Vietnam Plans to Become Solid Middle-Class Nation by 2025

Vietnam’s top leaders have resolved to become at least a middle-income country over the next five years, an about-face from abject poverty in the 1980s, by attracting more foreign investment in manufacturing.

The Communist Party’s Central Committee wrapped up a plenary session October 8 held to chart macroeconomic goals, and a deputy planning minister said separately that Vietnamese people should earn around $5,000 per year on average by 2025, up from $2,750 now.

Vietnam would reach that milestone — middle income or higher in World Bank terms — by extending 10-year-old economic reforms that now attract foreign investors to the country that’s seen as a manufacturing peer to world factory powerhouse China.

Their investment creates jobs and raises incomes among Vietnam’s 97 million people. Vietnam is now lower middle-income.

The government is likely to stimulate new wealth by improving infrastructure and offering incentives to investors for production of high-value electronics. Prized investors today include Intel and Samsung Electronics.

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Ralph Jennings