Vietnam Turns to Coal

Vietnam Turns to CoalPAGE 1 of 3 Shaken by news that Vietnam had confirmed plans to build another 40 gigawatts worth of coal-fired power plants by 2030, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim ad-libbed a few lines into a May 2016 speech to an audience of government and business leaders. “If Vietnam goes forward with 40GW of coal, if the entire region…

Nha Trang and its Tourist Lure

Nha Trang and its Tourist LureIs the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang on the way to becoming another Pattaya, the vast and notorious resort two hours south of Bangkok where sun, sex, sleaze, sports and second homes are all in abundance? Or even just another Patong, Pattaya’s younger sister on Phuket? Or could it be the center point for focusing,…

Is the TPP Dead or Merely Comatose?

Is the TPP Dead or Merely Comatose?Two weeks after his victory, US President-elect Donald Trump posted a video on YouTube in which he declared that on his first day in office, "I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the TPP, a potential disaster for our country. Instead, we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring…

Beyond Vietnam’s ‘Great Fish Kill’

Beyond Vietnam’s ‘Great Fish Kill’"If the problem of human rights isn't properly solved," said my friend C.V., "Vietnam is going to be isolated from the international community, and that will make it really hard to develop our country." We spoke just after blogger Mẹ Nấm was taken into custody on October 10, charged with "distorting the truth, opposing the…

Viet Protests Flare Again Against Taiwanese Polluter

Viet Protests Flare Again Against Taiwanese PolluterThe Formosa Plastic fish kill protests after millions of fish were poisoned in coastal Vietnam were never going to end so easily as a tail-off in May when the public was distracted by the spectacle of a visit by US President Barack Obama and police finally contained the street protests.  Protests flared again against Formosa…

Economics Claims an Important Vietnam Media Voice

Economics Claims an Important Vietnam Media VoiceOne of Vietnam’s best and most respected English language newspapers, Thanh Nien News, closed last week after being online since 2004. It wasn’t because the paper was too outspoken by Vietnamese standards or shuttered by the powers that be. The news industry in Vietnam is struggling and the first casualties are non-earners like English language…

Air France Faces Ruin

Air France Faces RuinIf you ask a millennial what he knows of TWA, Pan Am or Swissair, he will shake his head and ask what you’re talking about. They were three of the world’s most famous airlines, all of which went bankrupt. Is the same fate in store for Air France-KLM, one of the pillars of Europe’s aviation…

‘Really Pissed Off:’ Vietnam’s Environmental Disaster

‘Really Pissed Off:’ Vietnam’s Environmental DisasterAlthough the international news media described the 100 tonnes of dead fish that washed up on Vietnam's shores last month as "unprecedented," few have bothered to separate the true magnitude of the environmental disaster from longstanding hatred of the Taiwanese factory presumed responsible. It is unclear how the anger over the disaster will impact President…

Viet Stock Markets Start to Catch Up

Viet Stock Markets Start to Catch UpVietnam may be a star economic performer among the nations of Southeast Asia, but for stock market investors – foreign ones in particular – it has been an easy way to lose money. Could that be about to change?  At first glance, the market has been dull rather than disastrous. The Ho Chi Minh index…

Is Vietnam on the cusp of change?

Is Vietnam on the cusp of change?Four successive party congresses have just kicked the ball down the road. They’ve redistributed positions mainly with a view to preserving factional balance. The leadership has been left deadlocked on core issues: Vietnam’s stance toward China and other powers, the state’s role in the economy and whether party actions should be subject to review by…
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