Business: Defiant Saigon

Free enterprise lives

More than five years after the fall of Saigon brought South Viet Nam under the banner of socialism, private enterprise survives there. Indeed, the free-market system that Hanoi vowed to crush accounts for 60% of the South's economic activity. Out of necessity, the regime has tacitly accepted the fondness that the entrepreneurial Saigonese have for profits—and even the still treasured U.S. dollar. Following a visit to what is now officially called Ho Chi Minh City, TIME Correspondent David DeVoss filed this report:

Early one morning in March 1978, residents of Saigon were jolted awake by something eerily reminiscent of the...

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