As violent anti-Chinese protests shake Vietnam’s image as a safe haven for sourcing in Asia, Cascade Asia Advisors, a boutique advisory firm focused on Southeast Asia, had this to say about them:
…the incursion of a Chinese oil rig in territorially disputed waters, though provocative, was not the game changer which triggered the protests across southern Vietnam. Instead, Vietnamese state-controlled media is covering this dispute more closely than previous incidents. Yes, what happens in the South China Sea has important trade implications but, when it comes to the actions of factory workers, the Paracel Islands are only important insofar as they are reported to the Vietnamese public. If information channels are blocked by the state, the risk of public retaliation is dramatically reduced. Foreign manufacturers sourcing in Vietnam should therefore be paying closer attention to the degree to which Vietnam media covers developments in the South China Sea than the developments themselves.
The blog post goes on to describe how their Vietnam Manufacturing Labor Weekly newsletters act as a regular media monitoring system. No mention about how much the newsletters cost (their mention here should not be construed as an endorsement on our part), but the above point they make about the media in Vietnam and its coverage of the news should be taken into consideration by investors in Vietnam (along with anyone sourcing products from there).
To read the post, How to Begin Anticipating the Next Outbreak of Violence in Vietnam, visit the Cascade Asia Advisors homepage.
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