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中国株レポート
投資の視点
新興成長国基礎データ
中華人民共和国
パプアニューギニア
インドネシア
スリランカ
バングラディッシュ
インド
韓国
タイ
パキスタン
マレーシア
ベトナム
フィリピン
アルゼンチン
ブラジル
チリ
メキシコ
エクアドル
ベネズエラ
ペルー

ヨルダン
ポルトガル
ギリシャ
ポーランド
ハンガリー
ザンビア
トルコ
ナイジェリア
モーリシャス
ボツワナ

Geography

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam covers a total area of 329,566 square kilometres and lies along the western shore of the South China sea, bordered by the People's Republic of China to the north, by Laos to the west and by Cambodia to the south-west. Vietnam is dominated by the deltas and immediate hinterlands of the Mekong and Songkoi(Red River) which are linked by the mountainous backbone and adjacent coastal lowlands of Annam.

Demography

The population of Vietnam was approximately 70 million at the end of 1992 compared with 52.7 million in 1979. With an effective growth rate of 2.1%. per annum. 40% of the population is less than 15 years old. Vietnam's population is still predominantly rural, with the urban dwellers forming 20% of the total. The largest town in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), in the south, with a population of 3.9 million, whereas the largest city in the north, the capital Hanoi and its port, Haiphong, have populations of 3 million and 1.4 million respectively.

Vietnamese, who are ethnically related to the southern Chinese, form 80% of the population. There are also significant minority groups, notably the Tai in the north numbering some 2 million. The literacy rate is approximately 88-94% of the population over the age of 10, compared with 85% in 1979.

In 1987, the total economically active population by official estimation was 28 million, of which 73% were engaged in agriculture and forestry, 10.8% in manufacturing, 2.9% in construction, 1.7% in transport and communications and 11.5% in administration and commerce. There are approximately 60,000 engineers in the country, thanks to large-scale training programmes carried out mostly in the Soviet Union or in East Germany, and there is an abundant supply of technically and scientifically trained staff.

History and Political Situation

Vietnam's history reads as through the country has been at war for the last 1000 years either with nature or with other countries seeking to take away a fiercely-held independence. The Chinese were bitter enemies for centuries; then come a hundred years of French colonial rule; but the highest price has been paid since 1945. At the end of the Second World War, Britain was made responsible for the surrender and withdrawal of the occupying Japanese Forces to the south of the 16th parallel, whilst the Chinese (under Chiang Kai Shek) supervised the withdrawal to the north. Before this could be achieved however, Ho Chi Minh declared the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on 2nd September 1945. Though separate agreements with the Chinese and the British, France had restored their pre-1940 claims to the country and returned to the country they had colonised in the middle of the previous century. Thus began the war of "liberation" with France which culminated in the defeat of the French in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.

Following the defeat of the French, the country divided in two and fighting broke out between Ho's Hanoi-based communist government and the anti-Communist regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon. With the support of the United States, the government in the south of Vietnam, refused to agree to United Nations supervised electrous and shortly thereafter fighting broke out between the USSR backed north and the US backed south. US military involvement in the south between 1963-1973 contributed to the devastation of the country but failed to bring victory for the south. Following the signing of a peace accord in Paris in 1973, the economic and political situation in the south continued to deteriorate and in early 1975, Vietnamese Forces invaded the south and re-unified Vietnam. On 2nd July 1976 the country was proclaimed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The invasion of Cambodia in 1978 - effectively an extension of hostilities with China, which backed the murderous Khmer Rouge regime - earned Vietnam the reprobation of the world and economic isolation as its punishment. These moves forced Vietnam to rely on the Soviet Union and it's COMECON allies for economic and military assistance, and intensified the economic crisis created by the adoption of a central planning economic model ill-adopted to the country's circumstances.

The Drop of the pro-Chinese Hoang Van Hoan at the fourth Party Congress in 1976 and of the victor of Dien Bien Phu, Vo Nguyen Giap, and the leading proponent of economic reform, Ngugen Van Linh, at the 1982 Congress was cases in point. But, for the most part, consensus was maintained throughout this testing period. Even the sixth Party Congress of 1986, which retained only three members of the 13 member Politburo of 1982, rehabilitated Nguyen Van Linh to fill the most senior party post of general secretary and made an apparently unequivocal commitment to economic renovation "Doi Moi", did not mark the complete eclipse of the conservatives or herald the immediate implementation of the reform programme set out at the congress.

