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Corporate reform in Vietnam is slow going

Investors are excited about opportunities, but wary of obstacles

A vegetable vendor walks past a VinMart+ shop in Hanoi. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

HANOI As Vietnam marks its 10th anniversary as a member of the World Trade Organization in January, the one-party state has finally begun showing progress on promises to make the country's state-run enterprises more compliant with market principles and less dependent on government largesse.

There are plenty of investment opportunities in Vietnam's rapidly growing market. The government in September announced plans to divest its entire interest in Vietnam Dairy Products, or Vinamilk, Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage, Tien Phong Plastic, Bao Minh Insurance and eight other state-backed companies by the end of 2017. Authorities began by floating Saigon Beer -- also known as Sabeco -- on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on Dec. 6.

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