The Uneven Impact on Households
Edited by Ray Forrest and Ngai-Ming Yip
Chapter 10: The Global Financial Crisis and its Impact on Households: The Case of Urban Vietnam
Hoang Huu Phe INTRODUCTION: A TRANSITIONAL ECONOMY AND AN EMERGING HOUSING MARKET Vietnam is a country in South East Asia with a total area of 331 690 km2 and a population of 86 million (Census April 2009), making it the thirteenth most populous nation in the world. The country began its existence as a kingdom thousands of years BC. It fell under Chinese rule in 111 BC and regained its independence from China in AD 939. It went through the First Indochina War against colonialist France in the period between 1946 and 1954, which ended with the Dien Bien Phu battle, and the Second Indochina War, 1955–75, against the USA, culminating in the unification of the divided country in 1976. As a result of postwar economic mismanagement and the economic embargo imposed by the USA, the economy came to a near-collapse in the early 1980s. For over two decades since the major policy change, or reform, in 1986 under the name of Doi moi (renovation), a centrally planned economy has gradually been replaced by what is now officially termed ‘a market economy with socialist orientation’. Vietnam has now emerged as one of the most dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific region. It maintained an average growth rate of 7.9 per cent over the period 1990–2000, and by late 2009 it finally shed its long-held status as a low-income country (with GDP per capita at just US$375 in 2000) to take on the new status of a mediumincome country...
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