Home    Forum    Motivations for national renovation during transitional period to socialism in Vietnam
Monday, 23 March 2020 20:32
1008 Lượt xem

Motivations for national renovation during transitional period to socialism in Vietnam

(LLCT) - Motivation is a combination of inner factors creating a driving force for development. One problem that is both urgent and strategic in the current theoretical research is studying to discover the driving forces to promote the country's socio-economic development rapidly and sustainably. These factors must act, activate and create thrust for the subject of society, which is people. In other words, it is necessary to find and activate the total motivation to create constant drive, resilience, and creativity for the people – the owners of economic and national development.

Keywords: motivations for development, motivations for innovation, transitional period to socialism.

1. There are different definitions of motivation: “Motivation, in engineering, is the energy that makes machines move; generally, it is what motivates things to develop. Meanwhile, motivations in social development are factors that promote social development in a certain period”(1), or “They are the driving forces that have power to overcome barriers, overcome obstacles, stagnation, create dynamism and new vitality of development”(2). “A theoretical research direction contributing to the development of Vietnamese innovation theory is researching on motivations and motivations of development, especially finding the right solutions and measures to exploit the motivation, promoting the role of motivation and nurturing those forces to promote activities directed at development progress”(3). It can be understood that motivation is a combination of inner factors creating a driving force for development. Accordingly, attention should be paid to the following aspects of development motivations:

First, motivation is a synergy of factors that promote development. It may be one or several, various factors. However, those factors must be combined and synergized with each other to create a consensus effect on development. There is no motivation if these factors act in opposition or offset each other.

Second, it is important to distinguish motivations from the causes and conditions of development. Motivations are driving forces for development, while causes are factors leading to and guaranteeing development. Motivations are internal and endogenous factors of the development process, while the condition is the external environment of the development process.

Third, motivation refers to the self-movement and self-interaction of dynamic and proactive factors of the development process itself. Therefore, seeking motivations for development means finding the factors that are self-motivated and creating forces internally. Causes and conditions cannot be considered components of motivation.

Fourth, there is separate motivation to create development for each field of activity and general motivation to create development for all fields of social activities during the process of a country’s development. Hence, it is necessary to find a common impetus for the whole society, which is to point out the overall and inclusive motivation, then consider it as the most important and consistent driving force that governs the development of the country.

Finally, the motivation of social development and national development is the motivation for people to contribute the most to social development and national development, because people are the subject of society. The overall and inclusive impetus for social and national development must include both material and spiritual drive.

2. The course of national renovation and development over the past 30 years has gained significant achievements. According to the Political Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam at the 12th National Congress: “The 30 years of renovation is an important historical period in the country’s cause of development and embodies the comprehensive maturity of the Party, State and people. The renovation is of revolutionary stature and significance, a process of profound, complete, radical transformation. It is an enormous revolutionary cause of the entire Party, population, and army for the objectives of a ‘rich people and a strong, democratic, equitable, civilized country”. In general, after 30 years of renovation, Vietnam has achieved enormous, historic success on its road towards socialism and its protection of the socialist homeland. However, there are major, complicated issues as well as limitations and weaknesses that need to be resolved and overcome so the country can develop fast and sustainably”(4).

Achievements and limitations of a developmental motivation approach for the renovation are as follows.

The renovation process over the past 30 years of Vietnam can be divided into 3 phases:

The first decade (1986-1996): In 1986, Vietnam began the Doi Moi (Renovation) transition from a centrally-planned economy to a socialist-oriented market economy. Vietnam’s GDP grew continuously from 1986 to 1996 with an average growth rate of 6.6% annually. The three-digit inflation was down to 12.7% in 1995 and 4.5% in 1996. Vietnam transformed from an under-fed country to a rice exporter(5). As a result, “Vietnam has escaped socio-economic crisis and underdevelopment and has become a middle-income developing country that is improving its industrialization, modernization and international integration. The economy has been growing quite well; the socialist-oriented market economy has taken shape and political and social stability have been achieved while national defense and security have strengthened. Culture and society have developed while the country’s position and the lives of the people have improved. Socialist democracy has been promoted and has further expanded”(6).

The following decade (1997-2006): During this period, the average GDP growth rate was 7.1%, which was high compared to many countries. Meanwhile, inflation was low with an average CPI growth rate of 4.5% per annum. In 1999 and 2001, CPI increased insignificantly. Especially in 2000, the economy was in the state of deflation(7). Since then, “the comprehensive strength of the country has increased… Foreign relations have expanded and have become more profound. The country’s position and prestige on the international arena have also heightened. Those achievements serve as an important foundation for the country to further its renovation and development in coming years..”.(8).

