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Foreign Multinationals and Local Firms in Vietnam's Economic Transition

  • Phan Minh Ngoc
  • Eric D. Ramstetter

This paper compares the economic performance of foreign multinational corporations (MNC) and local firms in Vietnam, distinguishing between two distinct types of local firms: state-owned enterprises (SOE) and non-SOE. Between the mid-1990s and 2000, foreign MNC in Vietnam's economy grew very rapidly, but their growth has been much slower thereafter. Consistent with the theoretical suggestion that MNC possess relatively large amounts of firm-specific assets related to production technology, marketing networks and management know-how, these comparisons suggest that foreign MNC were generally larger and had higher labor productivity, capital intensity, wage levels, investment propensities and trade propensities than non-MNC. On the other hand, foreign MNC tended to have relatively low capital productivity and wage shares of value added, while results regarding profitability were mixed. In general, these differentials tended to be relatively small between foreign MNC and SOE, and SOE tended to be larger than foreign MNC in terms of employment. Correspondingly, comparisons of foreign MNC with non-MNC generally revealed more consistent differences, largely because the local private sector is still very underdeveloped in Vietnam. Copyright 2004 East Asian Economic Association.

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Article provided by East Asian Economic Association in its journal Asian Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 371-404

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Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:371-404
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