Large corrugated metal roofs, small corrugated metal roofs and farmland. Satellite images of Tan Vinh Hiep Commune in the southern province of Binh Duong don’t show much more, but on the earth, these pictures are worth more than the proverbial thousand words – they tell a thousand stories, and counting. The commune stands just an hour’s drive north of Ho Chi Minh City in Tan Uyen Town, and the satellite images are typical of Vietnam’s economy in the 21st century. The large corrugated metal roofs are those that cover factories spanning thousands of square meters. Such factories have been the core economic component of both Tan Uyen and the whole province for decades. And most of these factories belong to foreign direct investment (FDI) companies. Surrounding the factories are the small corrugated metal roofs, just over 2 meters wide, dozens of meters long, branching out from the roads and alleyways around the factories. These are the roofs of dormitories for migrant workers – the main workforce component in industrial parks across the country. The large and the small roofs are set against the background of patches of farmland – reminders of a not-too-distant rural, agricultural past. Huge swathes of farmland… Read full this story
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