The recent decade (2007-2016): From 2007 until now, GDP growth has decreased with an average growth rate of 6.2%, while the average growth rate of CPI is 11.8%. Inflation was stabilized in 2012 and 2013(9). This shows that “The country’s economic development is far from stable and does not correspond with its potentialities, needs, and mobilized resources. Over the last decade, macroeconomics has been unstable at times and economic growth has made a slow recovery after its decrease. The quality, efficiency, labor productivity and competitiveness of the economy remain low. Development lacks sustainability in economic, cultural, social and environmental terms. Many pressing issues have arisen; social issues and those related to social management have not been fully understood nor effectively solved. Underlying factors and dangers continue to threaten social stability. In some areas, part of the population has yet to fully or equally enjoy the fruits of the renovation cause. The political reform has yet to happen at the same time as the economic one, and the political system is not so efficient as it is important. The creation of a foundation for Vietnam to basically become a modern, industrial country has yet to fulfill the set objective”(10).

After reviewing and pointing out the driving force for national renovation and development, one can see that the cause of the above achievements and limitations is using only one main driving force for national development: releasing motivation. In other words, it is the main motivation creating the driving force for the development of Vietnam’s economy in the past 30 years.

Before Doi Moi (Renovation), Vietnam applied and built a centrally-planned, commanded, bureaucratic and subsidized economy. This led to an overall economic constraint making the country unable to grow, leaving no room for any motivation for economic development. In other words, the binding of the economy became a driving force to restrain the country’s development before the Doi Moi period.

Since the start of Doi Moi, the country was renewed, and proceeded to build and develop a socialist-oriented market economy and change policies that hindered and inhibited its development. Thereby, motivation was triggered for growth and development. The fact that economic constraints were unleashed has become a driving force for the development of the economy. It can be said that the unleashing of the economic policy has become the main driving force for economic development after Doi Moi.

However, the unleashing of economic constraints is only an external impact on economic development. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that the current Vietnamese economy has “low productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness; its resilience to external fluctuations is not high. The shift of the growth model remains slow. Resources have not been fully tapped. The restructuring of many sectors and fields is slow and confusing. The supporting industry development is not adequate. Not much is involved in production networks and global value chains. Production and business activities in some areas of small and medium enterprises are still tough. The business investment environment is insufficient; administrative procedures are complex; discipline in many places is not serious with ‘above hot, below cold’ status”(11).

Therefore, it is important to find and activate the synergy of both external and internal motivational factors for economic development. That motivation must act, activate and create a driving force for the subject of the economy, which is people. That is to say, it is necessary to find and activate the overall motivation to create constant thrust, resilience, and creativity for the people and owners of economic and national development.

3. In order for the country to develop quickly and sustainably in the context of the 4.0 industrial revolution and strong global integration, Vietnam needs to find and activate a general motivation for creating resilience and breakthroughs for development. The Party has emphasized: “During the term of the 12th  Congress, it is necessary to promote comprehensively and synchronously the renovation process, promote all resources and motivation for rapid and sustainable national development;…”(12).

In that spirit, there are a number of studies on the general drivers of national development. The Central Theoretical Council commented: “The driving force of development is not one and only, but a system of many motivations, both material and spiritual, in economic, politics and culture, in the heritage of traditional values, in the new values created in innovation and development”(13).

According to this approach, the motivation system of renovation and development in Vietnam is defined as the motivation for benefits. First of all, it is the economic and material benefits. Second, it is personal and community benefits. The relationships of interests must be harmonized to consensus in development. The benefits are guaranteed and grow with needs.

It is also motivation for patriotism, national spirit, awareness education, fostering sentiments, beliefs, organizing activities, and patriotic, emulating movement in a new context. The perception of national pride is the core interest of the nation. Maintaining national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity is a vital requirement and a condition of development. In addition to the union of the whole Party, the entire people and the entire army are promoting the synergy to maintain independence and sovereignty. Patriotism, national spirit, and genuine nationalism are encouraged in sustainable development and modernization.

Moreover, democratic motivation strongly promotes personal and community development. Practicing democracy in the Party and society is the power against corruption. Personal democracy and creativity freedom will help to develop talent and improve individual personality. Democracy in economics and politics ensures human rights, civil rights, and personal and social personality development. Democracy in institutional reform will release all personal and social potentials, as well as internal and external politics.

There is also motivation for “solidarity and great solidarity”, which is the relationship between democracy and solidarity for consensus and solidarity in the Party and among the people, along with ethnic, religious, and international solidarity. The motivation follows Ho Chi Minh’s ideas, principles, and method.

Meanwhile, cultural motivation focuses on humans and promotes the human factor. People should show intelligence, capacity, and creativity alongside ethics, personality, honesty, responsibility, and compassion. Cultural practices, lifestyles, and communities nurture and promote the internal resources of development. Therefore, cultural values should be brought into human social relations, leadership and management activities, into building a moral and political culture in the Party, democratic culture in society, public morality, public discipline, communication, behavior in the political system, in social life, and into international relations.

