Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Rural Development

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Rural Development

Article excerpt

The year 1997 saw the issue of rural development coming to the fore. Major concerns summarized by General Secretary Do Muoi at the Fourth Plenum of the Central Committee included the slow process of rural industrialization, competition between domestic and imported products, and increasing landlessness especially in certain provinces in the Mekong Delta. The leadership looked to the return of a modified form of co-operative as a means of alleviating these problems. Do Muoi, for example, argued that rural industrialization had to link with co-operativization. In addition, the co-operative could provide farmers with rural services that they had been renting previously from private service providers.

In early 1997 the government issued Decision No. 15/CP on the development of the co-operatives to advance commodity production in the countryside, putting into practice the Law on Co-operatives that had been passed by the National Assembly in 1996. In August the Agriculture Ministry disclosed its major policies aimed at modernizing and industrializing rural Vietnam. The measures included increased capital for developing rural infrastructure, a land-use licensing system, export taxes on raw commodities to encourage processing, and reduced taxes for farmers. It also called for strict controls on inflation and "suitable readjustment" of foreign exchange rates to boost the competitiveness of agricultural products. …

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