They highlighted the lessons to be learned from the country’s recent decades of growth, the successes and failures of post-Doi Moi (Renewal) growth models, and the international context of the looming ecological crisis.
Strategic Institute for Natural Resources and Environment Vice Director Nguyen The Chinh summarised Vietnam’s shift from centralised planning to a socialist-oriented market economy, noting the twin goals of economic growth and improved social welfare services.
Since the Doi Moi process was launched in 1986, Vietnam’s positive growth has weathered crises and downturns, advancing from a poor nation to its current middle income status.
Participating experts highlighted the dangers of the middle-income trap that are sure to arise if economic restructuring and reinvigoration ever subsides.
Vietnam should invest in sufficient research resources to ensure its future economic growth model is as well-informed as possible.
Any new growth model must recognise the pressing need for environmentally conscious and sustainable development in order to secure both growth and social welfare.
Vietnam is especially vulnerable to climate change and regularly suffers storms, floods and tidal surges. Carbon emissions need to be minimised and preparations for rises in sea levels begun.
Realising a low carbon economy presents a challenge but could also dramatically increase the value of Vietnam’s natural resource reserves.