December 11, 2007
Travel Log 3: Vietnam
Hanoi is moving at an unrelentless pace. Judging from the numbers of weddings I witnessed (literally, 3 a day!) and the speed at which they operate (note: fast), this generation of post-Vietnam war baby boomers are getting their act together. Watch out, world, here comes Vietnam. International investors and interested companies are crowding the streets, no less shopping their way around Hang Gai, the main district for buying cheap goods. The two forums we were there for showed the level of enthusiasm and simple hard work their Government and academia players are putting in to develop the country. Mainly positive in nature, nobody complains about their state of life. They just work at it. And hard.
Vietnam wakes up to the world, and Malaysia must catch up. We are sitting on our laurels. FDIs, a shrinking electronics and manufacturing industry, we must look at investing in human capital and knowledge economy since we cannot rely on cheap labour any longer. In the long run, investing in mere infrastructure and building projects (which is the bulk of the Middle East investment into Johor, as I understand it) will not be any more feasible than putting money into deadwood – unless and until these are filled up with capacity that can draw greater gains in the long run.
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