Socio-Economic Development in the Mekong Delta: Between the Prospects for Progress and the Realms of Reality

Garschagen, Matthias, Revilla-Diez, Javier, Nhan, Dang Kieu and Kraas, Frauke, "Socio-Economic Development in the Mekong Delta: Between the Prospects for Progress and the Realms of Reality" in The Mekong Delta System: Interdisciplinary Analyses of a River Delta ed. Renaud, Fabrice G. and Kuenzer, Claudia (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2012), 83-132.

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  • Author Garschagen, Matthias
    Revilla-Diez, Javier
    Nhan, Dang Kieu
    Kraas, Frauke
    Book Editor Renaud, Fabrice G.
    Kuenzer, Claudia
    Chapter Title Socio-Economic Development in the Mekong Delta: Between the Prospects for Progress and the Realms of Reality
    Book Title The Mekong Delta System: Interdisciplinary Analyses of a River Delta
    Publication Date 2012
    Place of Publication Dordrecht
    Publisher Springer Netherlands
    Start page 83
    End page 132
    Language eng
    Abstract Socio-economic development in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta is shaped by a complex web of interacting and dynamic trends. Based on the analysis of statistical data, special reports, planning documents and scientific literature, the chapter examines the key dimensions of such trends, paying particular attention to agricultural transformation, industrialization, migration and urbanization. It is argued that changes in these fields have been producing ambiguous economic net-effects and socially stratified development outcomes over the last decades. On the one hand, the agricultural sector in the Mekong Delta has been experiencing profound production gains due to de-collectivization, expansion, intensification and diversification. This has contributed to overall poverty reduction in the Delta and to the economic progress of the entire country. On the other hand, the Mekong Delta lags behind the national average in terms of many development indicators in the socio-economic sphere (e.g. education levels or housing conditions). Under stress from multiple economic and environmental pressures and risks, small-scale farmers increasingly have difficulties securing a minimum level of profitability and a stable livelihood base. Rising inequalities, high incidences of landlessness, and labour migration, notably into urban areas, are among the most significant consequences. At the same time, industrial development falls short of earlier expectations. The Delta’s secondary and tertiary sectors are presently unable to sufficiently absorb the former agricultural labour force. As a result, strong outmigration occurs, most importantly to Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbouring provinces. Guided by development theory we argue that next to the neoclassical expansion of conventional capital stocks for fostering endogenous growth potentials, development in the Mekong Delta heavily depends on institutional factors, enabling social and economic development. Aspects such as the need for improved access to land or for extended education and professional training, more integrated planning, and intensified promotion of economic innovations are discussed in detail.
    Keyword Socio-economic development
    Mekong delta
    Copyright Holder Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
    Copyright Year 2012
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9789401784566
    DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-3962-8
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    Created: Thu, 18 Jun 2015, 00:03:17 JST by Sijia Yi on behalf of UNU EHS