Vietnamese State-owned Enterprises under International Economic Integration

Author Name FUJITA Mai (IDE-JETRO)
Creation Date/NO. November 2017 17-E-121
Research Project Comprehensive Research on the Current International Trade/Investment System (pt.III)
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This paper examines the progress and outcomes of state-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms under international economic integration in Vietnam. While the literature has focused primarily on strategic SOEs that have been largely treated as exceptions under international commitments or domestic reforms, the paper focuses on the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), a major SOE group in the textile and garment (T&G) industry in which the impact of international economic integration was expected to be substantial. The main findings are as follows. First, unlike large-scale SOEs in strategic sectors that receive the most attention in the literature, the transformation of Vinatex in terms of ownership, organization, policy roles, and relationship with the state, albeit incomplete, has made significant progress. Second, nevertheless, there are indications that Vinatex's relationship with the state and its non-commercial roles may continue in subtle and indirect forms. Third, with the entry and growth of foreign-invested and domestic private enterprises, both SOEs and Vinatex have lost shares in the T&G industry. However, some Vinatex members stay among the country's top garment exporters, successfully competing with their foreign-invested rivals. These findings suggest the recent realities of Vietnamese SOEs that are increasingly hybrid, similar to those in many other countries.