Economic Renovation : Doi Moi

In 1986, the government launched the “Doi Moi” or all-round renovation process, stepping into the general development trend and the process of gradual globalization and regionalization. In December 1986 The 6th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party strictly self-criticized its mistakes in the past years, assessing carefully its achievements, analysing mistakes and drawbacks, and set forth all-round renovation policies. With top priority being given to economic reform for creating a multi-sector market economy regulated by the Government, at the same time consolidating legal environment and renovating Party’s and State’s structure. Since then the Vietnamese economy has opened and transformed from a centralized planned economy, heavily based on imports, to a market-oriented one. The self-determination of financing was introduced, all aimed at budget balancing and promoting exports. From 1989, Vietnam began to export about 1 – 1.5 tons of rice. The inflation rate gradually decreased (the rate stood at 67.4% in 1990), living standards were improved, democracy got enhanced, national defense and internal security got firmly consolidated, and external relations were broadened freeing the country from blockage and isolation.

In June 1991, the 7th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party reaffirmed its determination to pursue the renovation process by overcoming difficulties and challenges, stabilizing political situations, pushing back unfairness and negative activities, and directing the country out of crisis. The Congress also set forth the foreign policy of multilateralization and diversification with the guideline “Vietnam wants to be friend to all other countries in the International Community for Peace, Independence and Development”.

Through renovation processes, Vietnam step by step surpassed many difficulties, hindrances, and achieved great results. During the 1991-1998 period, the average economic growth rate (presented by the increased rate in GDP) reached 8%. In 1999 the economy was seriously affected by the economic crisis in the region and natural calamities; its GDP growth was only 4.5%. However, economic performance is inspiring in 2000 with a GDP growth of 6.7% by the first nine months. By September 2000, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reached $ 36 billion with 2,500 projects, inflation decreased from 67.1% (in 1991) to 6% (in 2000), and the living standards of the majority were improved. The cultural and intellectual standards further increased. Generally, Vietnam has made a lot of progress in the fields of education, health care, culture and art, sports, family planning, public media, and other social activities. The political situation, independence and sovereignty of the nation, and national security and defense have remained stable, thus actively facilitating the “Doi Moi” process. The change in political systems from central to local level was consolidated. The State’s rule of law has been firmly constructed and increasingly made perfect. The foreign policy of independence and sovereignty multilateralization and diversification has brought about great results. Now, Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with nearly 170 countries, trade relations with 165 countries, and attracting foreign investment from more than 70 countries and territories.