Vietnam’s ambitious plans to industrialize appears to be on hold as the country focuses on improving its economic fundamentals. About half of the 1,872 approved industrial parks are operating on about one-fourth of the land designated for industry.
Ho Chi Minh City plans 30 industrial clusters, but so far just 10 have corporate customers. Hanoi has 56 industrial zones of which 44 are operational (some for purposes other than industry). In the port city of Hai Phong, infrastructure at its main industrial park is deteriorating.
The government wants the parks to attract 500,000 small and medium-sized enterprises — but emphasis on industry is controversial as farmland in some cases has become a source of pollution, traffic jams and social instability.