Vietnam Country Guide

A rapidly expanding economy, combined with political and economic stability, have transformed Vietnam onto one of the most vibrant nations in Asia, with a large market for capital goods and a growing domestic market for consumer goods.

It has an ambitious programme of major infrastructure developments including water, rail and aviation, providing high value export opportunities for British companies. Over the past 30 years, Vietnam’s average economic growth rate of 5.5% has been second only to China in Asia. In 2017, Vietnam’s GDP growth was a remarkable 6.8% and 2017 marked the third consecutive year of +6% growth. Vietnam started 2018 with high expectations, as the Asian Development Outlook report forecasts Vietnam’s economy to expand by 7.1% in 2018 

Incentives for UK companies exporting to Vietnam include:

One of Department for International Trade (DIT)’s 20 High Growth Markets

Continuing liberalisation of its economy

Member of the WTO and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its free trade area

The fastest-growing middle and affluent class in the region, with young consumers who are among the most optimistic in the world providing the right demographics for growth and receptivity to British products and services.

Strong long-term growth in UK exports.

Strong GDP growth (2nd fastest in the world next to China) expected to continue for medium term.

Large population of over 93 million consumers.

Political stability in a region known for its uncertainty.

Market Opportunities

Continued strong economic growth, ongoing reform, and a large population of 93 million – half of which are under the age of thirty – have combined to create a dynamic and quickly evolving commercial environment in Vietnam. Sales of equipment, technologies and consulting and management services associated with growth in Vietnam’s industrial sectors and implementation of major infrastructure projects continue to be a major source of commercial activity and interest for British firms.  

In terms of infrastructure, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released figures in April 2017 that mark Vietnam’s public and private infrastructure investment as the highest in Southeast Asia, accounting for an average of 5.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The government’s stated goal is to increase GDP per head to at least $18,000 by 2035. With disposable income levels in major urban areas four to five times the national average, significant opportunities in the consumer and services sectors are fast emerging.  

Leading Sectors for Exports

Water & waste water, telecommunications, information technology, power generation, transportation infrastructure construction, environmental project management and technology, aviation, defence, and education will continue to offer the most promising opportunities for British companies over the short term as infrastructure needs continue to expand with Vietnam’s pursuit of rapid economic development.

Healthcare will also be a growing sector as the government expands programs and an increasingly wealthy population spends more on medical treatment.