Innovation Systems for Development

Innovation Systems for Development

Making Research and Innovation in Developing Countries Matter

Edited by Bo Göransson, Claes Brundenius and Carlos Aguirre-Bastos

The rise and expansion of organized scientific research has led individuals to become accustomed to an unceasing delivery of new scientific results and technical improvements that resolve even seemingly unsolvable problems. This timely book examines how science-based research and innovation is designed, implemented and applied in developing countries in support of development and poverty alleviation. The expert contributors trace and compare the emergence of national innovation systems (NIS) in four developing countries – Bolivia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Vietnam. Dedicated chapters on each country identify the main structural and organizational problems for improving the relevance and quality of research output for the productive sector, and conclude by offering suggestions on how the process of applying research outputs and innovations in support of development goals can be improved.

Chapter 5: The national innovation system in Vietnam and its relevance for development

Tran Ngoc Ca

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


After 20 years of radical socio-economic reforms and international economic integration, Vietnam has achieved some significant results. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate has been quite high and stable at around 6–8 per cent for the last ten years. The country has increased GDP per capita from USD 440 in 2002 to around USD 700 in 2006 and reached a threshold of more than USD 1000 in 2009 and 1910 in 2013 (World Bank, 2015). GDP per capita in purchasing power parity (PPP) increased more than threefold during 1989–2013, from USD 1097 to USD 3620 in 2013. The inflation rate has been reined in to under 10 per cent after a high of over 20 per cent in 2008. In parallel with economic growth, the Vietnamese government has put significant effort into poverty reduction. This has resulted in an incredible outcome with the dramatic drop in the poverty rate from 70 per cent in 1986 to 7.8 per cent in 2013. The unemployment rate was at about 6 per cent on average during 1996–2005, decreasing to 2.6 in 2013 (Table 5.1). Overall, Vietnam’s poverty alleviation target was completed ten years earlier than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) promoted by the United Nations in 2015 (discussed in Chapter 2).

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