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OnderzoekCentre for East Asian Studies Groningen

Farmers´ land tenure security in Vietnam and China - Legislative changes and challenges

Wanneer:do 04-12-2014 om 16:15
Waar:Academy building RUG

Farmers´ land tenure security in Vietnam and China

Legislative changes and challenges

PhD ceremony: H.L. (Huong) Nguyen, LLM
When: December 04, 2014
Start: 16:15
Promotors: prof. mr. dr. W.D. (Wilbert) Kolkman, prof. mr. dr. L.C.A. (Leon) Verstappen
Where: Academy building RUG
Faculty: Law

Vietnam established a public land ownership regime when starting a socialist state. However, there has been a long established debate on the appropriateness of such a regime. Since an economic reform took place in 1986, the socio-economic conditions of the nation have changed dramatically. Vietnam has become a middle-income country, transforming substantively into an industrial economy. The changes have brought opportunities as well as challenges to the agricultural sector such as limits in land productivity and land-related investment. This leads to the revisiting of the debate. In fact, the State demands a reconsideration of land laws to improve farmers’ investment incentives. Yet, due to several reasons including the political ideology, the regime of public land ownership has remained in effect.Instead, Vietnam is approaching the security of farmers’ land rights to increase land investment. Is this approach appropriate to spur land-related investment in the changing socio-economic context? To answer this question, I conducted a PhD comparative research on the security of farmers’ land rights under the Vietnamese and Chinese laws. The research aims to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the farmers’ land tenure security in both countries and to confirm the right direction of the reform approach. The main findings are (i) despite the limits, the legal security of farmers’ land rights has been improved significantly in both countries, (ii) the finding on the evolution of the Chinese farmers’ tenure security restates firmly that Vietnam has been moving in a right direction in enlarging tenure security to boost investment incentive, and (iii) the experience of China and Vietnam could be a useful reference for other transition economies to take into consideration in addressing land use efficiency and equality.