In May, 2008, Vietnam was praised as being an example in achieving hungry elimination and poverty reduction in the global sight report released by the WB and IMF. The percent of poor houses was reduced by 50 percent from 1993 to 2004.
In 1986, the Doimoi (Renovation) was launched in Vietnam and got many achievements in all fields. With the GDP growing an average of 7.5 percent per year during more than 10 years, per capital GDP in Vietnam increased from US$288 in 1993 to $716 in 2006. Economic growth of Vietnam is considerable, but the income disparities widens more and more.
In May 2008, the first Vietnam private airplane costing $7 million arrived in NoiBai International Airport. The owner is Mr Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC Corp. There are now new and quite luxurious resident areas in Hanoi and Saigon built for the new class of super rich who want to live with western style. In the city of Danang, a building with $1 million apartments broke ground this June.
But in places only 30 kilometers from the centre Hanoi or Saigon, many people live in poor and hungry conditions. According to the Ministry of Finance, the income gap between the richest 20 percent and the poorest 20 percent has widened. In compared with the poor standard of UN ($2 according to the purchasing power) the poverty rate in Vietnam maintain high 26 percent, in rural areas 30 percent, especially in mountainous regions over 50 percent.
Now, with 25 percent inflation, this number is increasing day by day. The increasing gap is the result of mismanagement of public funds. This similar situation has occurred in the Republic of China more than 20 years ago and brought many bad results.
In 10 years, if Vietnam could maintain high economic growth rate, the rich and poor gap will become the most serious challenge faced with Vietnamese leaders. It could cause the instability in Vietnam society, in general. In order to narrow the gap, Vietnam should pay much attention to the rural population and farmers. China may be the useful lesson to Vietnam in rich and poor gap solving.