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Vietnam outlines industry reform plan

Vietnam's General Department of Defence Industry (GDDI) – an agency under the Ministry of National Defence (MND) – has outlined a commitment to reform the country's defence industrial base over the coming decade.

The GDDI's 2021–30 plan is currently being developed, said the MND in a recent notice, and is expected to focus on “rearranging, restructuring, innovating, and improving” the national defence-industrial base, which is dominated by the state.

The plan will feature, it added, methods to “develop the national defence industry to meet the Vietnam military's requirements for modern weapons and equipment”. The plan will also target capability improvements by leveraging dual-use technologies and enhancing civil-military integration, it said without elaborating.

The MND outlined the 2021–30 plan at a meeting of the GDDI in early July in which it said that many of the objectives in the 2010–20 plan were achieved.

“The quality of local products has improved, creating trust for users,” said the MND. “Production values have grown and jobs and workers' lives have improved … International co-operation in the field of defence has become a pillar in defence diplomacy.”

Vietnam's plan to develop its defence industry over the coming decade is expected to be framed by a new ordinance and legislation to replace existing guidelines that expired in 2020.

The government in Hanoi has stated recently that replacement guidelines will be aimed at enhancing self-sufficiency, supporting defence exports, creating jobs, and supporting future economic expansion in the wake of anticipated constraints due to Covid-19.

Another priority is to stimulate greater levels of collaboration between civilian and military enterprises – and between Vietnam and allied nations – in developing 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies such as unmanned systems and artificial intelligence.

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