TAILIEUCHUNG - Agriculture and Economic Growth in Vietnam

Rapid economic growth is the only sustainable foundation for the elimination of poverty. However, only strategies that include agricultural development can establish strong links between overall growth and reduction in poverty. Most strategies that seek rapid industrialization at the expense of agriculture, even if the intent is to alleviate poverty, actually slow down economic growth and increase levels of poverty. In a country with many impoverished people, policymaker must address both growth and poverty through an. | Agriculture and Economic Growth in Vietnam C. Peter Timmer University of California San Diego Conference on Vietnam in 2001 Prospects for Economic and Social Progress Sponsored by Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies L Association des Techniciens Vietnamiens d Outre-Mer and The Vietnamese Professionals of America The Kenney Auditorium Washington . November 16-17 2000 AGRICULTURE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN VIETNAM1 C. Peter Timmer Rapid economic growth is the only sustainable foundation for the elimination of poverty. However only strategies that include agricultural development can establish strong links between overall growth and reduction in poverty. Most strategies that seek rapid industrialization at the expense of agriculture even if the intent is to alleviate poverty actually slow down economic growth and increase levels of poverty. In a country with many impoverished people policymaker must address both growth and poverty through an integrated development strategy. Rapid reductions in poverty are achieved most effectively when the strategy for economic growth specifically focuses on raising rural productivity2. The task of restructuring the Vietnamese economy so that it can pursue a market-led growth process creates serious hardship for groups of the population whose skills and jobs do not fit the new challenges. Competitive pressures can cost them their livelihoods and the state can no longer provide the subsidies to firms and agencies that served in the past as a guarantee of employment and access to a minimum standard of living. In the short run some mechanisms must be found to alleviate the wont consequences of their poverty. With retraining and rapid economic growth these vulnerable groups will be able to reenter the work force. The only road out of poverty for both the country and these vulnerable groups is to produce efficiently the goods and services that meet expanding consumer demand -whether from rural households urban wage .

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