Nguyen Minh Trang

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In the 20th century, Asia was not only famous for war, poverty and backwardness but also for the emerging of Asian dragons like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. These economies have successfully escaped from the middle income group to join high income economies with amazing growth rate. In 2008, Vietnam officially entered the group of middle-income countries, escaping from poverty and underdevelopment with rapidly increasing average income. However, the signs of "middle income trap" have also emerged. Among the four Asian dragons, South Korea has many similarities with Vietnam, such as devastation by war, low-income and poor resources, strong dependence on foreign aid and especially the separation between the North and the South. After the Korean War (1950-1953), South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. However, over the past nearly four decades, South Korea has demonstrated incredible growth and global integration and become a high – tech industrialized economy. By analysing the South Korean policies, Vietnam can learn from their success and failure to overcome the middle-income level that has trapped it for almost 10 years with a focus on improving Government’s role, capital control, human resource and technology.