chapter  5
28 Pages

Social Protection and Market Reforms in Vietnam

ByRobert L. Bach, Le Bach Duong

Although Vietnam will remain a rural, agricultural nation for years to come, its future lies as much, if not more, with the success or failure of its urban transformation. Unfortunately, the prognosis for urban Vietnam is not encouraging. Ten years ago, a South East Asian leader warned Vietnam: ‘What is happening now in Bangkok will happen soon in Jakarta, then go to Manila, then go to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.’1 He was referring to the large-scale, rapid urbanisation of South East Asia that has combined spectacular overall growth with tragic impoverishment, widespread inequality and destabilising vulnerabilities.