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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 4. April 27, 1959

Emergence of New Society

Emergence of New Society

Today, North Vietnam is at the stage of economic and social development reached by China in the early 1950s. When the French withdrew, the government took over the banks, the railways, most large scale enterprises and foreign trade.

A sizeable private sector still remains; at the end of 1957, for example, the private, non-socialist sector still accounted for four-fifths of the output value of industry and handicrafts, seventenths of the retail trade and almost one half of the wholesale trade.

The size of the state sector is, however, increasing as a result of the steady expansion of the lower forms of state capitalism; thus, many private firms process products for the state, or are sales agents for the state trading concerns.

Land reform, following the Chinese pattern, gave some 895,000 hectacres to the peasants and was followed by the development of agricultural co-operatives. By November, 1958, over half of the peasant households had joined co-operatives; they are small by comparison with those of China (one visited near Hanoi consisted of 28 households, cultivating 31 mow of land: a mow is 3,600 square metres) but, by pooling land, work animals and implements and thus overcoming the problems presented by the excessive fragmentation of holdings, they have made a significant contribution to expanding the agricultural output.