Status of Transition from Socialism

Topics: Economics, Vietnam, Investment Pages: 6 (2069 words) Published: April 28, 2001
Vietnam is a country whose economy is evolving. Its rapidly changing economy is facing significant alterations in the process of transition. Vietnam is moving away from its current economy, which is a non-market socialist one, towards a market economy with a socialist orientation. Vietnam is one of the poorest countries in the world with a Gross Domestic Product of only $300. High levels of population along with the proper training will allow Vietnam to effectively use its number one resource, people. Australia plays a key role in assisting Vietnam's economic growth and development through their aid programs.

Economic reforms are changing Vietnam from an agricultural rich economy to a service industry one. Throughout the years, agriculture, as a percent of Gross national product, has decreased from year to year, while service and industrial are increasing. This steady decline is because of the changing situation with its economy. With this decrease, migration to cities and towns is usually normal, but not in this case, as Vietnam has stayed primarily rural. The main agricultural cash crops in Vietnam are rice, coffee, cashews, corn potatoes rubber, soybean and tea. Clothing, computers and electronics are a growing part of the economy as well. Tourism is the largest industry in the service sector.

In Vietnam land sales are not permitted. This is because of the communist rule, and the ownership of all land by the state. During the current economic reform to a market system of economy, household farms have replace the once popular collective farms. Land rights are guaranteed to the families for twenty years on farmland and fifty years for forestland. Though the farmers can still not own land they do have the right to use it, rent it, inherit it, and well as claim it as collateral.

The changing economy has caused the industrial and service sectors to steadily expand. With this increase, many are being dominated by state owned industries. Along with the escalating change towards a market economy, competition within the private sector has also risen due to the fact that state owned enterprises are increasing as well. If these state owned enterprises were private then economic efficiency would be increased as well. This in turn would benefit the Vietnam economy and people. The government has instated rules so this can happen. They have also forced the state owned enterprises to be self- sufficient. They are now highly self-sufficient. They are self-run, determine what their production inputs and outputs are, and are responsible for the financing and accounting of their firm. Though they seem to be individual entities, the government still has a strong hold on them because the governments has complete ownership of the firm, even though there are shareholders.

With the institution of Doi Moi the economy of Vietnam has experienced a very strong growth. The past decade the Gross Domestic Product averaged 7.5%. Throughout the most recent years the growth has not been as severe but still positive. It was gaining strength as 2000 began but has been slowing down. There is still a positive growth but not as significant as in the mid 90s. See following chart for the Real GDP Growth in %.

Towards the end of the 90s many factors accounted for this slow down. Economics reforms were slowing as well. State owned enterprises and banks were becoming inefficient as well. This, along with a decrease in demand and consumption, a decrease in foreign and local investing, as well as a decrease in outputs all contributed to the slow down in economic growth. So, as this slow down became evident, changes needed were made in order to increase the GDP. In the year 2000, certain things happened which did in fact raise the growth in real GDP. The world economy was growing and manufacturing and commodity prices were improving as well. Along with a rapid growth in the industrial sector as well as the non-state...

Bibliography: The United Stated Library of Congress
Gardener, L.C. et al. (1997) Vietnam: The Early Decisions. Austin: university of Texan Press.
Karnow, Stanley (1983). Vietnam A History. New York: Penguin Books.
Long, Robert Emmet (1986). Vietnam: The Early Decisions. New York: Wilson.
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