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State Owned Enterprises And Equitization In Vietnam

Equitization (privatization) has been at the core of the policy debate in Vietnam over the last decade but the government’s attitude seems ambivalent. On the one hand, equitization is emphasized in policy statements. On the other, the progress on equitization has been relatively modest and SOEs continue to dominate the Vietnamese economy. This paper examines SOEs and the equitization process in Vietnam. We compare the development with guidelines from economic theory and with lessons from privatization programs in other countries. Equitization in Vietnam is found to target small SOEs and no larger ones, and it does not address the efficiency problem with state ownership since the state typically remains a controlling share of the equitized SOEs. Moreover, economic theory and experience from other countries suggest that the Vietnamese approach with diffused ownership in SOEs and in equitized firms; equitization to employees and management; and little participation of strategic investors, might not be the most efficient approach to public ownership and to equitization. We argue in this paper that Vietnam still has an opportunity to change its approach towards SOEs and equitization and thereby secure increased efficiency and economic growth.

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Paper provided by The European Institute of Japanese Studies in its series EIJS Working Paper Series with number 228.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Vietnam after 20 years of Doi Moi, Kokko, Ari (eds.), 2007, chapter 2, UNDP.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0228
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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/en/Research/Institutes/EIJS/
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  1. Martin Painter, 2005. "The Politics of State Sector Reforms in Vietnam: Contested Agendas and Uncertain Trajectories," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 261-283.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kornai, Janos, 1993. "The Evolution of Financial Discipline under the Postsocialist System," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 315-36.
  4. Josef C. Brada, 1996. "Privatization Is Transition--Or Is It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 67-86, Spring.
  5. Roman Frydman & Cheryl Gray & Marek Hessel & Andrzej Rapaczynski, 1999. "When Does Privatization Work? The Impact Of Private Ownership On Corporate Performance In The Transition Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1153-1191, November.
  6. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  7. Djankov, Simeon & Murrell, Peter, 2002. "Enterprise Restructuring in Transition: A Quantitative Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 3319, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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