelming impediments,” Tuan underlined.