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The frontier spirit lingers on in Vietnam

The country may soon be upgraded to the emerging market indices. But such are the market’s many anomalies, that the pioneers who first embraced its potential are still the ones that matter most today.

Salt farmer after wholeday working, Hon Khoi,Nha Trang,Vietnam
Source: VuCongDanh/Getty Images/iStockphoto

It has been three decades in the making, but Vietnam is on the cusp of joining the global financial mainstream. The country has only had a legally recognized private sector since the 1992 constitution and a stock market since 2000. But now it is knocking on the door of emerging market status, with all the foreign capital inflows that entails.

It is most of the way there already, impeded only by a few structural curiosities that ought to be resolved within the next couple of years. It is transformed from the days when private enterprises had no legal basis and when the stock market opened for business with just two listed companies.

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Chris Wright is Asia editor. He covers the Asia Pacific region and is based in Singapore. He has previously been Middle East editor of Euromoney, editor of Asiamoney, investment editor of the Australian Financial Review and a correspondent on emerging markets and sovereign wealth for numerous publications worldwide. He has also written two books.
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