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Vietnam Forum 2016 reviews thirty years of Doi Moi

Friday, 7 April 2016 – The Vietnam Forum 2016 on “Vietnam’s Thirty Years of Doi Moi and Beyond” was organised by ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute on 7-8 April 2016.

The Forum, supported by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), featured 29 Vietnam experts from around the world who presented 26 papers covering various aspects of Doi Moi and its implications.

This year, as Vietnam celebrates its thirty years of reform, the Forum became a timely and suitable venue for participants to review the country’s past achievements as well as shortcomings, and to discuss its future challenges and outlooks.

Mr Tan Chin Tiong, Director of ISEAS delivering the welcoming remarks. Seated next to him is Dr Le Hong Hiep, ISEAS Visiting Fellow and Coordinator, Vietnam Forum 2016 (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

As pointed out by the Institute’s Director, Mr Tan Chin Tiong, in his welcoming remarks, Singapore has both benefited from and contributed to the success of Doi Moi.

For example, Singapore is now the third largest foreign investor in Vietnam, while bilateral trade has also been growing steadily.

As such, insights into Vietnam as those presented by experts at the Forum will benefit not only scholars and policy makers, but also the business community at large.

To view the welcoming remarks, please click here.

Speakers presenting their papers during the first day of the forum (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Photos from Day 1 - Clockwise from left:
Dr Vu-Thanh Tu Anh, Director of Research, Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme, Ho Chi Minh City, sharing his paper, which provides a political account of Vietnam's private sector development since Doi Moi as Dr Francis Hutchinson, Senior Fellow and Coordinator, Regional Economic Studies Programme, ISEAS and chairperson of Session 1 looks on. 

In Session 2, Professor Eric D Ramstetter, Research Professor, Asian Growth Research Institute, Japan explaining how foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) have grown in Vietnam's manufacturing and trade industries. Seated next to him is Professor Javier Revilla Diez, Chair, Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Germany. 

Ms Vo Thi Hai Minh, PhD Candidate, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, providing insights on the underpinning institutional foundations of public service delivery agencies'autonomy in Vietnam compared to the OECD countries. Joining her for Session 3 is Dr Bui Hai Thiem, Director, Research Management Board, Institute for Legislative Studies, National Assembly of Vietnam, Hanoi.

Mr Vu Duc Liem, PhD Candidate, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg University, Germany presenting his paper on "Making national Ancestry: The Worship of Hung Kings and Vietnamese Political Culture since 1986". Dr Hiep, chairs the final session of Day 1.

In eight sessions spanning two days, the conference analysed some major economic, socio-political, and foreign policy transformations that Vietnam has undergone since Doi Moi was adopted in 1986.

The topics cover a wide range of issues, from the development of Vietnam’s private sector and state-owned enterprise reforms, its rural and urban transformations, challenges facing the country’s political system, to Vietnam’s relations with major powers and its international economic integration. There was a lively discussion among panellists as well as attendees, many of whom came from Vietnam and elsewhere.

Speakers presenting their papers during the second day of the forum (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Photos from Day 2 - Clockwise from left:
Dr Huynh Thi Anh Phuong, Head, Department of Social Work, Hue University of Sciences, sharing her paper on Vietnam's Land reforms and the Implications and Unequal Access to Land in Practice. Seated next to her is Dr Terence Chong, Senior Fellow and Coordinator, Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme, ISEAS and chairperson of Session 5. 

In Session 6, Professor Ann Marie Leshkowich, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross, USA, explaining gendered dynamics across class lines through interactions between social workers and their clients in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Dr Carolyn-Dung Thi Thanh Tran, Lecturer, UNE Business School, The University of England, Australia, offering her perspectives on Doi Moi's impacts towards education, gender and religion during Session 7. Seated next to her from left to right are Dr Truong Huyen Chi, Programme Coordinator, Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) Secretariat, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal and Dr Benjamin Loh, Fellow, ISEAS and chairperson of Session 7. 

In the final session, Mr Nguyen Thanh Trung, Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Ho Chi Minh City, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, presenting his paper on China-Vietnam Relations after the Oil Rig HYSY-981: The Politics of "Struggling Co-Evolution".

Apart from regional studies programmes, the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute also runs country studies programmes to track and analyse developments in key regional countries.

Currently, the Vietnam Studies Programme, which coordinated the Vietnam Forum 2016, is one of the five country studies programmes run by the Institute.

Future forums are planned to be organised by the programme to address other important themes relevant to the country.

More than 120 participants attended the 2-day forum. 

Participants fielding their questions during the Q&A session (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute) 


BBC – Vietnam Forum 2016

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To read the second article, click here.

To view the video, click here.

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Vietnam News Agency (VNA) – Vietnam Forum 2016

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Vietnam Television (VTV) – Vietnam Forum 2016

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Vietnam Net Bridge News – Forum on Vietnam's economy after 30 years of reform held in Singapore

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