OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Rural Industrial Development in Viet Nam and China

A Study in Contrasts

Apart from size of population and GDP, China and Viet Nam have a good deal in common. Both are economies in transition from socialist central planning to the market. Both were largely agrarian societies on the eve of their reforms and, in both, unleashing the productive forces of agriculture was an important early reform result. Indeed, a rapid improvement in rural living standards is among the outstanding achievements of both countries.

In the case of industrial development, the differences in their post-reform experience are more striking than the similarities. In both countries, industry has grown rapidly since reforms, much more rapidly on average than agriculture. Yet, the motor force of industrial growth has been different in the two countries. In China, rural township and village enterprises (TVEs) — first collectively and more recently privately owned — have led industrial growth, with state enterprises lagging far behind. In Viet Nam, growth has been comparable in state ...


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