Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Vietnam-The new kid in the block

For the past two years BRIC has become a byword in the world of economics and business worldwide. BRIC, a brainchild of the Goldman Sachs' thesis stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China. The thesis predicts that these four countries would dominate the world economy with respect to manufacturing, services and suppliers of raw materials. According to the thesis, India has the potential to grow the fastest among these four countries.

But amidst all this euphoria and gungho, there is another player that has slowly but surely crept its way up to make its presence felt to the world. It is Vietnam. This post is the result of quenching my curiosity in unearthing more about the status of this country as I kept finding its name all over newspapers and magazines a way too often these days. The latest was a couple of weeks back when Intel corp, the worlds largest chip maker, dumped India for Vietnam and China as the more favourable countries for its fabrication units.

The Vietnam that I knew

  • The little that I had heard about Vietnam was always about wars, famine,drought. (Even now while I was trying search for images on Vietnam, I was swamped with images of war and battlefield.)
  • For decades its economy was in tatters because of the Vietnam war.
  • It suffered trade embargo from US and Europe for years after the Vietnam war.

How did Vietnam pick itself up?
  • The govt in 1990s introduced broad economic reforms. private ownership was encouraged in industries, commerce and agriculture.
  • In the past decade purchasing power has doubled and poverty has been halved, making Vietnam the third-most-attractive retail market among emerging countries, according to consultants A.T. Kearney.
  • Vietnam is one of Asia's most open economies: two-way trade is around 160% of GDP, more than twice the ratio for China and over four times India's
  • Half of Vietnam's population of 84 million people are below the age of 30, which creates enough domestic demand and is a strong reason for its self sustainable economy like India..
  • Already Vietnam is the second-fastest-growing economy in Asia after China (8.4 percent last year), and the breakneck speed has been accompanied by enormous interest from global manufacturers looking for alternatives to China.
  • The Next Eleven (or N-11) is a short list of countries named by Goldman Sachs investment bank on December 12, 2005 as having promising outlooks for investment and future growth. And Vietnam stands tall in the list.


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