The Vietnam Development Forum Tokyo

 Tokyo, September 24, 2004

 1. Background

On May 31, 2003, Prof. Kenichi Ohno (GRIPS), Prof. Tran Van Tho (Waseda Univ.) and a number of Vietnamese graduate students who were studying in Japan set up the Japan-Vietnam Economist Club (JVEC) in order to create a place to express and exchange academic views on Vietnam's development policy issues. From June 2003 to Sep. 2004, JVEC conducted 12 workshops, sent a research team to Hanoi for an intensive motorbike study, strengthened research links within Japan and between Japan and Vietnam, and stimulated many Vietnamese and Japanese researchers studying in Japan and abroad.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Development Forum (VDF), a joint research project between the National Economics University (NEU) and GRIPS, was established in Feb. 2004 in Hanoi to mobilize young Vietnamese talents and innovate research methodology. Prof. Nguyen Van Thuong (NEU Rector) and Prof. Kenichi Ohno (GRIPS) are the project leaders of VDF.

Since JVEC and VDF share the same goal of fully utilizing Vietnamese human resources, we have decided to merge their research activities for more effective linkage. From now on, JVEC, which used to be an informal volunteer group, will become VDF Tokyo under the management and budget of GRIPS. VDF in Hanoi will continue to operate as before. Thus, VDF Hanoi and VDF Tokyo will be administratively separate, but integrated in research content. We hope this re-organization of two sisters will further strengthen research in Vietnam, Japan and the rest of the world.

 2. Objectives

  To promote high quality research on the Vietnamese economy
  To offer a forum for intellectual exchange among people sincerely interested or deeply involved in Vietnam's economic policy
  To disseminate analysis and proposals in order to improve Vietnam's economic policy
  To stimulate similar academic activities in Vietnam, Japan and elsewhere
  To provide information exchange service for Vietnam's economic research
  To publish articles or journals of international standard

 3. Name

The Vietnam Development Forum Tokyo ("VDF Tokyo" for short)

 4. Legal status

VDF Tokyo is a research sub-unit managed by the GRIPS Development Forum, a research project at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, in Tokyo.

 5. Membership

Entry and exit is free. There is no formal procedure or fee to become a member. Anyone who lives or stays in Japan and is seriously interested in the development issues of Vietnam, regardless of nationality, can become a member. We particularly encourage the following groups to participate in our activities.

  Vietnamese nationals with the knowledge of economics, business or social issues at the graduate level or above
  Vietnamese researchers and officials engaged in the analysis, formulation or implementation of Vietnam's economic policy
  Professors, researchers, officials, NGO professionals and other development experts in Japan with great interest and knowledge of the Vietnamese economy (any nationality)

 6. Management

  Prof. Kenichi Ohno (GRIPS)
Secretariat: (as of Dec2008)
Nguyen Thuy Anh (PhD student, Waseda Univ.) since October 2008
  Pham Thai Son (Master student, APPP, Hitotsubashi Univ.) since October 2008
  Vu Tuan Khai (Yokohama National University)

  Tran Hoai Vu (Waseda Univ.) since May 2007
  Azko Hayashida (GRIPS)
  Giang Thanh Long (GRIPS) has returned to Hanoi in October 2008.
  Nguyen Thi Xuan Thuy (GRIPS) has returned to Hanoi in January 2008.
  Pham Truong Hoang (Yokohama National University) has returned to Hanoi in March 2007.
  Nguyen Duc Thanh (GRIPS) has returned to Hanoi in September 2006.
  Vu Hoang Nam (GRIPS) has returned to Hanoi in 2008.
  Le Thuy Duong (Waseda Univ.) since January 2008

The secretariat will perform the following duties.
  Make programs and schedule 
  Make records and administrative documents 
  Contact members and cooperate with VDF Hanoi
  External research networking 
Homepage production and management

 7. Working language

The working language is English. However, Vietnamese and Japanese may be additionally used as necessary.

 8. Main activities

  Academic workshops: Workshops will be conducted monthly in academic style. Experts, professors, officials and graduate students of any nationality can be invited to make a presentation.
  Lectures, seminars and conferences: We will host or co-host other forms of meetings as necessary. We will also participate in relevant events hosted by other organizations.
  Publications: We will publish excellent research in hardcopy and electronic form.
  Networking: Other forms of meetings, interviews and visits will be conducted to expand and intensify research networking.
  Research trips: For approved topics and contents, we will support research trips within Japan and to/from Vietnam.

We will conduct all above in close cooperation with VDF Hanoi.

 9. Proposed topics

VDF Tokyo accepts any policy-oriented topics concerning the Vietnamese economy as long as the quality is good. For example:

  Macroeconomic and financial issues
  Microeconomic issues and models
  Industrial, trade and investment issues
  Social issues including poverty, environment and social change
  Public administration and policy effectiveness
  Economic aid policy
  Any other development issues