Asian Development Bank Loans Vietnam $230M

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The Vietnamese government and the ADB agreed to a $230M loan package to make the country more competitive worldwide. The loan means to boost economic development in such areas as finance and public administration.

In an effort to recover from the worldwide financial calamity, Vietnamese officials look to the future by growing the economy for the long-term. Tomoyuki Kimura of the ADB said the Southeast Asian country hopes to integrate into the international community by becoming a formidable economic competitor.

Vietnam Economy Rises

The fact that Vietnam is accepting international loans is not a sign that the country is in financial trouble. In fact, the country has made significant progress since the Vietnam War, otherwise known as the American War to the Vietnamese people. However, there was little social equality after the North Vietnamese declared victory, and the nation suffered a severe rice shortage shortly thereafter.

Vietnam went from a corrupt system with little productivity to a market-based form of socialism starting in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the country fostered closer ties with other nations, including its rival China, to become an international player. The county has had a love-hate relationship with China. Despite numerous diplomatic disputes with the Chinese, Vietnam still hopes to emulate China as a model for the country.

Problems Persist in Vietnam

Vietnam is becoming closer to China than it may realize. Although the political identity of Vietnam is Communist, many have speculated that the country is now state-capitalist, or crony-capitalist in nature. The country has a widening income inequality gap and critics point to such factors as banking policy and state-owned companies as part of the problem. Luxury cars and other forms of consumer goods are becoming common in Vietnam, but many remain in systemic poverty. Corruption still plagues the land, especially among the financial sector. Vietnam ranked 119th when it comes to global transparency, according to Transparency International.

Clash of Values

Locals have complained that the lavish lifestyle of the affluent class is contrary to the humble views of resistance fighter Ho Chi Minh, otherwise known as "Uncle Ho" in the country. Many see this newfound wealth as something antithetical to the egalitarian values of the nation. However, some contend that the Vietnamese people accept social hierarchies and inequality as part of the societal structure, because these institutions existed before communism arrived. Like China, Vietnam needs to find a way to spread wealth and opportunity among the wider populace.