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Phuong Nguyen: Vietnam's reformers struggle to find the right way forward

Communist government faces challenges to extend markets and sustain growth

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The International Labor Organization estimates that 86% of the 2 million jobs in Vietnam's clothing and footwear industries are at risk over the next decade.   © Reuters

HO CHI MINH CITY Amid the gleaming skyscrapers and traffic clogged boulevards of Ho Chi Minh City, it is difficult to imagine the hardships that faced Vietnam's people four decades ago, as the country emerged -- devastated but united -- from what is known here as the "American War."

Now one of the world's biggest agricultural exporters, a vibrant manufacturing hub and an increasingly attractive investment destination, Vietnam has come a long way since the war ended in 1975.

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