As a part of its Country Dialogue program, the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) organized a visit to Viet- Nam in In November 2004 to hold a national policy discussion on Viet Nam's transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. The dialogue addressed the role of government economic planning in the liberalization process to ease the tranisition to a market economy. The IPD team met with the Prime Minister's Research Council, the Economic Commission of the Central Party Committee, the Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other key government officials, as well as with the donor community. Within the national academic, policy, and civil society circles, we worked to supplement traditional thinking on many of Viet Nam's policy issues by encouraging participants to voice divergent views and engage in constructive debate.
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Since the start of the economic reform program doi moi (renovation) in 1989, Viet Nam has experienced consistently high growth rates and extraordinary achievements in poverty reduction. The country is on a steady path of integration into the world economy and is currently negotiating its terms of accession to the WTO.
As a part of its Country Dialogue program, the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) organized a third visit to Viet Nam in November 2004, in partnership with UNDP, which provided financial and logistical support. The IPD team was comprised of Joseph Stiglitz, President of IPD Anya Schiffrin, Head of the IPD Journalism Program, and Robin Burgess, from the London School of Economics. This Dialogue was a follow-up to IPD's two previous Country Dialogues in Viet Nam, in 2001 and 2002.
The dialogue took place at the eve of the second Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) for 2006-2010, and preceded the twelfth donors Consultative Group Meeting. Viet Nam is transitioning from a central planning to a market economy. The central issues discussed included the right balance between the state and the market, the role of government intervention in the economy, and the appropriate approach to economic planning during transition. The topics of international economic integration, in particular WTO accession, structural change and inclusive growth, were debated at length. The accountability of civil servants and the role of the media in political and economic processes were also brought to the fore during the dialogue. The IPD team supplemented traditional thinking on many of Viet Nam's policy issues by encouraging participants to voice divergent views and engage in extensive debate.