Lessons for Sri Lanka from Vietnam’s President Sang: interview

Dec 10, 2011 (LBO) – Vietnam is a country which left behind a bitter war civil war with foreign involvement to become a fast growing nation and a top destination for global foreign direct investments following its Đổi Má»›i or (renewal) political and market reforms starting from 1986. Vietnam built bridges both internally and externally to fast-track the country into prosperity.

In 2010 Vietnam, which has a population of 87 million people, received 11 billion dollars in foreign investments. New sign-ups were 18.5 billion dollars. In the first six months of 2010 alone realized FDI was c8.1 billion US dollars. Unemployment is now a little over two percent and poverty has fallen to ten percent.

The US which was involved in its civil war is now a top trading partner and the seventh largest investor with 13 billion dollars in investments.

President Truong Tan Sang, who is a southerner, was at one time imprisoned by what was then the US backed South Vietnam government. His home town, Ho Chi Minh City (earlier Saigon) where he was involved in developing economic zones receives the most foreign investment, totaling 30 billion dollars so far.

In this interview reproduced from the latest issue of LBR Magazine President Sang explains his hopes for stronger Sri Lanka-Vietnam