Vietnamese State Industry and the Political Economy of Commercial Renaissance book cover

Vietnamese State Industry and the Political Economy of Commercial Renaissance

Dragon’s Toothor Curate’s Egg?

This book is based upon extensive and repeated fieldwork, close observation and familiarity with institutional detail. It traces Vietnam’s early attempts to create in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) a basis for a military-industrial complex, and the ways in which these attempts failed, which explains the nature of state commercialism through the 1980s and into recent years. Since the 1990 breakout to a market economy, Vietnam has shown outstanding development success, with rapid GDP growth, macroeconomic stability, swift poverty reduction, maintenance of social spending and extensive globalisation. Her SOEs have played a major role, not only in showing that performance gains in 1989-91 could compensate for loss of the large Soviet bloc aid program, but also as major players in the rapid economic change of the 1990s, during which the officially reported state share of GDP remained high. By the middle of the 2000s, however, a rising private sector was, in harness with a large presence of foreign companies, sharply increasing pressures upon SOEs. Against this background, the book concludes with an assessment of the extent to which Vietnam’s commercialised SOEs are now no longer seen as an effective compromise, but acting as a major hindrance to Vietnam’s development.

Students and academics in Asian studies

Hardbound, 300 Pages

Published: February 2007

Imprint: Chandos Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-84334-220-5


  • Scene-setting and overview of the book; The DRV, the development goals of unreformed Vietnamese communism and what went wrong - the limits of national liberation; Vietnamese state industry: policy debates before 1979; Vietnamese neo-Stalinism and its feet of clay - from reunification to August 1979; The transitional model of the 1980s: a new solution? Just how important was policy? Spontaneous decentralisation, 1979-1980; The attempted recentralisation, 1980-1985; From the 1986 Sixth Congress to the emergence of the SOE-focused model of the 1990s; State industry: from the early 1990s and the ‘big surprise’ to the gathering problems of the late 1990s and 2000s; Conclusions - state industry and the Vietnamese experience.


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