Viet Nam has been one of the rapidly growing economies in Asia, recording an average annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of about 7.5% over the last decade and 8.5% in 2007. The country?s success in reducing general poverty incidence is remarkable. Viet Nam has achieved continuous poverty reduction, with the proportion of households living below the poverty line falling to 19.5% in 2004 compared with 58.1% in 1993 (Household Survey, 2006). The Government has prepared its Socioeconomic Development Plan (SEDP) 2006?2010, which is also Viet Nam?s national poverty reduction strategy. The SEDP envisions Viet Nam as ?an industrialized country by 2020,? moving out of its low-income country status by increasing average GDP per capita from about $732 in 2006 to the rank of middle-income countries (at $1,100) in 2010. Furthermore, the Government has set a goal of becoming an industrialized country by 2020 by greatly strengthening its human knowledge base and technological capacity.
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