Vietnam Embassy in Stockholm

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To integrate into the regional and world communities, and to make Vietnam a prosperous, civilised, and socially fair country, the Vietnamese people have sine the mid-1980s pursued a comprehensive doi moi (renovation) process in all fields. The Vietnamese government intends to carry out an open-door policy and establish relations with all the other countries in the international community on the basis of cooperation and friendship.

As regards national economic development, Vietnam has shifted from a centrally planned, bureaucritic and subsidised economy to a market economy, with efficiency as its supreme goal. The Vietnamese government intends to maintain a national multi-sector economy, in which the government-run sector still plays an important role. Major economic centres which are currently being establishes in all the three parts of the country will be able to accumulate and concentrate production output and capital, in order to satisfy domestic consumption needs as well as the demands of exporters. Economic units in Vietnam have been given full autonomy in their production and marketing capacities to ensure maximum levels of efficiency.

Regarding the economic master plan, Vietnam is clearly identifying which occupations and trades should be maintained, which government-run businesses should be developed and which areas of businesses should be offered for public holdings. This is to ensure that all the aforesaid trades and businesses should have suitable forms of organisations and proper stages of development. The government is encouraging the other economic sectors to develop to improve the nation's economy in accordance with Vietnam's specific conditions and the current trend of the international community. As far as external relations are concerned, the Vietnamese government is actively encouraging foreign investors to invest in the country and cooperage with Vietnamese partners in the form of joint ventures and cooperation contracts. By September 1994 the State Committee for Cooperation and Investment had granted licenses to 1,000 investment projects with a prescribed capital estimated at US$ 10 billion. Many of the licensed investment projects have been built and are becoming operationally effective. Vietnam has now established economic relations with more than 100 countries in the international community.

Following the promulgation of the Law on Foreign Investment, the government has issued a Law on Domestic Investment in order to further mobilise the intellectual and economic potential of the population in the cause of national industrialisation and modernisation.Complicated procedures relating to applications for investment projects are being eradicated.

The current nation-wide renovation process has bought about practical economic efficiencies. Wholesale and retailing stores are being stocked with a greater variety of commodities. Tens of millions of barrels of crude oil have been produced, earning the country a considerable amount of hard foreign currency. The national economic structure is undergoing radical change. The proportion of industrial production and services is increasing. Many kinds of products produced and assembled in Vietnam, have been sold in overseas outlets. The gap between the levels of imports and exports is being gradually narrowed.

Vietnam has now become one of the world's major rice exporters. Vietnam's annual economic growth rate in the early years of the 1990s was 7.8 per cent. In 1995 Vietnam is hoping for a growth rate of between 9 and 10 per cent.

Tourism has become a potentially promising and key industry in Vietnam. The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in recent years has increased at an annual rate of between 40 and 50 per cent. In 1994 Vietnam welcomed a record number of visitors to Vietnam by the year 2000 is expected to reach 4 million.

Vietnam is well on the way of becoming a developed country. Yet, the physical features of the country and the soul of the Vietnamese people is still charactered by a national identity with has been forged by an age-old national culture and civilision. Set in the present context of a market economy, such national cultural traditions are seen as being significant and should be preserved. the Vietnamese people are seen as both a driving force for and goal of social development. The government and the population of Vietnam are investing proportionately in their human development strategy in all economic, ideological, cultural and social areas. Several national universities are being formed in order to continue upgrading and improving training quality in higher education, so that more talented people can be trained. Public health care has become the duty of society and includes the involvement of all citizens in child care and care of the elderly particularly war invalids, parents and children of fallen combatants, those who contributed much to the revolution, the dislodged and handicapped children. Many common diseases are being eliminated or gradually curbed such as paralysis, malaria, goiter,ect... The government has paid due attention to a development strategy exclusively for rural mountain areas and off-shore islands. People of ethnic minority groups living in high mountain ranges or in rural areas are being provided with essential commodities such as kerosene, salt, writing paper, and basic medicines either free of charge of at subsidised prices. Greater interest from the local population and international organisations is being focused on social issues such as family planning crime, drug addiction, prostitution, prevention of AIDS, as well as environmental protection. Consequently Vietnam has been working on several national programers to cover barren hills and eroded areas with trees and to raise public awareness of wildlife protection. As a result a greater variety of birds and animals have returned to their former habitats in municipal parks and suburban forests in major cities.

The Vietnamese people are determined to do what they can to ensure the country quickly moves away from poverty and backwardness, and are anticipating stronger economic growth and social development in the 21st century.