Ho Chi Minh City’s NinthA Communist Party Congress ended Friday, with the re-election ofA Le Thanh Hai as the Secretary of the City Party Unit for the next five-year term.
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Vietnam metro keeps party secretary re-elected
This fall, Intel will open a $1 billion chip assembly and test plant near Ho Chi Minh City. Taiwanese laptop PC and LCD screen manufacturer Compal also has a new factory in Vietnam. Arthur Chiao, chairman of the Taiwan Electronics & Electrical Appliances Assn., on June 7 said his group is helping Taiwanese companies find new manufacturing sites in Vietnam in the wake of rising labor costs on the mainland.
Vietnam’s economic stance following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, East Asian recession has been a cautious one, emphasizing macroeconomic stability rather than growth. While the country has shifted toward a more market-oriented economy, the Vietnamese government still continues to hold a tight rein over major state sectors of the economy, such as the banking system, state-owned enterprises, and areas of foreign trade.
Considering the complex mix of opportunities and challenges both in the economy and politics, the position of Vietnam has obviously strengthened vis-a-vis many of its regional competitors. Many observers have commended the government for upholding growth in the face of the recent recession. Despite this, Vietnam, faces many challenges that will need to be faced and solved. Traffic in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is becoming increasingly congested and chaotic. The government is investing in road improvements but investment is not occurring fast enough to help accommodate all the new motorcycles and cars being added. Air and water pollution is a concern in many areas. The government has expressed determination to increase spending on education and some of this is occurring but more is needed. Some areas like Binh Duong outside of major cities offer much the better opportunities. Vietnam in many ways offers one of the most interesting and potentially fruitful markets for investment although the reality is that investors will need to be willing to accept short-term pain in terms of traffic, pollution, lesser trained technicians and management to gain the longer term growth opportunities that Vietnam certainly has the potential of delivering those with well thought out business plans and properly researched and implemented investment and manufacturing ventures.
Education has always had a central role in Vietnam culture and society. It is seen as the avenue of advancement and families routinely sacrifice much to ensure their offspring get the required education. The government of Vietnam has for some time set the priority of education in terms of its budget. Currently, education occupies approximately 20% of all state budget expenditures and accounts for 5.5% of GDP (source: Department of Finance and Planning, MOET, 2008).