Describe Vietnam main economic characteristics of the country and analyse its trade pattern and possible impediments to international trade. Discuss if the country is well integrated in the world trade system.
Vietnam Integration in the Globalised Economy
Vietnam: A Brief Historical and Economic Background
Like almost all countries in the Southeast Asian region, Vietnam was also annexed by a foreign country when European economic and military superpowers like Spain, France, the United Kingdom, and Portugal. For Vietnam, it was France which forcibly occupied the country until France was defeated in 1954 by "communist forces under Ho Chi MINH" (Central Intelligence Agency, n.d.) ending the French's almost 100 years of occupation.
After struggling with how to integrate the philosophies of communism into government and the Vietnamese' psyche, Vietnam adopted the "doi moi" (renovation) economic policy in 1986. Since then, the "Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries" (Central Intelligence Agency, n.d.).
Vietnam's Economic Characteristics
Currently, based on 2013 data, Vietnam is the 39th economy in the world with an estimated gross domestic product of about US $156 billion. The attatched graph compares the gross domestic products (GDPs) of Vietnam and the United States from 2002 to 2014 (estimate). The disparity is too high that the United States' GDP has to be plotted on another scale, on the right, to be able to compare the two economies. For comparison, The United States's GDP is almost 110 times that of Vietnam. Nevertheless, Vietnam's economic growth rate at 5.25% is much more impressive than the United States's 4.20%. In fact, Vietnam is currently the darling of investors looking for alternative investment vehicles in the Southeast Asian area.
Graph 1. A comparison of Vietnam and the United States Gross Domestic Products from 2002 to 2014 (estimate) (TradingEconomics.com 2014). ...
Background information on Vietnam Integration in the Globalised Economy.