Vietnam protests?

There were TPPA protest marches in the weekend. Again. Repeating the same futility.

Will they switch their focus to protesting to against Vietnam trade? 3 News reports:

NZ and Vietnam to boost trade ties

Vietnam’s youthful population is growing wealthier by the day and New Zealand exporters look set to be able to cash in on it.

Prime Minister John Key is in Hanoi, where he’s leading a trade mission aimed at growing the relationship between the two countries.

Mr Key met with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung and the two leaders have agreed to increase trade and other bilateral links.

Among the new initiatives is a plan to maximise education links, as well as agreements to increase cooperation in the health and aviation sectors.

With an economy growing at 6.5 percent a year and a population of 90 million, Vietnam is a potential goldmine for New Zealand exporters.

In the five years between 2009 and 2014, two-way trade between New Zealand and Vietnam increased 120 percent, making it New Zealand’s fastest growing market in South East Asia.

Earlier this year New Zealand and Vietnam set a goal to double two-way trade to US$1.7 billion a year by 2020.

Vietnam is also a part of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

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4 Comments

  1. Depends whether we mean all trade is good regardless, or something approaching ethical trade? The trade the United States forced upon Japan in 1853-4 by ‘gunboat diplomacy’ was good, wasn’t it? The Opium Wars were good because they removed trade barriers with China, making a valuable resource available to Britain? My fear is that Vietnam will become the latest ’emerging economy’ to be exploited by the West. The 3 News report says it pretty clearly, “a potential goldmine for New Zealand exporters”. Think about the language of that? The underlying psychology will usually ‘out’ in the language. Goldmine = resource extraction, some would say plunder. NZ exporters = us, not them. They, at least to some extent, will be used as cheap labour, with the full collusion of their leader and ours, until such time as the multinationals decide to move on to the next cheap labour source nation. I dare say the relocation of Western manufacturers to Vietnam will affect other Oriental economies, who will experience the corporate diaspora that New Zealand experienced in the 90s. This is all ‘good’ because it is trade and the corporates will do well. One might forsee a day when the last cheap labour nation on earth has been used-up and we must begin to pay the true price for our “things” including a realistic or humane labour component. Then one might wonder, Why didn’t we just pay the true price all along?
    Oh I know … human nature … right?
    It isn’t all bad I suppose. If this is the only way, this type of ‘trade’, unfair trade, then so be it. PartisanZ wants to say, We just can’t stop ourselves colonising these people, can we? WE must raise them up! I exaggerate for effect, but I also imagine a provincial Vietnamese woman slaving away long hours in a Hanoi sweatshop living in the slums. Her husband same. Her children maybe at school if they’re lucky. One day she looks up, realising she was far better off back in the rural village her ancestors have occupied for millenia; the one the labour recruiters convinced them was “squalid” and “backward”.
    Nice quote from someone in the sustainability field, “One day gold will be more valuable left in the ground than extracted”.

    Reply
    • kiwi guy

       /  16th November 2015

      Unfortunately it is supply and demand. There are billions of Third Worlders seeking employment, so wages decline.

      Those billions don’t want to live in rural backwaters living a subsistence lifestyle.

      They want university degrees, heart pace makers, electricity 24/7, cleaning running water, iphones, a refrigerator, a new car, cruise ship holiday, a pension etc etc etc.

      They will not get any of that tending goats on a remote rocky hillside.

      Reply
  2. kiwi guy

     /  16th November 2015

    Unfortunately it is supply and demand. There are billions of Third Worlders seeking employment, so wages decline.

    Those billions don’t want to live in rural backwaters living a subsistence lifestyle.

    They want university degrees, heart pace makers, electricity 24/7, cleaning running water, iphones, a refrigerator, a new car, cruise ship holiday, a pension etc etc etc.

    They will not get any of that tending goats on a remote rocky hillside.

    Reply
  3. KG, no need to repeat yourself on that one. Nah, just kidding. Supply and demand is unfortunate. Sounds like you think “That’s just how it is”? I think it’s unfortunate we don’t ethically intervene in it. We’ve certainly sold the spectacular success of Western economy and lifestyle to the “Third Worlders”, haven’t we? We’ve lead them to believe there are enough resources on earth for them to have the car, refrigerator, washing machine etc as well, when in fact what will largely happen is they’ll produce the new model for us and then we’ll pull the plug on them, statistically speaking, though some will no doubt benefit. Meantime, or “mean time”, we will never consider that our own lifestyle might need to be moderated somewhat in the direction of “sustainability” for the survival of the planet.
    Ѱ Just committed intellectual “greenie” language suicide! Darn! Gotta go hug a tree.

    Reply

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