Nighttime Economy - New Driver of Growth

9:27:52 AM | 12/8/2020

Development of the Nighttime economy is expected to effectively tap tourism and service potential, and promote Vietnamese cuisine and culture to the world, thus strongly boosting economic growth of the country.

Huge potential

The Nighttime Economic Development Project in Vietnam, recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, is a big step in changing the mindset about this activity. The nighttime economy is also gradually being considered a new engine of economic growth by developing many new businesses and creating jobs for society.

In fact, the evening economy is quite popular in the world and a key contributor to the overall economy. In many tourism powers, this form of economy brings great value, promotes socioeconomic development, creates employment, generates surplus value and brings home foreign currencies. In Vietnam, the Government advocates actively developing nighttime economy in line with international trends to make the most of time and create new opportunities for economic growth, diversify economic activities, and better serve the material and spiritual life of the people and foreigners, especially tourists.

According to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), Vietnam has great potential for developing the nighttime economy as it has young population in big cities, abundant tourism resources, unique cultural, artistic and culinary values, broad integration, and pleasant night weather.

Currently, big cities in Vietnam like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have gradually formed evening economic activities. Ho Chi Minh City is the busiest with many activities such as pedestrian streets, food streets, night markets and most recently the boom of convenience stores. Major tourist cities also have plans to develop culinary night streets.

In addition, the increasing number of international tourists to Vietnam shows that there is vast room to attract tourists and develop the nighttime economy.

Appropriate solution

According to the newly approved Nighttime Economic Development Project, the nighttime economy is not a separate part of the economy. In the near term, nighttime economic development aims to promote domestic consumption and tourism development by focusing on development of cultural, recreational, catering, shopping and traveling services. The nighttime economy is typically operated from 06:00 pm to 06:00 am. However, to develop this special economic model, appropriate solutions and steps are needed.

The Government should not encourage massive development of nighttime economy, but select major cities and major tourist centers. Piloted localities must carefully invest in long-term well-made development plans.

“To develop the nighttime economy, we must give up the approach that if we cannot manage it, we will prohibit it. We need to take into full consideration but we should not overestimate risks and challenges concerning order and security to miss opportunities of evening economic development.  It is admitted that a well-managed nighttime economy will importantly help economic growth, unlock tourism, service and shopping potential, and introduce Vietnamese culture and cuisine to the world,” said the project.

In addition, there is a need to further improve policies and legal frameworks to facilitate evening economic development and risk control; study and assess interaction between policies on nighttime economic development and other new/modern economic models and activities (such as sharing economy and e-commerce) to have inclusive and consistent solutions.

Dr. Tran Thi Hong Minh, CIEM President, who drafted the project, said, in fact, the Covid-19 pandemic does not reduce interest in developing and consulting on directions for nighttime economic development. The introduction of the project showed the resolve to grasp any opportunity for economic growth. Therefore, the piloted nighttime economy will soon be launched and scaled up.

The Nighttime Economic Development Project was approved on July 27, 2020 - the time when the country is aggressively fighting the renewed Covid-19 epidemic. There may be certain concerns and doubts about the current feasibility of the project. However, given breakthroughs in perception and innovation, the nighttime economy is more likely to develop Vietnam's trade and tourism services, increase employment and income for workers, and increase tax revenue for the State budget.

By Linh Ha, Vietnam Business Forum

Forthcoming Events