Vietnam’s creative application of Lenin’s new economic policy
5/11/2015 15:0' Send story Print story

Reviewing the renewal process, many Vietnamese people can hardly forget a long period of subsidy. From 1970 to 1986, private ownership was replaced by state and public ownership. This resulted in stagnated agricultural production and prolonged food shortages. Almost all factories and companies suffered from losses. Goods distribution was in a tie-up and the market was in chaos. High inflation continued for a long period with the retail price index in 1986 of 774.7%. People’s living standards worsened. Millions of farming households faced food shortages during crop intervals. Social insecurity was widespread.

Viewpoints on Lenin’s new economic policy (NEP)

The 6th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam in December, 1986 decided to embark on the transition to socialism. The Party was aware of the need to creatively apply and develop Lenin’s new economic policy, acknowledging the objective existence of a multi-sectoral commodity-based economy. In 1979, Vietnam invited leading Soviet professors, academics, and economists to train high and middle-ranking Vietnamese leaders on Lenin’s new economic policy. In December 1982, Vietnam established an NEP study group under the leadership of National Assembly Chairman Truong Chinh. Economist Vo Dai Luoc was a member: “When shifting from a planned economy to the commodity-monetary relationship, the new economic policy played an important role with two major ideals. One was to develop the commodity-monetary relationship and the other was to use state capitalism for economic development. Lenin’s new economic policy was a good choice at that time.”

Professor Tran Ngoc Hien, former Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, spent much of his time and effort to study Lenin’s new economic policy. “The New Economic Policy was our only choice for a less-developed country like Vietnam to develop a market economy. After some initial difficulties, China, Vietnam, and some Eastern European countries shifted to the market economy. But how to apply this policy remains the biggest challenge for all ruling parties.”

Innovative application for development

The Communist Party of Vietnam has applied the NEP by focusing resources on agriculture, developing a multi-sectoral economy operating under the socialist-oriented market economy mechanism, acknowledging the co-existence of different forms of ownership, and caring about workers’ basic interests. Mr. Luoc again: “We have transcended all contents of the NEP. From 1989 to 1990, we acknowledged the market economy instead of the commodity-based economy. We adopted a policy of openness and international integration. The NEP was a stick to eliminate red-tape and subsidy, paving the way for new thinking. It was a good choice for communists at the beginning of the renewal process.”




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