Paper, prices and politics : an evaluation of the Swedish support to the Bai Bang project in Vietnam : a Sida evaluation report

Blower, Nicholas, Minh Hang, Ngo, Jamieson, Allan, McCarty, Adam, Pearce, David, Quang Hoan, Pham, Quirke, Derek, Quoc, Nguyen, Thomas, Mandy, Thi Binh, Do, Van Hoa, Hoang, Warner, Bob, & Vincent, David (1999) Paper, prices and politics : an evaluation of the Swedish support to the Bai Bang project in Vietnam : a Sida evaluation report. Swedish Interntaional Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Stockholm, Sweden.

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Sweden’s protest against the Vietnam War was given tangible form in 1969 through the decision to give economic aid to the Government of North Vietnam. The main outcome was an integrated pulp and paper mill in the Vinh Phu Province north-west of Hanoi. Known as Bai Bang after its location, the mill became the most costly, one of the longest lasting and the most controversial project in the history of Swedish development cooperation.

In 1996 Bai Bang produced at its full capacity. Today the mill is exclusively managed and staffed by the Vietnamese and there are plans for future expansion. At the same time a substantial amount of money has been spent to reach these achievements. Looking back at the cumbersome history of the project the results are against many’s expectations. To learn more about the conditions for sustainable development Sida commissioned two studies of the Bai Bang project.

Together they touch upon several important issues in development cooperation over a period of almost 30 years: the change of aid paradigms over time, the role of foreign policy in development cooperation, cultural obstacles, recipient responsibility versus donor led development etc. The two studies were commissioned by Sida’s Department for Evaluation and Internal Audit which is an independent department reporting directly to Sida’s Board of Directors.

One study assesses the financial and economic viability of the pulp and paper mill and the broader development impact of the project in Vietnam. It has been carried out by the Centre for International Economics, an Australian private economic research agency. The other study analyses the decision-making processes that created and shaped the project over a period of two decades, and reflects on lessons from the project for development cooperation in general. This study has been carried out by the Chr. Michelsen Institute, a Norweigan independent research institution.

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ID Code: 63454
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Bai Bang project, Vietnam, Social and Cultural Impact
ISBN: 9158676732
ISSN: 1401–0402
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Asian Cultural Studies (200202)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Sida and the Authors
Deposited On: 18 Oct 2013 00:14
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2013 01:15

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