The collapse of the Soviet Union and China’s adoption of capitalist economic policies influenced Vietnam to broaden its international trade links and liberalise its internal economy (Evans & Newnham, 1998, p, 561).
Vietnam is a country whose economy had always been largely agrarian in nature, although the communists had hoped to industrialise the economy. The internal problems of Vietnam as cause and consequence of the wars course and outcome was demonstrated by the damage that the conflict did to the country’s agricultural sector.
By the time that North Vietnam had reunified the country its economy had been devastated by more than three decades of virtually continuous fighting. The task of rebuilding the economy was only achieved through the economic assistance of the Soviet Union. The internal problems of Vietnam as cause and consequence of the wars course and outcome were not helped by the fact that the economic policies of the Soviet Union, which the Vietnamese copied were flawed in their own right (Woodruff, 2005 p. 275).
The Soviets wished to prop up a communist state that had already humiliated the United States, and that preferred friendship to the Soviet Union rather than a good relationship with China (Hobsbawm, 1994 p. 489). The Vietnamese economic recovery was interrupted by the short - lived Chinese invasion of 1979, which had the affect of increasing the number of refugees that fled the country. The conflict also reversed some of the economic recovery that had begun since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 (Lenman, 2004 p. 869).
Ironically it was the economic policies of China that provided the Vietnamese government with the inspiration to liberalise their economy and attempt to increase international trade with the rest of the world.