VIETNAM - A New ‘Silicon Valley’?

Arno Froese

On a Friday afternoon, the Information Technology Park on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City appears to be abandoned. But in one of the offices at the site, tech developers at the startup Mimosatek are working hard on technology that will help farmers with watering their crops.

Mimosatek is only one of many tech startups in Ho Chi Minh City, the economic center of Vietnam. Over the past few years, thousands of young Vietnamese entrepreneurs have come to the city to start their own company—whether it is developing innovative apps, mobile games, e-commerce or other tech solutions.

This emergence was quickly recognized by Vietnam’s communist-led government. With an initiative titled ‘Vietnam Silicon Valley,’ it is allocating resources to create an environment in which startups can grow easily. Last year, the government said it would offer legal and financial support to 2,600 startups over the next 10 years.

Bobby Liu of the Topica Founder Institute, a startup accelerator program, said that Vietnamese are good entrepreneurs, but that's not the only reason why Ho Chi Minh City is on the rise as a startup hub.

“Fifty percent of the population is below 35 years old and many of them have studied abroad,” Liu told DW, adding that Vietnam was also a base for computer technology outsourced by international companies. “Combine that with a forward-thinking mindset along with low expenses for living,” he said. 

Experts say that Vietnam is full of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Like many economies in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is experiencing very positive growth and the World Bank estimates that GDP will grow 6.5 percent in 2017. The country has a domestic market of over 95 million people with average wealth growing in recent years. The education level is also improving.

-www.dw.com/en, 7 April 2017

Arno's commentary

Forbes reveals that about one-third of Vietnamese live in poverty, but there are many reasons to believe that Vietnam will follow in the footsteps of its great cousin, communist China. While the older generation prided themselves in their military successes, defeating the French and later the United States in battle, the new generation is looking toward modernism and prosperity. In the 1970s and 80s, the World Bank Group considered Vietnam to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The tables began to turn in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the average growth stood at over 8%. Poverty was reduced to 58% in 1993, and in 1998 it measured only 37%. If communist China is the model, Vietnam’s growth rate will outpace the European world (West).

What does it mean? Again, the development toward global equality. This is necessary, because prophecy will and must be fulfilled. The Bible tells us that the world will be one, and the key to reach this unity is merchandising, business, money, investment, etc.

Why does the god of this world strive toward closer unity of the nations? The ultimate reason is simply the imitation of the perfect unity of the Church of Jesus Christ—His body. We must keep in mind that, in the end, there will not be an anti-communist, anti-capitalist; or religiously, anti-Islamist, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu, but an Antichrist. The spirit of Antichrist was already at work 2000 years ago, and will finally be successful in uniting the world’s nations and bringing about temporary peace. That is an imitation of the real peace brought about by the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ the Lord.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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