A Vietnamese government minister has warned that the country must immediately reform its political system if it does not want to be left behind.
Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh told the National Party Congress Friday that Doi Moi (Renovation), the economic reforms instituted in 1986, had brought some success but overall Vietnam remains a poor country.
He cited 2014 statistics as saying Vietnam’s per capita income is only a fifth of the world’s and a third of Thailand’s.
He said the 30 years of renovation is equal to the time that Japan and South Korea took to transform from poor to developed countries.
He also warned that Vietnam has entered the final stage of the “golden” age -- a term used by the United Nations Population Fund for a period in which the number of working-age people (16 to 59) is twice the population of non-working age people.
The period, which started in 1970, will end in 2020.
“In the last five years, we have made some economic reforms and achieved considerable results, but political reforms have not been made,” Vinh said.
“So the results of this five-year period have not been as good as we expected.”
He urged the Party to reform the organization and functioning of its organizations and associations to suit a market economy, saying it is a prerequisite and the most important factor for the next period of renovation.
“By doing this well, the Party will regain the trust of the people by setting an example for renovation and offering effective leadership."