Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business 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 and export sectors and implementation of major infrastructure projects continue to be a major source of commercial activity and interest for U.S. 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).
Per capita GDP was estimated to be $5,370 in 2014 (in 2011 PPP). The government’s recently stated goal is to increase this 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, as evidenced by strong growth in the number of Vietnamese students attending university in the United States, and the growing number of middle-class that are choosing the U.S. as a vacation destination.
Telecommunications, information technology, oil and gas exploration, power generation, transportation infrastructure construction, environmental project management and technology, aviation and education will continue to offer the most promising opportunities for U.S. companies over the next few years as infrastructure needs continue to expand with Vietnam’s pursuit of rapid economic development. Health care will also be a growing sector as the government expands programs and an increasingly wealthy population spends more on medical treatment.
The government of Vietnam (GVN) plays a significant role in the economy, with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) making up 35 percent of GDP. The GVN strategy to “equitize” (partially privatize) SOEs in all sectors of the economy is slowly moving forward. While the GVN will maintain majority ownership in the largest and most sensitive sectors of the economy, which includes energy, telecommunications, aviation and banking, the equitization process could present opportunities for U.S. companies.
Key U.S. agricultural inputs to production such as hardwood lumber, cotton, hides, skins and feed ingredients will also continue to play a key role in helping fuel Vietnam’s export led manufacturing strategy, as noted earlier, and are responsible for U.S. agricultural products accounting for nearly half of total exports to Vietnam. Demand continues to also grow for consumption oriented products such as meat, dairy and fresh and dried fruits.
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices