The reconstruction of the Western European economy after World War 2 is deemed by many an extraordinary success. The political institutions had much stability and worked for every citizen, to the point where they became the envy of much of the world. Fast economic growth was experienced, with trickle-down effects to many European nations and citizens. Much the same can be said about Singapore’s economy, which grew robustly at an average annual rate of 8.9% from independence in 1965 until growth was interrupted by a recession in 1985. The economy bounced back dramatically thereafter, averaging 8.3% growth a year until the regional economic crisis erupted in 1997. Another magical economic growth story to reflect on is that of Vietnam, a country whose 20-year war, which ended in 1975, left it devastated, one of the poorest in the world. Vietnam is now considered an emerging-market superstar, with annual economic growth of 6%-7%, which rivals that of China. Vietnam is heavily invested i...

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