Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Thailand – Implications for Leveraging Migration for Development

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Announcing: Nguyen, Nancy Huyen and John Walsh, “Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Thailand – Implications for Leveraging Migration for Development,” Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, Vol.8, No.1 (2014), pp.68-94, available at: http://e-migration.ro/jims/Vol8_No1_2014/Articles/JIMS_Vol8_No1_2014_pp_68_94_HUYEN_WALSH.pdf.

Abstract:

A greater flow of people to and from each of the Mekong countries is catching the attention of the general public and academic researchers. As one of the fastest growing countries in the GMS, Thailand is attracting the majority of migrant workers from its neighbours. At a smaller scale, when compared with those from Lao PDR, Cambodia and Myanmar, Vietnamese workers are also joining this increasing trend in immigration to Thailand. By analyzing information from secondary data sources, this research paper attempts to provide further insights into the social and economic impacts generated by the Vietnamese migrant workers in Thailand both at home and the host country. The study discovers that moving to Thailand for work has eased the pressures of rural unemployment and underemployment that have plagued Vietnam recently. Meanwhile, Vietnamese workers are helping soothe the stress caused by the increasing demand for unskilled and low skilled labourers in Thailand. The study further learns that the long-established community of Vietnamese migrants in Thailand is encouraging the increasing movement of Vietnamese workers to Thailand. The study findings suggest meaningful implications for future policies in leveraging labour migration for development.

Keywords: Vietnamese migrant workers, cross-border migration, labour, employment, remittances, networks, Thailand, Greater Mekong Subregion.

 

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Review of Nguyen Van Thang’s Ambiguity of Identity

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At the very end of this outstanding and fascinating work of anthropology, author Nguyen Van Thang explains the need for this book and others like it:

“The ways in which [Vietnam, China and Thailand] have treated ethnic minorities, therefore, as well as the ways in which the minorities have reacted to state ethnic policies, suggest that ethnic tension and conflict are very much present in modern, multi-ethnic nation-states. Thus ethnicity will become increasingly important in international politics as well as domestic affairs. This makes it all the more important to study continuity and change in the ethnic identities of indigenous peoples in the context of multi-ethnic nation-states (p.176).”

Read the full review here.

Trade and Investment in the Greater Mekong Subregion-A case of Thailand and Vietnam

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To be presented at the 4th ICGBE in Bangkok this weekend:

Trade and Investment in the Greater Mekong Subregion-A case of Thailand and Vietnam

Abstract:

Although Thailand and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1976, cooperation between the two countries had been minimal and heavily influenced by the ideological conflict of the Cold War. The distance and hostility in the relationships between Thailand and Vietnam were significantly jeopardized when Vietnam occupied Cambodia, from 1978 to 1989. Needless to say, the volume of trade and investment between Thailand and Vietnam was kept low in a rather long period, particularly between 1954 and 1992. However, as the six governments (Vietnam, China, Lao, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar) agreed to set up an economic zone called Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the relations between Thailand and Vietnam have also become warmer. Over the past 18 years, the GMS Economic Cooperation Program initiated by the Asian Development Bank has truly improved bilateral performances between the two neighbouring countries. The research paper has discovered that export and import value between Vietnam and Thailand has significantly increased along with the increase of regional interconnectivity of transnational rails and road routes, especially the construction of the East West Economic Corridor. Food, energy, automotive, machinery and agricultural products are dominating the bilateral trade. The paper has also recorded an increasing number of Thai multinational corporations in Vietnam with projects concentrating in industries of agricultural and seafood processing, hotel and hospitality services, construction material production. Empirical evidence collected through the study suggests that future trade and investment prospects between two countries are prosperous and optimistic.  Therefore, incentives in trade and investment policies should be measures pursued by the Vietnamese and Thai governments in order to yield more fruits on economic cooperation of the two countries.

Keywords: Thailand, Vietnam, trade, outward foreign investment

Nancy Huyen Nguyen, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand

John Walsh, Shinawatra University,Thailand

 

Korean Firms in Vietnam: Two Decades of South Korean-Vietnamese Cooperation

Korean Firms in Vietnam: Two Decades of South Korean-Vietnamese Bilateral Cooperation

Nancy Huyen Nguyen

Abstract

It has been two decades (1992-2012) since South Korea nomalised diplomatic relations with Vietnam, thus paving the way for Korean chaebol rapidly extending their production bases in this emerging economy. Chaebol have been investing intensively across Vietnam, both extending their investments in various fields and increasing capital value. South Korea always ranks among the top five largest countries investing directly in Vietnam. This research paper sets out to examine how Korean chaebol have been performing in Vietnam over the last twenty years. Primarily using secondary data from online databases, the research has shown that Korean chaebol in Vietnam have not changed much in their modes of market entry over the past two decades. They still pursue mixed courses, with firms involved in a range of high and low commitment activities. They mostly focus on light industry and limit their investment in R&D and technology transfer. The paper then moves to discuss what chaebol need to do to effectively operate in Vietnam. The paper also discusses how Vietnam can encourage deeper commitments from Korean chaebol for the sake of national economic development.

Key words: Korean chaebol, South Korean investment, foreign investment, Vietnam.

Nancy Huyen Nguyen is a Researcher at The SEA-LAC Trade Center, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand

This is one of the papers to be presented at the International Workshop on Korean Trade and Investment in the Mekong Region.

Review of Quagmire by David Biggs

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One of the principal themes of Vietnamese history over the long-term has been the steady move to the south – nam tien – that has seen the Viet people progress down the narrow coastal strip from their centre in Hanoi and the Hong River plain to, ultimately, the Mekong Delta region at the southeastern tip of the continent of Asia. This is a process that has taken some two thousand years and has involved numerous advances and retreats.

Read the full review here.

Entrepreneurship in the Mekong Region: Opportunities in Vietnam

As mentioned in the previous article, Vietnam is replete with attractive and good quality natural resources which have yet, in general, to be brought to market in a consistent and timely way with added value features. Coffee, for example, has become one of the principal exports, owing to climatic features and the coffee drinking culture in the country bequeathed in part by the period of French colonialism.

Read the full article here.