Viet Nam is an HDD country, and begins from the lowest DMC per capita base of any of the ten
countries studied. In Figure 18 (a) little growth is apparent on this measure until the early 1990s, at
hich point it entered a period of very rapid growth. From 1970 to 1990, DMC per capita grew at
under 0.9% p.a., while from 1990 to 2008 the rate was over 8.4%p.a. compounding, raising Viet
Nam to around 80% of World average levels by 2008. The change in structure of Viet Nam’s material
flows between 1990 and 2008 is the most profound and rapid of any of the countries studied, with
biomass decreasing from 70% to 26% in just two decades. While the share of fossil fuels increased
only marginally, from 5.3% to 5.8%, given the rapid rate of total growth in DMC, this corresponded
to a sixfold increase in total volume. Metal ores and construction minerals both experienced rapid
growth in share, which translated to increases in total volumes of over 31 times and 14 times
respectively. A feature which is notable by its absence is any clear impact of the AFC. In this regard
Viet Nam resembles China more than the other South East Asian nations. The PTB panel shows that
Viet Nam has gone from being a net importer of fossil fuels to a net exporter. Reference to the online
11 category database shows that while Viet Nam was a net exporter of coal for the whole 1970 to
2008 period, it also became a net exporter of petroleum from 1991, and remained so until the end
of the period. The reduced net exports of fossil fuels in 2008 come in part from reduced DE of both
petroleum and coal, but the largest contributing factor was rapidly increasing domestic demand.
This suggests that Viet Nam may revert to being a net importer of fossil fuels in the near future.
MI for the period available starts high and remains static until the mid 1990s, then increases even
further, to be the highest of the ten countries studied. At nearly 13 kg/$US in 2008, it is four times the regional and over seven times the World average. It is important to note however that this increase
in MI was largely driven by a massive increase in construction minerals, and this would be consistent
with major investment made in infrastructure, which typically delivers major improvements in MI in the
future, as it enhances societies’ capacity to add value to its material inputs. However, this trend may
not materialize where a country focuses on developing a large, export-oriented natural resources
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