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"Doi moi" improves people's living conditions and aids national development: Deputy PM


"Doi moi (renovation) has to be for the benefit of the people, based on the people, making full use of the people's initiative and creativity, suitable to reality and adaptable to changes," said First Deputy Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, as he helped to launch the First High Level Roundtable Meeting of the 20 Year Review of doi moi at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi on Wednesday.

"Doi moi has to be based on making full use of internal strength while at the same time, exploring external assistance, combining national strength with the strength of the time in the context of globalisation and international economic integration," he added.

The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), with the support of UNDP, launched the 20 Year Review of Doi moi project in Hanoi today. This new project is designed to assess the achievements of the first 20 years of Vietnam's highly lauded reform programme and to draw lessons for the next stage of doi moi.

"This is just the beginning of a review that we hope will be both stimulating and valuable for the people of Vietnam," said Jordan Ryan, UNDP Resident Representative. "The challenge of the next 20 years is to extend and deepen the doi moi process to encompass the democratisation of social, economic and political life. In this way, Vietnam will meet the challenge and promise of the Millennium Declaration."

Speaking on behalf of the government, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, applauded the efforts of UNDP and VASS. "It is a good chance for us to further identify the content of the project, review the achievements and shortcomings of the 20 years of doi moi in Vietnam, and to analyse opportunities and challenges for Vietnam in the coming development period, to suggest things Vietnam needs to do to implement the targets set for 2006-2010 period."

Helping to set the tone for the day, renowned China expert, Peter Nolan, delivered the keynote address to the over 200 assembled guests, media and dignitaries highlighting the challenges faced by China to maintain its levels of economic growth while not sacrificing its social and environmental welfare.

The objective of the "First High Level Roundtable Meeting" was to begin to identify research topics that the project will address over the next four years. The doi moi review project will support practical policy research by Vietnamese and international scholars on the progress achieved during the doi moi period and challenges for the future. The project will also provide support for research capacity development within VASS.

In addition to the keynote address, today's meeting included three substantive panels on the themes of "proactive international integration," "state, government and the political system" and "culture, society and human development."

The panels featured leading international and national scholars examining key issues for practical policy research. National panelists included Professor Tran Xuan Gia, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Research Commission, Dr Nguyen Si Dung, Deputy Secretary General Office of the National Assembly, and Dr Thang Van Phuc, Vice Minister of Home Affairs.

International panelists included Professor Melanie Beresford of Macquarie University, Australia, Professor Luong Van Hy of the University of Toronto, Canada, and Dr Martin Gainsborough of Bristol University in the UK. Experts on international competitiveness from A.T. Kearney, an international management consulting firm, will also make a presentation. A.T. Kearney will present results from its ongoing collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Research Commission and UNDP in developing a White Paper on industrial competitiveness.

The project is aimed at collecting the assessments and opinions of international and national scholars on the achievements of the first 20 years of the doi moi reform programme and to draw lessons for the next stage of reform.

VASS Chairman Professor, Do Hoai Nam stressed that the Government and Party of Vietnam are keen to receive the views of international scholars and organisations on the "20 year Review of doi moi in Vietnam. "Although many of the factors that have made doi moi a success relate to specific conditions in Vietnam, we can also learn a great deal - both positive and negative - from comparative analyses of international and national scholars," he said.

Doi moi was  launched by the Communist Party of Vietnam at the Sixth National Congress in 1986. The reform period has been marked by unprecedented success, with economic growth averaging 7% per year in real terms since 1987. 

UNDP is providing financial support to the "20 Year Review of Doi moi" project, which will extend through 2008. In addition to assessing the factors that have contributed to the success of doi moi, the project will also support forward-looking research analyzing remaining opportunities, challenges and identifying the path of future reforms.

"The project will go beyond a consideration of only economic issues," said UNDP Resident Representative Jordan Ryan. "It will help the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences explore the important linkages among disciplines, for example the impact of rapid economic growth on Vietnam's people and society and the relationship between economic and political change. Vietnam’s transition from central planning to the market was successful precisely because doi moi was never seen as a narrowly economic process."

The objective of the "First High Level Roundtable Meeting" is to identify research topics that the project will address over the next four years. The Doi Moi Review project will support practical policy research by Vietnamese and international scholars on the progress achieved during the doi moi period and challenges for the future. The project will also provide support for research capacity development within VASS and other agencies participating in the project./.

 
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