Vietnam's Industrialization Strategy in the Age of Globalization

The Ishikawa Project
(Study on the Economic Development Policy for the Transition
toward a Market-Oriented Economy in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam)

The project was officially agreed upon by the two governments when former Communist Party General Secretary Do Muoi visited Tokyo in April 1995. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI, previously the State Planning Committee) were the implementing bodies; and Shigeru Ishikawa, professor emeritus of Hitotsubashi University was appointed as the leader on the Japanese side. The project was implemented jointly by the Vietnamese and Japanese teams over six years (in 3 main phases plus additional studies, from August 1995 to March 2001) and covered various areas including agriculture and rural development, trade and industry, fiscal and monetary issues, SOE reform and SME development (see Figure below).

The "Ishikawa Project" is a good example of Japan's intellectual ODA that shows the Japanese development approach based on long-term orientation and real-sector concern. The project made important contributions in three areas: (i) advice on strategic policy options for the long-term development agenda; (ii) production of various academic research papers including analytic assessment and key development issues facing Vietnam; and (iii) technical assistance to Vietnamese policy makers in research methodology and Japan's development approach, through a collaborative process. While the project was completed in March 2001, most of the task force activities have developed into independent, joint research projects. Greater emphasis is put on the design and implementation of concrete measures, which are necessary for Vietnam to reach the targets of the development vision as envisaged in the Seventh Five-Year Plan and the Ten-Year Strategy.

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