Motivation is also in the transformation of thinking and awareness, the restructuring of organizations, mechanisms, and policies to create favorable environments in which to manage a socio-economy, promote transparency and accountability, and lead the country to develop quickly and sustainably.

Thus, it can be affirmed that: Renovation is the motivation of all driving forces(14).

The 12th Party Congress affirmed that “…it is imperative to have a proper awareness of contributing factors to renovation and integration and deal with them well; reconcile interests; promote patriotism and national spirit; uphold democracy and national solidarity; and emphasize the human factor and the role of science and technology..”.(15). In other words, the overall motivation for Vietnam’s development in the next stages of the country’s renovation process towards socialism is “breakthrough, creativity, difference, and striving for prosperity”. At the meeting with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc required to have “the Government’s Resolution on a number of main tasks and solutions to direct and manage the implementation of socio-economic development plan and budget estimates in 2019, in the spirit of breakthroughs, boldness to think and to do, innovation, creativity, resolute action, serving the people, and manifesting aspiration to develop strongly”(16).

Breakthrough is an impetus for new awareness, new thinking, and the creation of new institutions and policies for the economy. During the meeting of the National Steering Committee on the development of special economic and administrative units (special economic zones for short), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized: “It is necessary to build a breakthrough institution, create driving force for development of 3 special economic zones to spread to other economic regions and the whole country, and contribute to national rapid and sustainable economic development”(17).

Creativity is the driving force to create new products, new structures, and new ways of implementation. The 12th Party Congress emphasized the need to “strongly promote all resources, and all creative potentials of the people to build and defend the nation..”.(18). It is necessary to “continue innovating in leading and managing socio-economic development”(19). The Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong concretized this spirit in the speech at the Government’s online conference with localities on socio-economic development in 2019: “Government and local authorities, together with the whole Party, the entire people and the whole army, should continue to unite and strive with determination and make greater efforts, be more dynamic and creative to successfully achieve set goals and tasks, contributing to building our beloved country more and more prosperous and beautiful as Uncle Hồ ever wanted”(20).

In the meantime, the difference is creating diversity, richness, and the will to overcome and not repeat ourselves. The difference here does not lead to disagreements, contradictions, and oppositions, but builds differences, similarities and synergies with the goal of proper development.

At the international conference on Global Competition and Vietnam’s Advantages in Ho Chi Minh City (December 2017), Professor Michael Porter (Harvard University, USA) said: “The competitive advantages of Vietnam over the past 10 years are running out. Vietnam needs to find a new development motivation that is labor productivity, new technology, and geographical advantages”. On that basis, he advised, “Enterprises as well as the State should find its unique strengths, and its differences compared to the competitors to create the right products, instead of the best product in the world”(21).

Last but not least, striving for prosperity is the motivation to create needs and express the responsibility of the country’s subjects in the development course in the era of globalization, 4.0 industrial revolution and global integration. The 12th Party Congress expressed this aspiration as “the determination of the entire Party, the entire people and army to make use of opportunities, overcome difficulties and challenges, improve the Party’s leadership, the effectiveness and efficiency of the State’s management, bring into full play the potentials and strengths of the entire nation and socialist democracy, promote comprehensive and synchronous renovation for the rapid and sustainable development of the country, successfully implement the noble goal of making Vietnam a “rich people, a strong nation, and an equitable, democratic and civilized society,’ so as to firmly advance to socialism”(22).



(1) Nguyen Van Quyet: Key motivations for current national development, http://lyluanchinhtri.vn.

(2), (3), (13), (14) Dinh The Huynh and partners (Co-editor): 30 years of renovation and development in Vietnam, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2015, pg.405, 406, 406, 407-409.

(4), (6), (8), (10), (12), (15), (18), (19), (22) CPV: Document of the 12th National Congress, Central Party Office, Hanoi, 2016, pg.65, 65-66, 66, 67, 217, 76, 158, 269, 219-220.

(5), (7), (9) My Chi: What do we have from the 1986 renovation to the economic restructuring in 2013? Young Intellectuals Magazine, http://cafef.vn.

(11) Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc: Efforts in innovation, creation, resolute actions, and striving to successfully implement the 2019 plan, create a foundation for quick and sustainable development, http://nhandan.com.vn.

(16) Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc: Developing a resolution to implement the 2019 socio-economic development plan in the spirit of breakthroughs, boldness to think and to do, innovation and creation, https://viettimes.vn.

(17) Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc: Building a breakthrough institution, creating a driving force for development, http://baochinhphu.vn.

(20) Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong: Increasing efforts, dynamism, and creativity to successfully achieve goals and tasks, http://nhandan.com.vn.

(21) Vietnam needs to find new motivations of development, http://pace.edu.vn.

Assoc Prof, Dr. Ngo Dinh Xay

Academy of Journalism & Communication

Related Articles

Contact us