Public Debt as Temporary Burden & Long-Term Capital Investment

logoViet Nam’s infrastructure, including its roads, bridges, and airports, plays a major role in the country’s continued economic development.  Japan – through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is the top ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) sponsor to Viet Nam.  ODA is a key part of its visionary foreign policy for Viet Nam in particular and Southeast Asia in general.  (Follow this link to view a JICA map of its nationwide activities as of 25 July 2019.)  

After arriving at the Noi Bai International Airport Terminal 2 the other day, I noticed this plaque just outside the exit.  

noi bai terminal 2

This $900 million dollar project was begun in December 2011 and completed in 2014.  It’s a notable example of ODA projects that have either been completed or are currently in progress around the country. 

According to this 4 December 2011 JICA press release, it was considered to be “one of the most important transport infrastructure projects being implemented with Japan’s ODA.”  The Noi Bai-Nhat Tan expressway and Nhat Tan bridge were built at the same time.  All three projects made life much easier and more convenient for the legion of Vietnamese and foreign passengers arriving and departing from Hanoi.  

Public debt, like reasonable levels of personal debt resulting from solid long-term investments, makes possible what would otherwise be impossible in the here and now.  It is a frequent topic of discussion in the media, both positive (a key driver of economic growth) and negative (a risk and potential obstacle to the same). 

On the bright side, Viet Nam’s public debt is the lowest level since 2015.  Specifically, the Viet Nam Ministry of Finance estimates public debt at the end of 2018 at 58.4% of GDP, or $136.75 billion.  (Compare that with the US, where the national debt of $22 trillion is a staggering 107% of GDP.)  As of December 2018, 90% of Viet Nam’s bonds had a maturity period of over 10 years, with the average maturity period for all bonds coming to 12.7 years.

The Noi Bai International Airport Terminal 2 is one small piece of that multi-billion dollar puzzle.  

Shalom (שלום), MAA

 

 

 

More Vietnamese Students in South Korea Than Australia

Yes, it’s true.  Check out the infographic below, courtesy of the Australian Department of Education and Training.  As of 11-18, Viet Nam ranked 6th among sending countries with 24,094 students studying at all levels in Australia.  

vn students in australia 11-18

Incredibly, there were more Vietnamese studying in South Korea than Australia last year.  As in Japan, Viet Nam ranked 2nd with 27,061.  Speaking of the former, I’ll talk about Vietnamese enrollments in that country, which are off the charts, in another post.  

Note:  I wish the US government had the same data quality and quantity as Australia’s. 

Shalom (שלום), MAA

 

Fake News: “Australia ‘first choice’ for overseas Vietnamese students”

australian dept of ed and training

This is presumably an editor’s mistake.  Fact-checking is important and really easy these days.  Is Australia the world’s leading host of Vietnamese students, meaning their “first choice”?  

As of 10-18, there were 23,803 young Vietnamese studying in Australia at all levels out of a total of 673,296 international students, according to the Australia’s Department of Education and Training

Here are the top five (5) host countries:

  1.  Japan (61,671, 2017);
  2. USA (29,788, 8-18)
  3. South Korea (27,061, 4-18)
  4. Australia (23,803, 10-18) ; and
  5. Canada (14,095, 12-17 – a one-year increase of 89%).

Claiming that Australia is the “first choice” for Vietnamese students is not only wishful thinking; it’s just plain wrong.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

Viet Nam Once Again Ranks 5th in US International Student Enrollment

logo

According to the August 2018 SEVIS by the Numbers update, Viet Nam once again ranks 5th among places of origin with 29,788 active students at all levels and in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, inching past Canada, which had displaced it in June 2018.  (One always has to take summer statistics with a grain of salt, since there’s always a dip that coincides with the end of the academic year.)  

1) China: 378,003
2) India: 227,199
3) South Korea: 64,022
4) Saudi Arabia: 43,413
5) Viet Nam: 29,788
6) Canada: 29,496
7) Brazil: 26,846
8) Taiwan: 24,429
9) Japan: 23,088
10) Nigeria: 16,042

That’s the good news in these troubled times.  The bad news is that the number of student visas issued in FY18, which ended on 30 September 2018, was down from last year.  (I’ll provide more information in a forthcoming blog post.) 

My ballpark estimate is a 5-6% decrease, which is line with the decrease in overall numbers.  This assumes that the US Mission in Viet Nam (Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate in HCMC) issued the same number of F-1s in September 2018 that it did in the same month last year.  That information will be out soon.  

Keep in mind that there were 31,389 young Vietnamese studying in the US, as of December 2017.  This means that there are now 1,601 fewer students from Viet Nam, a 5.1% decrease.  One obvious reason is the shift to Canada, which hosted nearly 15,000 Vietnamese students last year and recorded an unprecedented one-year increase of 89%.    

Peace, MAA  

Postscript:  There are currently 27,061 young Vietnamese studying in South Korea, which means the top five host countries for Vietnamese students worldwide are 1) Japan (61,671, 2017); 2) the USA (29,788, 8-18); 3) South Korea (27,061, 4-18); 4) Australia (22,565, 7-18); and 5) Canada (14,095, 2017).  This means that there are  155,180 in the top five countries alone, 57% of them in East Asia.  

 

“America & Japan reporting big gains in Vietnamese enrolment”

icef monitorA good update on Vietnamese enrollments in Japan and the US from the ICEF Monitor.  I’ve written posts and articles about most of this information with the exception of the recent Japanese update.  The bottom line is that Japan is now the world’s leading host of Vietnamese students, followed by the US, Australia, China, and Singapore.  I conservatively estimate that over 100,000 young Vietnamese are studying in these five (5) countries.

Keep in mind that many of the 38,882 Vietnamese students in Japan are also working off-campus, in addition to studying, which is permitted under Japanese law.  About three-quarters of international students in Japan have part-time jobs.  Students can work up to 28 hours a week and the salary can range from $204-$306 per week.  Below are the conditions:

  1. the part-time work does not affect your studies.
  2. the earned income is meant to supplement your academic cost and necessary expenses and not for saving or for remittance overseas.
  3. the part-time work engaged in is not in adult entertainment businesses.
  4. Within 28 hours a week (up to 8 hours a day during long school holidays).
  5. The part-time work is done while you retain student status in an educational institution.

As of March 2016, according to SEVIS, there were 29,101 Vietnamese students in the US at all levels, but mostly in higher education, a modest increase from 28,883 last November.  Vietnam will likely surpass Canada in the coming year.

Here’s the introduction.

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • The number of Vietnamese students abroad began to expand rapidly around 2006 and shows no sign of cooling off
  • Over the last two years, Japan and the US have seen gains of nearly 50% in their Vietnamese enrolments
  • This continued growth is being fuelled by a hot Vietnamese economy, along with a correspondingly rapid expansion of the country’s middle class, as well as persistent concerns about the quality of higher education within Vietnam

Vietnam currently boasts one of Asia’s strongest economies, with an estimated 6.7% GDP growth in 2015 and an impressive average annual growth rate of 5.5% since 1990. The World Bank, with the Vietnamese government, recently released a report that says Vietnam could become an upper-middle-income country by 2035 – but even now, in 2016, many Vietnamese families are finding themselves with enough spending power to send their children abroad to study.

The number of Vietnamese students abroad is soaring, with Japan and the US in particular claiming a large share of total outbound numbers. This surge, which picked up again most recently in 2013, traces back to around 2006 when the number of Vietnamese students really began to take off.

Follow this link to read the remainder of the article.

MAA