25 épisodes

Every week, Ho Chi Minh City-based journalist Mike Tatarski sits down with a guest doing unique, important work in - or about - Vietnam to get a panoramic view of this dynamic, increasingly important country.

vietnamweekly.substack.com

The Vietnam Weekly Podcast Mike Tatarski

    • Actualités

Every week, Ho Chi Minh City-based journalist Mike Tatarski sits down with a guest doing unique, important work in - or about - Vietnam to get a panoramic view of this dynamic, increasingly important country.

vietnamweekly.substack.com

    Ranking the Competitiveness of Vietnam's Provinces

    Ranking the Competitiveness of Vietnam's Provinces

    Today’s guest is Eddy Malesky, a Professor of Political Economy at Duke University who focuses on Vietnam. Eddy is also the primary author and lead researcher of the annual Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI).
    He played an instrumental role in the creation of the PCI in 2005 and remains heavily involved, offering great insight and nuance on the relationship between sub-national government actions and local business communities.
    We discussed the concept of ‘fencebreaking,’ the PCI’s background and the desire to create a tool that provincial officials can use to benchmark against other locations and identify best practices, the surprising official embrace of the index, the genesis of the newer Provincial Green Index (PGI) as a tool for provinces to measure compliance with environmental and energy regulations, how the index’s results illustrate Vietnam’s economic evolution, and how it reflects the anti-corruption campaign.
    Related Links:
    2023 PGI-PCI Full Report
    Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) for 2023 announced (Vietnam Plus)


    Get full access to Vietnam Weekly at vietnamweekly.substack.com/subscribe

    • 50 min
    The Sad State of Phú Quốc

    The Sad State of Phú Quốc

    Today’s guest is Stuart McDonald, co-founder of Travelfish and author of the excellent Couchfish newsletter. Stuart has been traveling around and writing about Southeast Asia for about three decades and is also working on a Master’s in Responsible Tourism Management. He’s written previously about sustainable tourism in Vietnam as well.
    Stuart recently visited Phú Quốc for the first time in a while and I wanted to get his thoughts on the place through a sustainable lens. If you’re expecting a rose-tinted view of the island, this episode is not for you. We cover some positives of Phu Quoc before getting into its severe problems, what could be done to begin addressing them, and whether you should visit.
    Related Links:
    Vietnam's Sustainable Tourism Challenge
    Couchfish: A Journey Along The Camel’s Back. Part 1
    Couchfish: A Journey Along The Camel’s Back. Part 2
    Couchfish: Sustainable Vietnam Part 1—Plastic, People, Power
    Couchfish: Sustainable Vietnam Part 2—Three Kinds Of Gold
    Vietnam's biggest island long held onto a seductive image as the country's 'last paradise.' Then came the clubs, a casino, and a safari. (Business Insider)
    Phu Quoc stops officials from going abroad (VnExpress International)


    Get full access to Vietnam Weekly at vietnamweekly.substack.com/subscribe

    • 51 min
    Vietnam's Sustainable Tourism Challenge

    Vietnam's Sustainable Tourism Challenge

    Today’s guest is Nuno Ribeiro, Senior Lectu​rer of Tourism and Hospitality Management at RMIT University Vietnam.
    We discussed the importance of sustainable tourism development, the need for a qualified tourism workforce and Vietnam’s shortage in this area, frequent comparisons to Thailand from domestic media, factors driving the country’s dismal visitor return rate, and the understated economic impact of tourism.
    Related Links:
    Phú Quốc's Rapid Decline (Vietnam Weekly)
    Vietnam posts nearly 11 billion USD in tourism revenue (Vietnam+)
    Tens of thousands protest against Canary Islands’ ‘unsustainable’ tourism model (The Guardian)
    Thailand attracts twice the number of tourists as Vietnam (VnExpress International)


    Get full access to Vietnam Weekly at vietnamweekly.substack.com/subscribe

    • 35 min
    Vietnam's Energy Plans & Reality

    Vietnam's Energy Plans & Reality

    Today’s guest is Giles Cooper, a Partner at the international law firm Allens based in Hanoi who specializes in issues around energy policies and regulations.
    We discussed the pending decree on direct power purchase agreements and how this will impact major manufacturers, the dramatic change this will bring to Vietnam’s electricity market, Power Development Plan 8’s LNG and offshore wind targets, and where all of these issues may go over the next few years.
    Related Links:
    Draft decree on DPPA completed and under review (Viet Nam News)
    Exclusive: Apple supplier Foxconn among firms asked to cut power use in Vietnam (Reuters)
    Vietnam Electricity denies telling foreign companies to cut power use by 30% (VnExpress International)
    New draft regulations on electricity generation tariffs and model power purchase agreements for power plants in Vietnam (Allens)
    Despite promise, natural gas faces a difficult road to power in Vietnam (Southeast Asia Globe - from 2021)


    Get full access to Vietnam Weekly at vietnamweekly.substack.com/subscribe

    • 34 min
    Tracing Vietnam's Coffee Supply

    Tracing Vietnam's Coffee Supply

    Today’s guest is Timen Swijtink, founder of both CoffeeTrace and Lacàph Coffees of Việt Nam. 
    The first half of our conversation covers CoffeeTrace, a new project aimed at providing a coffee farmer-centric EUDR data collection and traceability solution to both farmers and traders. We discuss the challenges farmers in Vietnam and other countries that export agricultural goods to the EU face in meeting new rules and what can be done to help, as well as the current turmoil in the international coffee bean market.
    Then, we talk about Lacàph’s approach to working with coffee farmers, the increasingly high quality of Vietnamese coffee; misconceptions around robusta, the dominant coffee variety in Vietnam; and how the country may be well-placed for a future in which climate change increasingly impacts global coffee production.
    Related Links:
    Pricey Coffee Is Here to Stay as Hoarding, Heat Hit Vietnam Supply (Bloomberg)
    Measures sought for coffee firms to adapt to EU Deforestation Regulations (Vietnam+)
    Severe drought scorches coffee plantations in Vietnam’s Central Highlands (Tuổi Trẻ News)


    Get full access to Vietnam Weekly at vietnamweekly.substack.com/subscribe

    • 34 min
    25 Years of Clearing UXO in Central Vietnam

    25 Years of Clearing UXO in Central Vietnam

    Today’s guest is Sarah Goring, Country Director for the Mines Advisory Group, or MAG. The organization is marking 25 years of operations in Vietnam, entirely in Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị.
    They have disposed of over 390,000 explosive items since 1999, ranging from small cluster bomblets to huge 500-pound bombs like one that was cleared in Đồng Hới in early April.
    We talked about the evolution of MAG’s work in Vietnam over time; the importance of risk education; the cross-cutting impacts of UXO across agriculture, education, healthcare, and other sectors; how UXO is disposed of after being found; and ongoing efforts to survey and map UXO contamination.
    Get in touch with Sarah at Sarah.Goring@maginternational.org.
    Related links:
    MAG safely removes a MK-82 500LB bomb in Dong Hoi City, Vietnam
    Unexploded 200kg bomb discovered in downtown in north-central Vietnam (Tuoi Tre News)


    Get full access to Vietnam Weekly at vietnamweekly.substack.com/subscribe

    • 33 min

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