Vietnam's economic success story has been closely associated with improved economic freedom, which will likely remain a strong driving force for the country's socio-economic development in the future, said policymakers and experts during a conference organised by the EuroCham in Hanoi on September 22.
At the conference Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch, former Ambassador of Germany in Vietnam, said the Southeast Asian economy has made leaps and bounds in the last few decades with its open-market and business-friendly policies.
The former German ambassador said he has been impressed with the Vietnamese spirit of competition and their strong will to move forward after the devastation of the war.
Dr. Rainer Zitelmann, researcher and recognised author on the topic of wealth, said Vietnam has seen one of the most impressive gains in economic freedom among countries with a population of over 30 million around the world since 1995.
He attributed the country's economic success, which has lifted millions of Vietnamese out of poverty since the Doi Moi (Reform) in 1986, to the proliferation of private entrepreneurship, a free market, strong private property rights and the Government's direction to lessen central economic planning.
Zitelmann, who has travelled to many countries around the world for his research, said the Vietnamese, especially the young, are "particularly motivated to learn how to generate wealth".
"Among the 11 nations included in the study, Vietnam had more respondents than any other nation stating who valued getting rich," he said.
Vietnam is the only country where more women (78%) than men (72%) said they want to get rich, according to Zitelmann.
He added the Vietnamese generally view rich people with positive traits such as being visionary and far-sighted, intelligent, bold, industrious and imaginative.
He urged, however, for the Government to not stray from the path of success and continue to stay committed to market economy and economic freedom.
Dr. Zitelmann has written 25 books, mostly on the topics of business and wealth. His works have been well-received in Asian countries including China, India and the Republic of Korea. Two of his most well-known books, “The Wealth Elite" and “The Rich in Public Opinion", have been published in Vietnam.