The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change
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The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change

Responsible Futures Matter

Edited by Moazzem Hossain, Tapan Sarker and Malcolm McIntosh

This path-breaking book investigates the challenges of realizing the Asian century. Prosperity in Asia does not only mean economic growth; the issues of public health, sanitation, income equality, the social safety net and efficient use of natural resources are also important. It argues for new policy initiatives in social, environmental and natural resource areas of South, Southeast and East Asia.
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Chapter 1: Agriculture, structural change and socially responsible development in China and Vietnam

Responsible Futures Matter

Clem Tisdell


It is well known that both China and Vietnam have achieved high rates of economic growth since they began their economic reforms. These reforms were designed to transform their economies from a high degree of dependence on central planning and command to ones much more reliant on market systems. Also these reforms were accompanied by policies to make their economies more open to the outside world and encourage foreign direct investment. Although China’s economic reforms began in 1978, Vietnam did not commence its reforms until 1986 when it began its Doi Moi policy designed to renovate its economy. As a result of their economic reforms, the economies of both China and Vietnam have undergone tremendous structural change in a relatively short time-span (see, for example, Tisdell 2009b; Tisdell 2009a). As is to be expected, these changes have given rise to several social tensions. For example, land disputes have resulted in social unrest in some areas of China and Vietnam. In part, these disputes highlight problems in reallocating the use of land to accommodate structural economic change. Possibly, the major structural change in these economies has been the decline of their agricultural sector relative to the remainder of their economies, especially secondary industry. These changes have been accompanied by a rapid increase in urbanization (and accompanying rural-to-urban migration) and a decline in employment in agriculture.

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