During World War II, France considered that its Vietnamese colonial subjects were not made for war, so it only used them as cooks, drivers, and assistants in their armies.
In 1954 the best French troops, the “paras”, were defeated. The United States took over immediately, but in 1975 the disaster repeated itself. Once again, a Western superpower was militarily defeated in that country.
In 1978, the Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia and destroyed the regime Pol Pot, paranoid and criminal leader, but a great ally of China, in 14 days. In a few weeks, the Chinese giant began the invasion of Vietnam through three points of the common border.
But, after losing 20,000 soldiers due to the unexpected and very tough Vietnamese resistance, China withdrew and the initial invasion officially became considered by the Chinese government as a simple “punishment operation.”
In 1986, after withdrawing from Cambodia, the communist regime in Vietnam initiated an economic opening and advancement program that, among other measures, recognized private enterprise and facilitated foreign investment. At the same time, their diplomats began to build friendly and cooperative relations with China, USA, France, and their partners.
From the beginning of this century, Vietnam has become one of the countries with the best economic growth in Asia. Industrial production has skyrocketed, the middle class has increased at high speed, there is total literacy, infrastructure has grown, and investment funds, British and American, have entered with great interest in this new financial market.
Consequently, the port of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon for non-millennials) is already the fastest growing in Southeast Asia and in 2017 it reached 6.2 million TEUs (double that of Barcelona and very close to New York). It’s followed by the ports of Da Nang (2.5 million TEUs per year) for the central region of the country and Haiphong (1.1 million TEUs / year), for the northern region.
With 96 million inhabitants (2017 data) and a GDP per capita of USD 2,343, its economy is growing rapidly, with 6.8% per year. Its main clients are the United States and its neighbors China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. While, within the European Union, the main importers of Vietnam are: Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France.
Although the relationship with Spain is not quite extense, the growth of bilateral trade relations, both in exports and imports is exponential, with an increase of approximately 40% in exports since 2013.
In recent years, there has also been a growth of around 3% in imports to Spain, being the telecommunications equipment (mainly due to the recent opening of a Samsung factory in the Asian country), clothing and footwear, the main import products.
What a great time for Vietnam!
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