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Challenges for the Belt and Road Initiative in Vietnam

Currently, Vietnam is still awaiting the outcome of the first batch of BRI projects before making any further decisions.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held talks with State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi in Hanoi on April 1 on the occasion of Wang Yi’s official visit to Vietnam.

By Wilfred Tan Kwang Shean

Hanoi, May 3, 2018

The ASEAN Post

Back in March, 2017, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was described by the international media as being broad and comprehensive, involving policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people connections.

Notwithstanding, many foreign analysts claimed that this initiative is Chinese president Xi Jinping’s attempt to gain political leverage over his neighbours, including the fast-growing Southeast Asia region.

Through the BRI, we can see that China aims to build a massive network of infrastructure including roads, railways, harbours, airports, pipelines and even fibre optics across different continents. These infrastructure projects might be demanding for a developing country like Vietnam.

Vietnam’s 2011 – 2020 Socio-Economic Development Strategy highlights the need for structural reforms, environmental sustainability, social equity and the emerging issues of macroeconomic stability such as interest rates and national productivity as mentioned by The World Bank. This can also be defined in three ways; to promote skills development particularly for modern industry and innovation, to improve market institutions and for further infrastructure developments.

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