Vietnam could see ‘Asian tiger’ success if it continues opening its markets, handle disputes

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/2 23:33:39

Vietnam's manufacturing activity saw one of its biggest improvements in June since the survey began in March 2011, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday. Vietnam is now in a critical stage for ramping up its manufacturing capacity. If Vietnam can further integrate itself into the Asian industrial chain, the country may eventually become an advanced economy following the four Asian tigers of Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

A great number of countries and regions in Asia have further liberalized their markets, establishing supply chains in the region. If Vietnam wants to promote manufacturing and industrialization, the country has to become an open economy and strengthen industrial cooperation with other countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, who play an important role in the regional supply chain.

In June, the Vietnamese government confronted a tide of public anger as it debated a controversial bill to give foreign investors a 99-year lease on Vietnamese land in proposed special economic zones. It's understandable that some bold measures in opening-up may spark an argument and cause dissatisfaction among conservatives, as new economic reforms bring about new problems.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. The policy, in its initial stage, had once caused great controversy, but facts show that it has led to great socio-economic achievements in the country.

We believe Vietnam is able to handle disputes properly and stick to the correct path to further integrate itself into the regional supply chain. The World Bank in June revised its 2018 economic growth forecast for Vietnam from 6.5 percent to 6.8 percent. Vietnam's economy is showing signs of rising. It will be a pity if Vietnam gives up halfway on its policies to gradually open up its economy.

In January, China overtook the US to become Vietnam's biggest export market. It seems Vietnam has profited by integrating itself into the Asian industrial chain. In the January-May period, Vietnam's exports to China rose by 44.2 percent year-on-year, injecting new momentum into economic growth.

The textile and garment industry is Vietnam's leading export sector with total export earnings of over $30 billion. The protests against the 99-year lease are just an outlet for emotion and should not have a negative effect on the investment flowing into the country's textile and garment industry. Investment disputes should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with laws and regulations.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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