This week’s Newsweek paints a devastating portrait of Vietnam’s economy that downplays the positives and focuses on downside. Actually, Vietnam, like most countries including the US, has been reeling since the global downturn that started in 2008, but the promise remains.
The article highlights projects that have been on hold as a result of the slowdown. It says the country that had been on track to take its place as an Asian tiger is plagued by scandal and is now a pussycat.
You could draw that conclusion if you selected certain entries among the 600-plus posts on this blog over the past three years. But a more comprehensive reading would be that Vietnam’s promise remains strong despite its considerable challenges.
As Newsweek points out, the nation boasts “a large youthful population, a very high literacy rate, abundant natural resources, agricultural self-sufficiency, a stretch of coastline to rival California’s or Thailand’s, and a strategic position amid the trade routes of the Pacific.”
Is Vietnam a basket case? That depends, as this blog has been pointing out, on the government earning back the confidence of foreign investors, which will require meaningful corporate, legal and financial reforms — and probably more favorable mention in the Western media.
More from Newsweek on Vietnam’s economy