Vietnam Marks 63rd Year of Independence

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By Chua Siew Joo

Sept. 2 – Vietnam celebrated its independence today, with rallies and parties throughout the country. Governement leaders paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and laid wreath at the Monument to Fallen Soldiers

Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam independent on the second of September in 1945, after nearly 60 years of French colonial rule. The country however, only achieved a peaceful state of development after the Cambodian settlement of October 1991.

Since the implementation of the Doi Moi economic reforms, Vietnam has been buffeted by both positive and negative forces. It faces a steep challenge: the country's inflation rate rose to 27 percent in July, the highest in Asia while food prices are 74 percent higher compared to last year's rates.

Vietnam is experiencing its first serious downtown since its transition from a command economy to an open market economy since about two decades ago. Despite setbacks, the country's general economic future is still considered one of the most promising in the region and foreign investment has continued to pour in.

Recently, the British Council and HCMC’s Department of Science and Technology hosted a seminar on Creative Economy. It introduced the world’s latest business trends to Vietnamese policy makers, business people and artistic community. Vietnam is expected to work with the UK and other countries to develop its nascent creative economy.

With Vietnam’s current focus on developing its intellectual resources, the government also passed Resolution 7 in July. It should help create a conducive environment for the brightest of Vietnamese scientists and scholars by integrating them into the country’s scientific institutions and by providing more opportunities to earn money from research.

At a seminar organized by the Institute of Health Strategy and Policy and the Ministry of Health, the health sector announced that it plans to improve healthcare services at the grassroots level and to introduce greater self-determination to raise standards. According to the Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu, many outdated healthcare policies are inappropriate to the new market-driven economy.