Vietnam retreats from communism to become coffee giant
Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?This is more evidence that the command economy and control freak economic policies make people poorer. It makes you wonder why they fought so hard for the idiocy of communism.
When the Vietnam war ended in 1975 the country was on its knees, and economic policies copied from the Soviet union did nothing to help.
Collectivising agriculture proved to be a disaster, so in 1986 the Communist Party carried out a U-turn - placing a big bet, at the same time, on coffee.
Coffee production then grew by 20%-30% every year in the 1990s. The industry now employs about 2.6 million people, with beans grown on half a million smallholdings of two to three acres each.
This has helped transform the Vietnamese economy. In 1994 some 60% of Vietnamese lived under the poverty line, now less than 10% do.