We constantly hear that Vietnam’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is growing at rates of around 5% or 6% a year. In 2014, this reached US$186.2 billion, almost triple what it was in 2006. While this is touted almost universally as being positive, what exactly does this mean? And what is the outlook for 2016?
Mark my words you will see more dodgy expats in Vietnam in the coming years as it starts to become an even easier place to live for foreigners. Over my past 13 years as an expat and eight years in Vietnam I have met some of the best and worst of the expatriate community. Some examples of the ‘dodgy expat’ include; simultaneous multiple wives and children; abandoning long-term girlfriends who become pregnant; ripping off business partners, or plain old-fashioned dodgy drug dealing.
In my lifetime I have seen the mainstream media morph into an almost non-stop fear generating machine. It would appear that weekly there is a new threat to my imminent safety. I work in the health insurance industry and I have a fairly solid understanding of risk to your well-being, and while it is good advice to heed the wise words I heard in a movie recently — “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” — this month I have collected some facts that prove the world is not as scary as some would want you to think it is.
As my ample belly will attest I do like to eat and while of late I have tried to eat in a more healthy way, the sweet siren call of fast food (and the growing list of options of in Ho Chi Minh City) is making the battle a difficult one. That being said, over a delicious burger and fries this month I looked into some of the fancier and more expensive fast food options around the world. No surprises — most come from our obese cousins in the US.
I was recently in Hong Kong on a business/golf trip and got to hobnobbing with some pretty ridiculous rich people. Some of their stories of excessive consumption, particularly in the arts, had my jaw dropping. It got me thinking of other things I put little value in, that turn out to be worth quite a bit of coin.
We are all rational people, right? Well maybe not. I have recently seen some very poor decision-making by people who should know better. This got me thinking; why do reasonable and rational people often make such foolish decisions?
There are 1,826 dollar billionaires in the world. Vietnam has one — Mr Pham Nhat Vuong who ranks 1,118 in the billionaire list. He is the founder and chairman of Vingroup. Approved Index, a UK-based business-networking group, crunched the numbers from Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list in 2015 to find the most billionaire-dense nations.
I read a great article last month on recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how this is the most important thing in the world right now that no one is talking about. For those of you like myself who had little recent information on this trend, I highly recommend you to read the article on waitbutwhy.com entitled The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence. So firstly may I welcome our new robot overlords. In their honour I will look into the jobs that are going to be the first to go (as reported by NPR).