UNDP brokers knowledge sharing between Viet Nam and China

Dec 12, 2001

Ha Noi - Vice-Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) of Viet Nam, H.E Vo Hong Phuc and Edouard A. Wattez, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed today a project to help Viet Nam and China exchange lessons and experience on Economic Development Policies.

"This project of cooperation between the two dragon countries comes at a very special moment. The visit to China last week of General Secretary Nong Doc Manh has laid the basis for further exchange of political and economic reform experiences between two countries", said Mr. Wattez. "China's official entry yesterday to the WTO, after a 15-year quest, sparks hope that Viet Nam could benefit much from its neighbour's experience with the WTO".

Vice-Minister Phuc highly appreciated this innovative UNDP-supported project on knowledge sharing between Viet Nam and China, stressing that "China and Vietnam are both carrying out an open-door policy and are in the process of renovation in the context of many historical similarities". Since China launched its reform process some eight to ten years earlier than Viet Nam, Viet Nam hopes to learn and benefit from China's more positive experiences, while avoiding some of the negative ones.

The project will cover exchange in the areas of non-state business sector development, SOE- reform, competition policy, FDI policy and incentives and external trade performance. "A healthy non-state business sector has proved to be a driving force for socio-economic development. One of the keys to China's economic success has been the private sector and external trade" said Mr. Wattez.

At the Vietnam Business Forum last week, Representatives of Vietnamese and foreign business communities urged Vietnam to emulate its neighbour China in fully embracing the private sector and marketing itself as a "magnet for investment".

At a Round Table Consultation, hosted in June 2001 by MPI and UNDP, Mr Qi Jianguo, Ambassador of China stressed the need for improving competitiveness of the economy and pointed out the example of Viet Nam's telecommunication whose cost is among the highest in the world and remains one of the obstacles to the country's international integration. "China's experience of bringing in competition in this sector has paid off", he said.

The project will be implemented by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) of MPI in close collaboration with the Chinese, the National Research Economic Institute (NERI).
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