Former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai led Vietnam’s reform, integration

(VOVWORLD) -Former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai was a leader of strategic vision and a talented captain who steered Vietnam through difficult years in the initial period of its open-door policy and international integration.
Former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai led Vietnam’s reform, integration - ảnh 1A historic handshake between US President

George W. Bush and former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai marked a new chapter in bilateral relations after 10 years of normalizing relations (

During his term as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2006, Mr. Khai made impressive reforms to boost macro-economic growth and stability. History has acknowledged his legacy in socio-economics, politics, and diplomacy.

Architect of reform, macro-economic growth and stability

When he took office in 1997, Southeast Asia’s economy had fallen into a financial crisis. South Korea and other Asian countries suffered heavy losses. The government led by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai instigated temporary but drastic solutions to keep the crisis from spreading, and obtained a growth rate of 4.8%.

He made it a priority to develop enterprises, entrepreneurs, and Vietnam’s business environment. During his nearly 2 terms of office, he hosted many dialogues with enterprises to help them resolve problems for business development.  He underscored the importance of fine tuning laws as a foundation for developing a market-oriented economy. The promulgation of the Enterprise Law in 1999 and its revision in 2005, and the establishment of the stock market in 2000 illustrated his consistent, long-term vision.

Prime Minister Khai’s decision to abolish 268 sub-license requirements, one half of the total, significantly helped the private sector and encouraged creativity and dynamism. From 2000 to 2001, about 35,000 new enterprises were established, nearly equivalent to the number of enterprises 9 years before. During his tenure, Vietnam’s economy recorded the highest and most stable growth rate of 7%.

International integration boosted

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai deserves credit for boosting Vietnam’s international integration. With his economic expertise and leadership experience, Mr. Khai and his colleagues mapped out an international integration and economic development strategy after Vietnam normalized relations with major countries and joined ASEAN.

Vietnam and the US concluded a Bilateral Free Trade Agreement, a historic landmark in normalizing relations. In 2006 Mr. Khai became the first Vietnamese Prime Minister to visit the US, which opened a new chapter in their relations. Under his leadership, Vietnam concluded negotiations to join the WTO in late 2006, officially joining the global economy and giving new status to Vietnam’s economy.

Former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai laid the foundation for Vietnam’s socialist-oriented market economy and left a legacy of a stable, integrated economy and reform projects to his successors.

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