By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg
As one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, Vietnam – with a growth rate of about 7 percent this past year – has witnessed remarkable improvements in its total gross domestic product (GDP), industrial output, and per capita income (from $260 in 1995 to $1685 in 2015) in the last few decades. Moreover, where Vietnam had previously been a net importer of rice, it is now the second largest exporter in the world after Thailand, with two-thirds of its rural labor employed in rice production.
By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji
As the battle against communism raged in Vietnam, a lesser-known civil war between the Pathet Lao – a communist movement – and the Royal Lao Government ravaged Laos. The conflict in Vietnam spilled over into Laos as a result of the establishment of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1959 and the partnership between the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese soldiers. In Northern Laos, North Vietnamese forces established a military effort in order to support the Pathet Lao in their attempts to ignite internal rebellion. Seeing the North Vietnamese forces supporting the proliferation of communism into Laos, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) decided to take action by training Laotian tribesmen to create a guerilla force to fight back against the Pathet Lao.