Vietnam Net Bridge, 12 September 2015. Drastic reforms required to avert economic inertia.

An edited extract of the original article is reproduced below.

VietNamNet Bridge – After 70 years of national building and development and almost 30 years undertaking its reform process, Vietnam’s economy is at a pivotal point. The nation must either implement policies to grow sustainably, or else it will reach a plateau and find itself in a middle-income trap.

At the crossroads

Bui Tat Thang, director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Development Strategy Institute, said following the low-income landscape in the 1980s, Vietnam has passed its horizontal development phase and achieved remarkable growth in recent years. Still, such remarkable progress has come as a result of a market economy in its initial stages, and is basically only one step out of poverty.

With reference to an economic growth model by Professor Tran Van Tho of Japan’s Wasada University, Thang noted, “After three decades of reforms, the country’s economy is sprouting up. However it is currently at a crossroads. If we don’t want to turn on to the so-called “horizon” road, we ought to implement thorough reforms to pave the way for a chapter of sustainable development.”

Thorough reform, according to Tho, is a high-quality mechanism that derives from methods, policies, and strategies, which are differentiated in terms of class and value, compared to previous reforms in earlier stages.

In its research on institutional reforms, the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) envisaged Vietnam by 2035 as having a full market economy that will be more complete, modern, and integrated.

The key to superior reform lies in the quality of the country’s decisions made at this juncture, given the current local economic context, which, according to Thang, is still developing, changing, and integrating. “None of these processes are actually completed. They are all a work in progress,”…


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