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Vietnam’s relations with the United States have improved in recent years. In 1994, the United States lifted its economic embargo, which had been in place since the 1960s. This led a lot of investors into Vietnam such as Coca Cola, Motorola, and AT&T. Bill Clinton became the first U.S. President to visit the northern part of Vietnam in 2000. In 2001, Vietnam’s national assembly approved a trade agreement that opened the U.S. markets to its goods and services. Therefore, the tariffs on Vietnam’s goods dropped to 4% from the previous 40 percent (Gibney, 47).
The first Vietnamese leader to visit the U.S. was Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in June 2005. President George W. Bush visited Vietnam in 2006. Vietnam was also welcomed into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2006. The U.S. is Vietnam’s largest trading partner with buying an estimated 7 billion in Vietnamese goods a year (McGeary, 2007). Therefore, becoming a part of the WTO, continuing to be a major tourist attraction, and the involvement of foreign countries has had an impact on Vietnam’s development.
Vietnam’s relations with their historic enemy China have improved as well. The economic boom of Vietnam has caught the attention of China as Northern Vietnam is the fastest route from Yumnan to the South China Sea. Vietnam’s economy is growing at a rate of 8% a year, and tourists continue to visit it (Chapuis, pp 115-117). The country’s recovery after Vietnam War shows a dedicated nation determined to wealth, success, and a better life for the Vietnamese./
Development of secondary education has helped Vietnam to produce competitive labor and has contributed to equitable socioeconomic development of the country.
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According to Ayumi Konishi, ADS country Director for Vietnam, there is still a lot to be done to further prove the quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of public schools as Vietnam becomes a middle-income country (Chapuis, pp 203).
Vietnam has made significant economic and development progress in the past few decades. However, as it operates in an increasingly global landscape, families living in rural areas are plunging deeper into poverty. About 90 percent of Vietnam’s poor live in remote rural areas. These families struggle to make ends meet as rapid urbanization pushes them further away from educational and economic opportunities. Although primary school is free in Vietnam, families are responsible for paying for the costs of books, uniforms, transportation, and maintenance of school buildings. University education is nearly impossible for poor families especially those who depend on their children to contribute to household income. The Asia Foundation has partnered with Vietnamese Association to implement a four-year scholarship program to help the less fortunate ( Dombey, 2008).
There is a positive side to the education of Vietnam because it is emerging as an important electronics Manufacturing Services. Their government’s emphasis on making electronics a key export earner is pushing Vietnam to the path of high-tech industry. Since it has been proven that children with parents with little or no education tend to drop out of school, Vietnam has agreed to step up its policies concerning education for everyone. Vietnam is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that has a legally binding law on the right to education for its entire people (Pedra, 2008).
Therefore, Vietnam’s education system does reflect its culture. For example, in previous
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For example, in previous history the education for girls was not important. However, it reflects the culture of Vietnam showing how they view women as less important.
Vietnam’s current economic system, like the United States, is suffering. A year ago, Vietnam was viewed as the next Asian miracle. Their economy expanded by 8.5% last year, among the fastest rates in the region. Housing prices doubled and sometimes tripled. However, halfway through 2008, Vietnamese authoritarian government found itself dealing with soaring prices, collapsing markets, and decreasing workforce. Inflation is eating up much of the gains of the citizens (“The World of Information”).
Vietnam’s stock market holds the title of being the worst performing in the world during the past 30 days. Vietnam is faced with a trade deficit that has tripled this year. This causes limited foreign exchange. Much of Vietnam’s recent growth has been driven by its expanding manufacturing sector, but the workers’ salaries are being outpaced by basic living costs. According to Prime Minister Nguyen, the number of households going hungry has doubled in the past year. However, while these numbers look bad now, Vietnam’s long-term economic outlook is good. Unfortunately, most of this economic burden will be felt by Vietnam’s poor (Kirrch, 2008). Vietnam’s economic system is a reflection of its history and culture. In the past, Vietnam was a poor country that struggled. Since then, Vietnam has made a lot of progress in economic development. Its culture shows how they worked hard to advance economically. The problems concerning the economy are happening in other countries as well. The United States is a good example. Just like this country recovered well after the Vietnam War, they will do the same in the near future.
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I feel that lack of education is the most important challenge facing Vietnam as part of the global community. The lack of education has the ability to affect economics and politics as well. Education is a challenge that can be met over a period of time. Usually where the education level is up, the economy in that area is positive. Education will start with each family member. When the parent participates in advancing his or her education, the child will more likely follow. I strongly believe that it all starts with education. For example, if an individual is working in a factory and his or her job is to run a machine, which may or may not be a concern if he or she is less educated. It can be a concern if that individual is an excellent worker but can not read the instructions on how to start the machine. This is a simple example, but this problem occurs in everyday life.
I am a witness to this occurrence. I once worked at a factory in Stonewall, Mississippi where we made denim for Levis, Lees, and Tommy Hillfilger. However, I was unaware of the education level of the majority of employees who worked there. For the most part, the greatest percentage of employees was the best employees. These individuals came to work on time daily and very seldom missed any days from work. Our duties consisted of running machines, pulling threads through a machine, and so on. Those were our job duties when I began working there in 1991.
In 1999, the requirements changed as well as the workforce. Where there were once employees middle-aged and over, they were being replaced by younger workers,
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high school and college graduates. The reason for this replacement was the implementation of the computers. The old, good, hard-working employees who were less
educated did not understand and comprehend how to work the computer. This was a challenge that faced my work place. This is an excellent example how important education is and the challenge it can present. Therefore, education is the most important challenge facing Vietnam as part of the global community.
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Chapuis, Oscar. A History of Vietnam: From Hong Bang to Tu Duc. Greenwood
Publishing Group, pp 115-117, 203, 1995.
Dombey, Ally. (2008, February). Education in Asia., New York Times. p. 39. Retrieved July 10, 2008, from Academic Search Complete, database.
Gibney, Frank. "Vietnam: Back In Business." Time. April 24, 1995
Volume 145. No 17: 47-49.
Kirsch, Melissa. (2008, February). Economics and Government in Vietnam. Time. 246(2), 109-112. Retrieved July 10, 2008, from Business Source Premier, database.
Mcgeary, Johanna. "The Next China." Time. March 3,2007. Vol. 149. No.
Pedra, Christi M. & Deutsch, C. H. (2008, March). Southeast Asia, then and now. Business Journal. pp.16-18 Retrieved July 8, 2008, from Business Source Complete, database.
"The World of Information. Asia & Pacific Review,1995." 14th Ed.
London: Kogan Page Publishing: 153-256.