Ari Kokko: The European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: Compared with its ASEAN neighbors, Vietnam appears to have weathered the Asian crisis quite well. Official statistics indicate a GDP growth rate of 6.6 per cent for the first half of 1998; export growth remains positive, and the dong has depreciated by only 20 per cent against the USD. But the relatively favorable picture has more to do with controls than with sound economic fundamentals. In the absence of comprehensive reforms, the Vietnamese economy will gradually slide into a deeper recession. Influential interest groups, such as SOEs and their employees, hanker after return to central planning. What is needed instead is a Doi Moi II, including measures to liberalize trade, strengthen the financial system and promote transparency throughout the economy.
14 pages, December 1, 1998
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