After the death of conservative prime minister Pham Hung in 1988, Do Muoi, the successor, showed the sort of flexibility towards Cambodia that would enable it to break out of its international isolation

Troop withdrawals from Cambodia in 1989 and first steps towards a market-driven economy have begun a process of gradual rehabilitation of the country in the eyes of the world, despite the leadership's reluctance to follow its erstwhile Soviet allies in abandoning socialist principals.

The slight shift in political emphasis in the seventh Congress resolutions was expressed in a new constitution in April 1992. The constitution enhanced the powers of the National Assembly. In the elections for a new National Assembly in July 1992 Vietnam Fatherland Front took 8% of the seats, although non-party candidates were allowed to stand.

Economy

Vietnam has never experienced successful industrial development. French colonial policy concentrated on natural resource exploitation; communist attempts at heavy industrialisation of the north through state-owned enterprises failed as did attempt to root out American style capitalism in the south.

Since 1976, Vietnam's economy has been guided by a series of Five Year Plans (FYPs) which sets precise targets for the inputs and outputs of state-run enterprises. Unfortunately, severe economic inefficiencies have characterised Vietnam's FYPs in the past, including distorted price structures, arbitrary state intervention, miss-allocation of state subsidies, a repressed financial system and unrealistic production quotas. Most discouraging has been the highly inefficient pricing system, the multiple levels of fixed exchange rates, and the negative real interest rates on loans extended by state banks to inefficient state enterprises.

In the aftermath of reunification, the second FYP of 1976-80 set over ambitious targets for economy. Achieved average annual growth rate at 0.4% reflected the burden of high military expenditure, lack of infrastructure, hasty north-south integration efforts and limited direct foreign investment. Vietnam experienced a vicious cycle of corruption, inefficiency, and an ever-growing black market. The resulting slowdown in trade and economic aid caused by the US-led trade embargo and the abrupt halt in aid from China when Vietnam invaded Cambodia triggered an economic crisis in 1977-78, which in turn touched off a briefly flurry of economic liberalisation.

Under the third FYP of 1980-85, cautious liberalisation of the private sector was hampered by periodic clamp downs on the free markets. In 1985, subsidies to state enterprises reached critical levels and , in 1986, inflation surged to more than 400%. Mounting inflation discouraged exports and this led to a deterioration of the current account and overall balance of payments.

In 1986, the government responded to the crisis by introducing a radical economic reform and restructuring programme called "Doi Moi", along the lines of Gorbachov's "Perestroika" in the Soviet Union. "Doi Moi" restored the agricultural sector to its pre-eminent position in the economy, the manufacturing sector underwent a policy shift from heavy to light industry and the government extended greater decision-making powers to managers and cut some subsidies to state enterprises. Small-scale commercial enterprises were encouraged to lead the way in the development of a private sector. Since 1988, further reforms including a reduction of trade restrictions, the passing of a very liberal and less intervention in the management of state-run enterprises have all occurred.

Vietnam saw a dramatic reduction in support from its important trade partner and aid patron the Soviet Union following the break-up of the USSR. In recent years, Vietnam's foreign trade had been primarily conducted with socialist countries in Indochina and the COMECON. The collapse of the COMECON has created a need for rapid shift in trade towards Asia and the West. In 1988 the share of Vietnam's total trade with the non-convertible currency area (principally COMECON) was approximately 70%. By 1992 such trade was less than 10% of the total. Principal exports are now rice and oil which increased rapidly in 1992, whilst exports of coal, tin, rubber, coffee, grovednuts, garments and other light manufactures showed increased over 1991.

Attempts to attract foreign investments have had some success: by early 1992, 45 investment projects, at a total value of $2.9billion had been approved, with Taiwan being particularly keen to participates. Investors are attracted by Vietnam's advantageous geographical location, by its mineral resources and by its cheap and relatively well-educated labour force. Vietnam has poor infrastructure and this can not be restored without international assistance. Although US embargo blocks international assistance, US are likely to clear in near future.

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