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  1. #1
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    LOS must take a lesson from Vietnam

    Kingdom must take a lesson from a rapidly rising vietnam


    By Kavi Chongkittavorn
    The Nation
    Published on May 24, 2008


    With improved infrastructure and adequate managerial resources, Vietnam will catch up to Thailand and could become a formidable competitor in a fast-changing world, Thai economists warned yesterday.





    The economists were part of a panel discussion about the economic potential of Thailand and Vietnam, which was jointly organised by the Foreign Ministry, the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Association and the Thailand Research Fund (TRF).


    They said Thailand currently scores better in overall indicators than Vietnam but Hanoi's political stability and clear and precise economic and investment policies have recently attracted new capital flows and accelerated economic growth at around 8 per cent per year - the highest in Asean.


    Sethaputhi Suthvathanaputhi, an economist at Siam Commercial Bank, said that Vietnam's potential economic growth was extremely good due to the high percentage of young people under 20 years old - more than 36 per cent of an estimated 84 million population. Thailand has a considerably lower percentage at about 29 per cent.


    Other economists said Thailand had to go beyond its current development stage by improving its education system and the population's information technology skills, which are far better among the Vietnamese.


    Somkiart Tankitvanich, an economist at the Thailand Development Research Institute, pointed out that Thailand scores higher on overall infrastructure and mid-level managerial staffers as well as a better legal system and legal environment. But given its current rapid growth, Somkiart is confident that Vietnam will eventually catch up with Thailand in the future because of the growth of local markets and various economic reforms that have taken place.


    Kittipong na Ranong, the Thai ambassador to Vietnam, said it was pivotal for the Thais to understand and appreciate Vietnam's strengths, and this would benefit Thailand in a globalised world and integrated regional economy. "Vietnam has very high purchasing power and opportunities for Thai investors are great," he said.
    The two-day meeting, which ends today, discussed research papers on the economic potential of the two countries covering marine products, auto parts, rubber, labour conditions and tourism.




    Thailand missed the boat some time ago.



    Thailand scores higher on overall infrastructure and mid-level managerial staffers as well as a better legal system and legal environment.

  2. #2
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    funny article for sure,

    Vietnam does lack some capacity, mostly housing, Saigon housing is a nightmare, with prices as par with Paris for expats

    it's growing for sure, and it's going places

  3. #3
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    The Vietnamese have long been regarded as a more business minded, industrious people than others in the region.

    Thailand has done OK in the last 20 years almost by default- politically speaking, it's neighbours in Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have been basket cases, basically out of the equation for foreign investment. Now VN and Cambodia are opening up. Unless it picks it's act up, the implications for Thailand are concerning. It is already the case that in parts of these countries where you find westerners, the level of English is far better than in Thailand.

    Unless changes are made the Thai Oligarchic system will fall inevitably behind it's neighbours. There is little social mobility here, poor educational and advancement opportunities except for the elite, and almost no incentive for individual enterprise and independent thinking. In fact, the system discourages it, even punishes it, from school age onwards.

    Thus you end up with a workforce that is lazy, irresponsible, values the quick buck over medium or long term considerations- and places no value in individual achievement, education and initiative.
    probes Aliens

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    Thus you end up with a workforce that is lazy, irresponsible, values the quick buck over medium or long term considerations- and places no value in individual achievement, education and initiative.
    unfortunately accurate,

  5. #5
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    Does that include taking a lesson in rapidly rising inflation? One hopes not. In April 2008 Vietnam's reached no less than 21.4% and last year it was 12.6% overall. With those sort of figures all talk of growth virtually disappears.
    I've just come back from a trip that took me from HCMC to Hanoi and IMHO there's simply no comparison. I reckon it'll take at least 40 years for the majority of Vietnamese to get anywhere near to the standard of living that will by then enjoyed by many Thai people.
    I met lots of talk but little to show for it, except for loads of poured concrete going nowhere. The whole place reminded me of Chatichai's vision of Thailand ( NIC status is coming soon, Thailand's GDP would be greater than the UK's by the year 2005 and the stock answer to every question was 'No ploblem') fortunately Thailand has moved on from that, all be it somewhat slowly. Sure there are a lot of westerners talking prices and expectations up in Vietnam but that's how they make money, it's just one great big boiler room to them, they just don't care about th real people. Does anyone really imagine that by 2012 there will be a new high speed rail link between Hanoi and HCMC? My guess is that'll still be a dream in 50 years time.
    Sure Thailand would be silly not to appreciate that there's a new guy on the block but equally unwise to overplay the threat and not recognise their own strengths.

  6. #6
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    Viet Nam will always be ahead of a society that can only fuck around for something to do between drunks or drunken partys and drunken holidays,, this society lives for alcohol and noisy partys,, and thats all they are worth anyway.
    Not really worth a kunt full of cold piss when it comes to being productive craftsmen.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat reinvented's Avatar
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    the local retards only advantage is that the retards next door are even worse, so we dont need to change

    obviously the chinese in malaysia dont exist and vietnam is not a neighbour
    therefore they are fucked

  8. #8
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Interesting OP and thread.

