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Business-State Relations in the Differentiated Private Sector in Vietnam: Access to Capital and Land

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Abstract This paper examines private businesses’ access to land and capital in Vietnam. It finds that the allocation of these resources to private firms is still excessively state-driven and personalised, and examines the links that business people of different ethnical and regional backgrounds have with the state and how this facilitates or hinders their access to land and capital. Lacking relationships with the state may have profound consequences for unconnected private enterprises, which are accordingly subject to uneven competition from connected ones. The paper suggests that private businesses’ uneven opportunities are basically a consequence of the general history of the country and the role that individual business people have played in it, in such respects as having had former state-sector employment, party membership, the “side” they were on before and during the Vietnam War etc. In this, factors such as ethnicity, origin and present location in either northern or southern Vietnam play an important part.

Affiliations: 1: Copenhagen Business School


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