Vietnam Trades Up

Anthony Salzman remembers the last time Vietnam was tipped to be Asia's next tiger economy. The former antiwar protester turned business consultant was representing Caterpillar in Vietnam when the country opened up to foreign investment in the early 1990s. Back then, Hanoi's streets were filled mostly with bicycles and all fax machines had to be registered with the police, but that didn't stop international executives from packing the bar of the only foreign-run hotel in Hanoi, the Metropole, to plot their future fortunes. "In that one bar on any given night," recalls Salzman, "there were people who, combined, could have pledged...

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