Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Business in Vietnam

I'm currently staying at Lagi, a large fishing village in Vietnam. It's not a tourist destination, so it doesn't have the trappings of Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau or some of the other more popular tourist destinations. This has a few minuses, but on the plus side, I'm seeing the real Vietnam ... the traditional Vietnam and its people.

At the left is a photo of part of a very large fishing fleet ... all painted blue, which I took from Lagi bridge.

The things that stand out most for me are:
  1. The people are very friendly and hospitable
  2. Everyone is busy doing something
  3. There are more motor cycles and scooters here than in any other part of the planet
  4. Cost of living by Australian standards is very, very inexpensive
  5. There is no welfare system to bog down the country, so the extended family system is alive and well
  6. Everyone here eats like a squirrel
  7. Many businesses are run from home
Let me expand on a few of these. Vietnam has a best practice welfare system ... there is none. You either get off your backside and work, rely on your family, or starve. But, in reality nobody starves. Someone will always look after you. They tend to have large family sizes, so there is a network of grandparents, uncles, aunties, brothers, fathers and friends who will chip in if you need your rent paid or you need a feed.

One young girl 11 whose father is in jail and mother a drug addict and nowhere to be found, isn't left out on the streets. She has been "adopted" by an unrelated family group who provide all the love, family, food, and necessities of life that a kid needs. How wonderful is that? In Australia this task is taken on by a variety of religious and other charitable organisations and the various state and territory governments whose role it is to protect children. 

Hardly an obese person is to be seen anywhere in Lagi. The men tend to be shorter and leaner in stature than  we Western Caucasians as do the women, most of whom have curvy, attractively shaped bodies and dress very well. This is no doubt due to their eating habits. Meals involve a little bit of everything, but much of it is low calorie stuff like lettuce and various legumes etc. While meat is plentiful, portions served in meals are miniscule by our standards ... no 500 gram steaks here. The bowls from which Vietnamese eat are very small in comparison with ours. Quite simply, they eat a healthy, balanced diet at just about the right calorie load and we overeat. I've lost several kilograms since arriving and hope to take home the habit of miniscule meals when I return to Australia.

The houses are remarkably narrow, vertical styles and most have a large room at the front entrance. Many of these houses have been turned into a variety of home-based businesses; tailor shops, coffee shops, food good shops, hairdressing and beauty shops, and even a welding shop. I haven't been able to find someone who could tell me if there are taxes in Vietnam, but I expect there are and they are minimal.

You can set up a business here overnight and it's obvious that it's a red-tape-free zone. Unlike in Australia where there are so many rules and regulations that it's a nightmare just getting established.

We pay a huge price for being a so-called First World nation in Australia. We've evolved a plethora of rules, regulations and legislation to impede almost everything we do. Yes, much of it is necessary, but much of it goes too far and we have become bogged down with social engineered laws that really don't serve the best interest of Australia. Our OH&S law have gone overboard in most jurisdictions and we squander money overseas supporting regimes that would gladly wipe us off the face of the earth, instead of looking after our own.

Which is really the First World country, Vietnam or Australia?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. Comments with inappropriate content or spam will not be approved.