Agriculture: the pillar that helped Vietnam overcome crises
"If our renovation in the past 30 years had failed, we would not be able to imagine what the current situation would be like!" said Dr. Dang Kim Son in an interview with VietNamNet.

Trụ đỡ dìu Việt Nam vượt ra khủng hoảng

Dr. Dang Kim Son said that, in general, thanks to the renewal process that began with the agricultural sector, Vietnam’s economy has developed, the people's living standards have improved, the door to the world has opened, and Vietnam’s credibility and reliability in the world has increased.

Compared to 12 countries in the previous socialist system, Vietnam and China are the models with the most successful renovation models. Both countries began their renovation in the field of agriculture, in rural areas.

Examining renovation closely, the brightest part has been agriculture. Why?

The thing that everyone can see clearly is thanks to the strong development of agriculture, food is no longer a matter of concern. Vietnamese people are no longer worried about hunger. Their worries are now different. They are not worried about hunger, but the quality of food, nutrition… Their worries are far different from the old days.

Regarding economics, it is very clear. Our food security is guaranteed. Vietnam, from a rice importing country, has become a rice exporting one, even a big rice exporter in the world. While other economic sectors such as industry, services ... are protected and invested in highly but they could not generate power in exports and even in the local market, except for a few sectors such as the oil and gas industry, coal mining and some outsourcing industries. Agriculture contributes highly to the economy, with the rate of up to 50-70% while the contribution of other sectors is less than 10%.

Agriculture is the only sector with export revenue reaching $31 billion and is also the only sector with an annually increasing trade surplus, while the country always has a trade deficit.

More importantly, agricultural renovation created breakthrough thinking for the country’s comprehensive renovation. The breakthrough is entering the market mechanism aimed at the most backward part: breaking the cooperative mechanism, bringing the economic household mechanism back.

Trụ đỡ dìu Việt Nam vượt ra khủng hoảng

From here, renovation spread to all fields, opening up trade liberalization and international integration. Breakthrough spread from the fields to the farmers, from the countryside to the urban areas, to factories, workshops. And today, breakthrough from agriculture has spread as far as state owned corporations, to democratic change from the grassroots to institutional reforms.

Therefore, the extremely important contribution of agriculture renovation is not just economic. Most importantly, the greatest contribution is that agricultural renovation has created a breakthrough in thinking so we could see that the major "object" for being liberated is the market mechanism.

Success in agricultural renovation spreading across all sectors, on many fronts, is quite remarkable. Stable agriculture and rural areas help our society become stable in a turbulent world. As food security is assured, employment of residents is stable, income is improved, then conflicts of race, religion, territory are lessened. We attracted foreign investment thanks to this stability.

These are the characteristics that many people consider normal. But if we look at other countries we can see that it is not easy to have social stability.

Trụ đỡ dìu Việt Nam vượt ra khủng hoảng

Going deeply into the process and results of agricultural renovation in the past 30 years, we can identify very clearly the special role of agriculture that no other industry can compare to: it is the building of a solid, stable foundation, forming the impetus for industrialization and modernization. 

Let’s imagine if one day agriculture is shaken, the social economy will collapse. There was a time when the national economy was in crisis, foreign investment declined but agriculture has never been shaken. Thus the economy can decline but society remains stable.

For 30 years, we have overcome the three big crises thanks to the crucial pillar - agriculture. The first time was when the socialist countries fell into crisis in the 1980s, and the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries collapsed. The second time occurred in 1990s when the entire Southeast Asian region was in a financial crisis. The third time was the world recession from 2008 to the present.

In these times Vietnam still stood firmly, although sometimes it faced economic downturn, but not crisis. Agriculture played the role of a solid platform for the economy to overcome the cycle of world economic crisis.

Hoang Phuong

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