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Publication(Hanoi: Hong Duc Publishing, 2019-12) World Bank GroupGlobally, Vietnam is among the most open economies with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 190 percent in 2018. Through the removal of both tariff and non-tariff barriers and fulfilling its commitment in several regional trade agreements, the country has made remarkable achievements in trade liberalization. Vietnam’s major trade partners located in East Asia, North America, and Europe are reached mostly by sea or air. Trade with bordering neighbors is limited and thus trade across border-crossing points is minimal except for northern borders with China, which has seen growth in recent years. The country’s trade flows are concentrated at twelve of its 48 border gates—two airports, five seaports and five border crossing points—which collectively handled 86 percent of total trade value in 2016.1 As the trade grows, congestion at and near these international gateways and border-crossing points has also increased. In addition to the current major trade partners, various regional trade relations and connectivity initiatives are relevant to Vietnam, including with Southeast Asian neighbors, and South Asia—particularly India—over land, given the rapidly growing trade relationships. In the meantime, Vietnam’s transport network has undergone a significant expansion over the past decades. The most remarkable development in network expansion has occurred in the road sector. As of 2016 the total length of the road network, excluding village roads, reached over 300,000 km, including about 1,000 km of expressways—a fully access-controlled toll road system. Vietnam is endowed with an extensive network of natural waterways, including nearly 16,000 km of managed navigable routes carrying significant traffic around the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta areas. However, only about 2,600 km of the waterways can reliably handle barges greater than 300 deadweight tons, with rudimentary terminal infrastructure at most of its numerous river ports. Vietnam's century-old railway system is mostly single-tracked and non-electrified, which has remained unchanged over the past decades with very limited capital investments
Publication(World Bank, 2009-12-04) World BankInstitutions are not buildings or organizations, they are the rules by which citizens, firms, and the state interact. The photographs that grace the cover of this Vietnam Development Report (VDR) 2010 epitomize modern institutions. The settings may not appear modern, but the activities they represent are cutting edge, and are transforming Vietnam. Local level planning with the active engagement of citizens. Monitoring of public works by citizens groups. Efficient administrative services with the citizen as the client. Legal advice being provided to citizens. Professional media coverage of important events. These are the roots which feed the growth of a modern, open, and high-performing society. This VDR focuses on devolution and accountability, two aspects of modern institutions that are the essence of Vietnam's experience in the past two decades. At the risk of over-simplifying, this VDR distinguishes between two types of accountability, upward accountability focusing on compliance with rules, dictates, and instructions coming from within the hierarchy, and downward accountability focusing on the results that the person or body is entrusted to deliver. A person or body concerned with upward accountability emphasizes adherence to rules. Those concerned with downward accountability serve their clients. Both forms of accountability are needed. Vietnam's devolution has shown many positive results. Competition among the provinces is driving them to improve their business environments. Eased entry for non-state providers of services and greater autonomy for the management of state facilities are supporting innovation and increasing the variety of services.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2002-11-21) World BankThe focus of the report, combined with Vietnam's remarkable long-term growth potential, presents a favorable outlook, suggesting the effects of the East Asian crisis are over. The country is committed to socially inclusive development, and, translates a vision of transition towards a market economy, with socialist orientation into concrete public actions, emphasizing the transition should be pro-poor, noting this will require investments in the rural, and lagging regions, and a more gradual reform implementation, than often recommended. However, challenges identified include, first, further progress in economic reform - fast progress in liberalizing foreign trade, and integrating with world economy is increasingly at odds with the slowdown of state-owned enterprise reform. Second, poverty alleviation may be endangered - for in the absence of vigorous action, inequality is likely to increase. And, third, improving the quality of governance faces an economic inefficient mismatch, reflected by its legal framework, budgetary system, and administrative structures, resulting from the inherited centrally-planned economy. The report reviews the increasing inequalities, and the need to redress imbalances, indicating that - although needed - economic reforms, trade liberalization, and the transformation of state-owned enterprises, may create losers, while many of the gains of the last decade remain fragile. The Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS) identified key decisions that need to be made, supported by strong inter-ministerial coordination for its implementation, namely rolling out to provincial, district, and commune levels in order to better align priorities, and expenditures to the national development goals, supported by external assistance.