Scrutinizing the effectiveness of trade unions in post-socialist Vietnam
In 1986, the Vietnamese Communist government ended its approach of maintaining a closed and centrally planned economy and sought industrialization by allowing private ownership of economic enterprises, encouraging a greater role for market forces and embracing an 'open-door policy' towards foreign investment. Since passing the Law on Foreign Investment in December 1987, there has been a continuous flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, mostly through the establishment of manufacturing plants by MNCs (Le 1997; Tran 1997). In the space of three decades, foreign investment has become a major and growing factor in the country's economy, particularly in the industrial component and in exports. By June 2011, Vietnam had received commitments of US$198,889,098,224 for 12,776 projects from 92 countries and territories (MPI 2012) and as of December 2004, foreign-invested firms had created 1,044,851 jobs (GSO 2005: 121). Indirectly FDI has also provided employment through subcontractors and suppliers. Despite its relatively short history of development, Vietnam has been quite successful in attracting FDI compared to its neighbour countries. It ranks third among the investment recipients in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Mirza and Giroud 2004).