A toxic cocktail … European debt crisis, U.S. economic stagnation, a very critical situation in VN

When: Thu, Sep 6th 2012 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: New World Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
What: AmCham Members Networking Night with Dr. Le Dang Doanh

Le Dang Doanh, VN Institute of Development StudiesDr. Le Dang Doanh, a prominent economist and a former top official at a government research organization, was recently quoted in the NY Times: “The problem in Vietnam is a very, very toxic cocktail from the European debt crisis, the stagnation in the U.S. economy plus a very critical situation in the domestic economy,” Mr. Doanh said. “It’s a very dangerous mixture.”

Stabilization policies since February 2011 have slowed the roller coaster ride of credit growth, inflation, and the economy. Many AmCham companies seem to be doing well, but there seems to be a malaise in the Vietnamese economy, with SOE reform lagging, non-performing bank loans, land disputes and conflicts, and the Vietnamese local economy seems to be under stress.

With FDI plunging (down 67% in the first seven months of 2012), and continuing lack of productivity growth, some observers talk about Vietnam getting caught in the “middle-income trap.” Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar seem more attractive investment destinations than Vietnam, according to news reports and a survey by A.T. Kearney Consultants.

Foreign Policy magazine announced “the end of the Vietnamese miracle”. And the New York Times even reported In Vietnam, Fears of an Economic Meltdown.

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After the unlearned lesson: Vinashin, VinaLines, and other SOEs’ inefficiencies, comes a dear price to pay: Nguyen Duc Kien, ACB and HCMC stock market. And the New York Times recently reported that In Vietnam, Message of Equality Is Challenged by Widening Wealth Gap (SOEs), which highlighted corruption/nepotism in State Owned Enterprises.

President Truong Tan Sang has commented on and publicly worried about the situation in a series of recent articles and speeches. “We should be proud about what we have done,” he wrote, speaking of the economic boom under Party leadership, “but in the eyes of our ancestors, we should also feel ashamed for our weakness and failures, which have been preventing the growth of the nation.”

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Vietnam president talks corruption with Tuoi Tre, Tuoi Tre, Jun 25, 2012

Chấp nhận đau đớn để chống tham nhũng thành công, Tuoi Tre, Jun 25, 2012

President Sang addresses the nation on the 67th anniversary of the August Revolution (Aug 19, 1945) and National Day (Sep 2, 1845) , VietnamNet, Sep 3, 2012

Chủ tịch Trương Tấn Sang: Phải biết hổ thẹn với tiền nhân, Tin Mới, ngày 23 tháng tám năm 2012.

Dr. Le Dang Doanh will share with us his analysis of the current situation and to give some ideas about what AmCham companies, and AmCham as an organization, can do in cooperation with Vietnamese business associations, international organizations (VBF, World Bank, ADB, etc.), U.S. Embassy and Consulate … to improve the business environment and revitalize Vietnam’s “economic miracle” of stable, sustainable, and equitable growth.

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