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Building a Venture Capital Market in Vietnam: Diffusion of a Neoliberal Market Strategy to a Socialist State

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-600
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Studies Review
Volume38
Issue number4
Early online date9 Oct 2014
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print9 Oct 2014
Published2014

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Abstract

Vietnam’s venture capital (VC) industry took shape in the late 1990s during a period of exceptional economic growth in the country and the development of its high-technology sector. High growth rates and technological advances have typically coincided with both strong VC market activity and state support of equity financing. This, however, has not been the case in Vietnam. In this article a policy diffusion framework is used to investigate the international and domestic origins of Vietnam’s nascent VC policies, and how they became part of the agenda of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) as credit-based, rather than equity-based, solutions. The article argues that Vietnam’s heterodox approach to VC policy results from both external forces from donors and from domestic factors. In particular, Vietnamese policymakers have a preference for credit-based SME financing solutions and Vietnam’s official development assistance providers diffuse expertise on loans, not equity investments, to the Socialist Republic. The only donors recommending VC and equity-based financing in Vietnam have gone “around the state” rather than through it by working directly with the private sector. As a result, Vietnam’s SME financing initiatives have significantly diverged from international VC policy patterns.

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