January 10, 2011

Spotlight on Vietnam.

The NYT and The Economist ran similar stories on Vietnam’s fragile economy this week, highlighting the rampant inflation and its overdependence on inefficient, state owned enterprises, particularly in the aftermath of the Vinashin debacle.

The NYT story:

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Hammer and sickle flags are flying here as Ho Chi Minh City, the seemingly irrepressible bastion of Vietnamese capitalism, dutifully marks the start on Tuesday of the Communist Party’s National Congress, an event held every five years to chart the course of a country that has witnessed an economic miracle in recent decades.

continues here

The Economist:

ALL too frequently Vietnam’s capital is plagued by power blackouts. Hotel lifts get stuck, and even the espresso machines in Hanoi’s Parisian-style cafés splutter to a halt. Many thought this fast-developing country had left such symptoms behind. Yet the economy is now straining, and often failing, to keep up with the ambitious growth targets set by Vietnam’s Communist bosses. Inflation is rising; the budget is in deficit; the currency is falling; and people are rushing to turn their savings into dollars or gold.

read the rest



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