Ho Chi Minh/ Industrial growth under capitalist government

(Research Period: Before and After Vietnam War 1955-1975)

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. It was an important seaport in the past and was the capital of French Colony of Cochinchina and later the capital of South Vietnam.

Before the Fall of Saigon, the capitalist government ran an open market
system. As Saigon was already developed as a port city in its colonial era, it became a major city based on agriculture, administration, services and industries. Despite being a capitalist government, the government issued economic development plans on 4/5 year spans which stabilizes the economy of South Vietnam during 1955-1965.

Industrial factories were highly concentrated in Saigon, Biên Hòa, Gia Định, which Biên Hòa and Gia Định are in fact nearby regions of Saigon. These 3 areas account for 85% of industrial companies and 90% of manufacturing output. Industrial production was highly dependent on imported inputs instead of inputs from Vietnam itself. Hence the location of these factories, near the most important port of South Vietnam. Proximity to the port is also favourable to export the industrial products to other areas. There were few industrial factories left from the colonial era. Moreover, the government carried out a policy of export-oriented industrialization. The policy supported local industrial development and gave rise to many new factories. Many new industrial factories were also built when many industrialists from North Vietnam immigrants from North Vietnam to South Vietnam to avoid living under a communist government, which brought technology and capital to establish their new factories. These industries include metal, construction materials, wood processing, food processing, rubber, paper etc. Quite a number of plantations are located around Saigon as the land is quite fertile, hence certain industries could access these inputs at a close distance.

1 Comment on “Ho Chi Minh/ Industrial growth under capitalist government

  1. It is gratifying to see that the 20-year period has been established for this research. It is definitely ambitious to trace the effects of war on a city, and even more so to establish what was flourishing prior to the war, and the reconstruction and expansion efforts thereafter. Perhaps it is sufficient to document how the city became industrialized, and how capitalism became part of the thinking logic behind the city plan. Was there a particular mayor or administration that pushed for a particular plan? Did urban policy lead to a specific urban form? There is an wonderful range of historical materials collected here, so it is important to be able to string a tighter narrative together that can lead to a stronger argument.

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