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Vietnam Working to Improve Its Economy

In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, investors and brokers are seen at the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) Stock Exchange in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, investors and brokers are seen at the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) Stock Exchange in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Gabor Szendroi has traveled a lot between Hungary and Vietnam. He tries to connect companies in both countries. He seeks to do that through merger and acquisition -- or combining and buying. He recently spent months advising a Hungarian company that wanted to buy a Vietnamese company. But the deal failed. He said the Vietnamese company asked too high a price.

Mr. Szendroi is a partner at IMP MB partners, a Budapest-based advisory company for merger and acquisition deals.

He spoke recently while he was in Ho Chi Minh City. He called expectations in Vietnam “extreme.” He said these expectations are one of several issues causing problems for the growing business of mergers and acquisitions in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese government says it is working to solve these problems so it can bring in more foreign investors like Mr. Szendroi.

Helping to gain mergers or acquisitions is part of the country’s larger plan to aid an economy that continually grows below six percent yearly.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a five-year development plan for the society’s economy. The plan said the country should work for economic growth of 6½ to 7 percent per year, and create good business conditions -- especially for businesses with foreign investors.

Officials admit that they will have to work hard to try to return Vietnam to its former standing as a popular investment in Asia’s growing markets.

Nguyen Van Hieu is deputy minister of planning and investment. He spoke recently at a conference on mergers and acquisitions. He said Vietnam is dealing with many development challenges, including low efficiency and competitiveness, problems with the regulatory and legal systems, and poor infrastructure and human resources.

Experts say these problems prevent foreign investment. To get foreigners to pour money into Vietnam, the government is starting with the area it controls -- businesses owned by the state. Officials want to change more than 400 state-owned organizations into private companies by the end of next year. They hope this will improve the state organizations and make them better-able to gain foreign investment.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

This story is based on a report from Lien Hoang and adapted for Learning English by Jeri Watson. It was edited by Christopher Cruise.


Words in the News

extremead. more than the usual or accepted

investv. to give money to a business or organization with the hope of making more money

merger - n. the act or process of combining two or more businesses into one business

acquire - v. to get (something) : to come to own (something) : to come to have (something); acquisition - n.

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