clashtigers.jpgIf
you ain't yet in China, then maybe its too late. Vietnam is the new
Asian tiger competing for the attentions and pocket-books of western
investors, according to this New York Times article.

Like China, Vietnam has embraced capitalism after becoming
disillusioned with the widespread poverty and sometimes hunger that
accompanied tight state control of the economy.

Following in the footsteps of its bigger Asian neighbour, Vietnam is is currently negotiating to join the WTO.

Indeed, the country's recent development has many parallels with
that of China. Michael Smith, chief executive of HSBC, told the NYT:

I think they are the next China. It's not the scale of China, but it's a significant economy.”

In Vietnam, nearly double-digit growth is starting to produce the
same shortages of skilled labour as is now common in China — see yesterday's EngagingChina story

Economic liberalisation policies have been pursued for the past
decade in Vietnam and the reform process now seems irreversible. Just
ask Intel, the US chip giant, which is building a $300m facility in Ho Chi Min City — Vietnam's first such chip plant.

Intel already has two plants in China, in Chengu and Shanhai, but
like a lot of multinationals it is wary about putting all its eggs in
one emerging-market basket and prefers to build a “global network”.

Vietnam has been been trying to diversify its economy by attracting
hi-tech investors — and with good reason. Vietnam, like China, is
currently experiencing the wrath of EU trade officials, who recently imposed punitive tariffs
on shoe exports from the two countries. The EU alleges that shoemakers
in both two Asian countries unfairly benefit from state aid.

More on Vietnam in this earlier article.


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