Elderly population offers economic opportunity for Vietnam govt


HANOI: The ageing population and the unique characteristics of the older cohort in Vietnam are golden opportunities for the country to develop a “silver economy”.

The older generation in Vietnam currently accounts for 8.3% of the total population, or 8.16 million.

It is forecast that the number will increase to 16.8 million people by 2039 and reach 25.2 million people by 2069.

The concept of the silver economy originated from the term “silver market” that appeared in Japan, the country with the highest proportion of people over 65 years old, in the 1970s, to refer to the market for the elderly and covering sectors such as healthcare, banking, energy, housing, telecommunications, entertainment and tourism.

Older people in Vietnam often face the burden of illness and can suffer from chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis and cancer.

In terms of spending ability, Vietnamese elderly people often have income from pensions, savings and investments and their spending ability depends on their level of financial stability and personal financial planning.

In recent years there has been a shift in the consumption behaviour of the elderly, with a tendency to increase spending on health, travel, education and entertainment.

The ageing population and the unique characteristics of the group in Vietnam pose many economic and social challenges, but there are also golden opportunities for the country to develop a silver economy, said Doan Van Binh, deputy president of Vietnam Real Estate Association.

Speaking to VTC News online he said that, based on Vietnam’s actual conditions and the experience of some countries, it was his opinion that the country should immediately begin researching, creating a vision, building policies and laws, specific strategies and action plans to activate and develop the silver economy.

To comprehensively develop the silver economy in Vietnam, first of all, it is necessary to have an accurate and complete vision and awareness of the needs, motivation and orientation of the senior demographic, he said.

A strong silver economy reflects a societal re-evaluation of the elderly, which no longer views them as an economic burden, but recognises their contribution to society and their potential as consumers, he said.

The country should perfect the policy on the silver economy while the elderly should be a focus of the government.

Policies should be developed with a focus on emphasising the role of elderly, orienting priority areas for development and supporting policies in Vietnam.

Binh also suggested improving laws regarding the older population, since currently, Vietnam has many legal regulations related to the elderly, showing concern, care and promoting the role of the elderly.

However, it is necessary to continue to improve the law in this direction as a basis and legal corridor for the development of the silver economy.

He also suggested determining the role of the silver economy in terms of the overall national economy, developing strategies including the National Strategy on the Vietnamese Elderly for the 2030-2050 period and develop an action plan specifically to activate and grow the silver economy.

He also recommended research into the scale and pervasiveness of the silver economy for people aged 50 and above, according to international standards. — Vietnam News/ANN

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