Viet Nam looks like a miracle from a bygone era, exporting its way to prosperity, according to an article posted on The New York Times on October 13.
Over the last five years, no large country has increased its share of global exports more than Viet Nam has.
The article referred to Viet Nam’s success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic: Rapid isolation of outbreaks has kept Viet Nam’s death rate among the four lowest in the world-well under one death per million people.
Containing the pandemic allowed Viet Nam to quickly reopen businesses, and it is now expected to be the world’s fastest growing economy this year.
Regarding the nation’s economic achievements in spite of negative impacts of COVID-19 the article stressed: While many nations are suffering enormous economic contractions and running to the International Monetary Fund for financial rescues, Viet Nam is growing at a 3% annual pace.
Even more impressive, its growth is driven by a record trade surplus, despite the collapse in global trade.
Even as global trade slumped in the 2010s, Viet Nam’s exports grew 16% a year, by far the fastest rate in the world, and three times the emerging-world average.
The article highlighted the Government’s efforts in infrastructure development: “The government invests about 8% of GDP each year on new building projects, and now gets higher grades for the quality of its infrastructure than any nation at a similar stage of development”.
Over the last five years, foreign direct investment has averaged more than 6% of GDP in Viet Nam, the highest rate of any emerging country.
“Average annual per capita income in Viet Nam has quintupled since the late 1980s to nearly US$3000 per person, but the cost of labor is still one half that of China, and the work force is unusually well educated for its income class”, the article asserted.
In a protectionist era, Viet Nam is also a trend-bending, champion of open borders, a signatory to more than a dozen free trade agreements-including a landmark deal recently signed with the European Union.
The article appraised the nation’s measures in developing human resources: “skilled labor is helping Viet Nam move “up the ladder,” perhaps faster than any rival, to manufacture increasingly sophisticated goods”.
Tech surpassed clothing and textiles as Viet Nam’s leading export in 2015 and accounts for most of its record trade surplus this year.
The New York Times supposed that over the last five years, no large country has increased its share of global exports more than Viet Nam has.
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