McDonalds ♥ Vietnam

It is still amazing to read how recent enmities have receded into the distance, even if not quite forgotten, how people who were thought to be the devil incarnate yesterday are happy customers, if not friends, today.  Here, yet another example.

McDonald’s, the fast-food giant, which has restaurants in more than 100 countries and will open its first Vietnam location on Saturday in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has a surging middle class, and most of its 90 million citizens were born after the Vietnam War ended, in 1975. Many young Vietnamese are insatiably curious about foreign cuisine and culture, like kebabs and K-pop, and the McDonald’s opening has been widely discussed on Vietnamese websites in recent weeks.

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The uncommented on tid-bit in the NY Times article is that  the ruling communist party has its entrepreneurial fingers deep in the growing pie.

McDonald’s waited a long time to open in Vietnam, given its global brand recognition and likely appeal to young Vietnamese consumers. When it did, it tagged Henry Nguyen, the son-in-law of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, as its local franchisee.

Everywhere we went on a two week trip to Vietnam in the spring of 2013, if a hotel or venue or location was high-class, the party higher-ups were behind it — the greatest example being the fine hotels, piers and boats at Ha Long bay, North Vietnam.  Everyone of these places has the party OK, if not direct investment by top officials.  Soon, Vietnam will have the same oligarch problem bringing the US economy into a state of ruin.

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