    I don't know a lot but I read about this topic and read about the local economies of the two countries discussed, a bit.

    Yes, inflation is an issue with y-to-y inflation at just over 21%.

    Other costs for things like steel and cement are literally paralyzing and shutting down construction projects in Saigon.

    More industrious than the Thais. IMO, yes.

    But there are also other issues that are similar and better and worse than LOS in certain ways: a labor market that cannot adapt, and is unskilled, management and organization skills are lacking, corruption is rampant.

    Many positives, yes, but also the typical negatives of LOS.

    Vietnam is on the up and up in general, and it's opening its door to foreign companies in an attempt to get the foreign direct investment (FDI). There seems to be more FDI in VN than Capital Flight. Thailand seems to be more difficult to do business in. VN is and will be LOS's competition.

  9. #9
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    In Saigon last week I couldn't believe the amount of wealth many people already have.

    You can smell the potential money there.

  10. #10
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    I've just come back from a trip that took me from HCMC to Hanoi and IMHO there's simply no comparison. I reckon it'll take at least 40 years for the majority of Vietnamese to get anywhere near to the standard of living that will by then enjoyed by many Thai people.
    I'd disagree quite vehemently about your assertion regarding living standards - I'd actually state the opposite that the Vietnamese have a higher quality of life for the general population.
    that many Thais have more money is not the issue. What is the difference between rural populations in Thailand and in Vietnam? The Vietnamese will never go hungry and will not be railroaded by unscrupulous middlemen.

    I spend quite a bit of time in Vietnam on business and prefer the Vietnamese to Thai businesspeople any day.

    The Vietnamese have the drive to succeed, the drive to modernise and the drive to work hard to reach those aims . . . .Thais do not.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE="panama hat"]that many Thais have more money is not the issue.QUOTE]

    I never mentioned money, so where did that come from?


    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat
    The Vietnamese will never go hungry
    And the Thais will???

    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat
    I spend quite a bit of time in Vietnam on business and prefer the Vietnamese to Thai businesspeople any day.
    Your perogative, good luck and I hope you don't get too burnt.

    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat
    The Vietnamese have the drive to succeed, the drive to modernise and the drive to work hard to reach those aims . . . .Thais do not.
    Clearly Thailand isn't the country for you then. I've been in and out of Thailand for over 30 years and the change for the better has been tremendous. Now how do you think that happened and who made it happen?


    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorTud
    You can smell the potential money there.
    Potential is one thing, making it happen is another and it all takes time, lots of it, 40 years I guess.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtwo
    Potential is one thing, making it happen is another and it all takes time, lots of it, 40 years I guess.
    Considering Viet Nam was ravaged by wars for the most part of last century 40 years to get their act together (it's actually more like 20/25) is a fuckin' economic miracle, and one that, your patronising comments and wishful thinking aside, Thailand would never be capable of.

    Still, the figures speak for themselves and it's only a matter of time before Vietnam surpasses Thailand given current economic indicators and growth.
    Mortals you defy the Gods, I sentence you to travel among unknown stars, until you find the Kingdom of Hades, your bodies will stay as lifeless as stone.

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    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    Vietnam is driven to be a Japan or S. Korea in the 21st C.

    Thailand struts around SEA proud of the fact that its better than Laos and Burma.

  14. #14
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    As this is my first post I will do my best not to piss everyone off. What follows are my observations based on a year here in VN and a fair number of years in Bangkok.

    I don’t share the opinion that VN is “better” than TH at the moment. It sure shares an oligarchic (had to look that one up) style of government and management, with no apparent desire to change that. If it has the ability to pass Thailand in the future I cannot make an educated economic prediction. From the street beverage and cigarette vendor to the CEO’s they do seem to have a better understanding of how to remove money from your pocket and make it theirs, both in straight business deals and extracting the required “development assessments” giving you as little value as possible in return. The businesses we have come in contact with seem to be run only by family members (don’t even trust each other) with strong “official contacts”.

    As far as infrastructure, don’t expect it to catch up with Thailand anytime soon, most every construction project here is far behind schedule; forward planning is not a strength. Doing things the proper way verus the cheap local way is a non decision for them, they physically have to be dragged kicking and screaming to spend the money to produce something that is better than almost good enough. How anyone other than the brokers who put the deals together make any money in construction is beyond me.

    It appears that the government does offer much better education opportunities to their young. But there do not seem to be many that have had the advantage of an overseas education. The quality of engineers we have seen don’t seem to be any better or worst then those educated in the better Thai universities. We have not seen too many that qualify as middle managers, it could be because they are so young, or that demand has so far outstripped the available labour pool we cannot find them. It might also be the idea of people in between the leader and the workers making decisions is not a philosophy they are very comfortable with.

    Perhaps with their young population better educated, people will realize moving people into responsible management positions based on merit as opposed to relationships (family or other) the better it is for everyone (sorry, the air is very thin on my planet).

    So in the end I cannot predict who will end up at the top of the heap in 10-20 years but I do know which people I’d rather live amongst.

  15. #15
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    ^ Interesting first post, thanks. Have a green, and do introduce yourself on the newbies forum.

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