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THEORY AND REALITY

Consistently pursuing the socialist orientation in developing the market economy in Vietnam

Hoang Thi Bich Loan

(Cập nhật: 18/4/2007)

The transformation from a centrally bureaucratic and State subsidy mechanism to a multi-sector commodity economy operating according to market rules under the socialist-oriented regulations of the State in Vietnam, was in fact the construction of the socialist-oriented market economy in Vietnam which was initiated by the 6th Party Congress (1986).

The consciousness of socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam was confirmed by the Communist Party of Vietnam in its 1991 Platform on the national construction in the transition to socialism with six fundamental characteristics. This Platform was re-affirmed by the 10th Party Congress which further clarified it into eight fundamental characteristics:

- A society which is characterized by a rich people and a strong, democratic and civilized country.

- People are the true master of the country.

- Having a developed economy based on modern productive forces which is compatible with production relations.

- Having an advanced culture imbued with national characteristics.

- People are free from oppression, injustice, and have a prosperous life, liberty, happiness and conditions for comprehensive development.

- Nationalities in the Vietnamese community are equal, united, and mutually helping each other to progress.

- Having the socialist State of Law which is of the people, for the people and by the people under the leadership of the Communist Party.

- Having friendship and cooperative relations with the people of other countries in the world.

The selection of the socialist-oriented market economy in Vietnam is not a subjective and arbitrary association between the market economy and socialism. Instead, it is the result of comprehension and employment of the objective movement of the market economy in the current era. It is also the adoption of selective achievements from mankind’s different civilizations in order to promote positive factors of the market economy in developing productive forces, socialization of labor, developing techniques and technologies and improving living conditions of the people etc. while at the same time containing the negative elements of the market economy.

The reality of this 20 year renovation and economic development according to the socialist-oriented market economy in Vietnam has proved that the market economy is the effective path of developing the economy in the transition to socialism. The is also a process of renewing theoretical thinking, especially economic thinking on the basis of closely following objective rules and reviewing real life in Vietnam in a timely fashion.

The socialist orientation in Vietnam is to maintain national independence and socialism which have been reflected in all aspects of social life. It is not only the objective and natural political aspiration of the Vietnamese people but also their natural economic, cultural and social desires.

The 10th Party Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party further clarified fundamental contents of socialist orientation in the development of the market economy in Vietnam into four criteria:

First, the goal of the socialist-oriented market economy is to foster a rich people, strong country, an equitable, democratic and civilized society, to free up and develop productive forces, improve living conditions of people, reduce poverty and encourage people to legally enrich themselves and help the poor to improve their lives.

Second, with regard to the development guidelines: developing a multi-sector and ownership economy, in which the State sector plays the dominant role. The State economy and cooperative economy will develop into the solid foundation of the national economy.

Thirdly, on social guidelines and distribution: practicing social progress and equality in each development policy and measure taken. Closely combining economic growth with social, cultural and educational development etc and properly handling social issues to support the objective of human resources development. Practicing distribution according to labor outcomes, economic effectiveness, and contributed capital through social welfare.

Fourthly, in management: Bringing into full play the mastership of the people and at the same time ensuring the role of economic management and regulation of the socialist State of Law under the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

In the years to come, the development of a socialist-oriented market economy in Vietnam will concentrate on the following basic matters:

1. Building, streamlining and improving the leadership capacity of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

2. Developing the multi-sector and ownership economy in which building a strong State economy capable of playing the dominant role and cooperate with the cooperative economy to form a solid foundation for the national economy.

3. Improving the role and effectiveness of State management.

4. Actively struggling against bureaucracy, corruption, waste and individualism.

5. Closely combining economic development with the implementation of social progress and equality in each development policy and solution adopted in every stage of developing the market economy.

6. Building whole people’s defense capable to protect national security and maintain social and political stability in the country.

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