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Viet Nam’s Economic Reform: 1986-2016


A Talk by Dr. Tran, Director of the Center for Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Studies

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
12:00 – 1:30pm

Tokioka Room, Moore Hall 319

This talk discusses experiences of Viet Nam in its transformation process from the planned economy to the free-market mechanism. Viet Nam was one of the poorest countries in the world with the average income per capita of around US$100 before the economic reform in 1986. The renovation has upgraded this figure to US$2.228 by the end of 2015. Viet Nam has realized its mistakes and opened its door to the outside world; pursuing the economic development model of Western countries. Important theoretical foundations of commercial development have been adopted and applied in social realities. Viet Nam has eliminated the economic model of forbidding markets. Free trade activities have effectively facilitated Viet Nam’s exports and imports. In addition, the Vietnamese government has made strong efforts to improve business law and legal system which favor market-orientation. This has created a competitive environment for commercial activities. However, there still exist some conflicts between state policies and implementation of departments, agencies. Liberal and suitable policies on exchange rates, tariffs, quotas, permits, taxes and other regulations related to export and import play a crucial role in economic development of Viet Nam. The issue will become more urgent for Viet Nam, especially by the end of 2015 when ASEAN becomes an economic community. The role of the state is more pressing in terms of empowering human resources and adapting to new trade models. Viet Nam will have more opportunities for economic development, yet harsh competitiveness with regional countries will also lead to many challenges and risks for businesses on their integration process.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Lam Tran is currently the director of the Center for Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Studies, Viet Nam National University – Ho Chi Minh City. He earned his doctoral degree at Innsbruck University, Austria in 1998. His research interests focus on ethnic minority, economic development, culture and economy, and sustainable development. Dr. Tran has been researching extensively the regional economies; Foreign Direct Investment, and Vietnamese economic development. His research projects have been funded by Japan Foundation, Erasmus Mundus, and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, among others. Dr. Tran is currently a visiting scholar at East-West Center.

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