Despite the ravages of nearly two decades of war and Communist Bloc domination after that, Vietnam has become a very dynamic consumer market. Danang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City are now extremely cosmopolitan cities that are thriving by virtue of a variety of businesses and the tourism industry. Consumer demand and an array of industrial production venues are being fueled by three critical factors:
- An excellent demographic profile
- Rapid population growth
- Stabilization of society
In many ways, Vietnam appears to be emulating China. It has progressed from what was once a planned economy that failed due to corruption and inefficiencies existing within state programs, poor quality of manufactured goods, and the underproduction (as well as restrictions) of a wide array of economic activities.
Current Consumer Market
When you look at the country today, over 30 years after the end of the Vietnam War, it has become a market economy that which is creating opportunities by engaging in international business. US exporters and investors see Vietnam as an emerging, viable market, resplendent with excellent business opportunities and an economic growth rate that continues to be one of the highest in the world.
After 1986 and the demise of the Communist Bloc, significant economic reforms targeting renovation of the economy came into play, and by the 1990's, Vietnam had experienced an GDP growth of 8% annually. Additionally, industrial production has been expanding, growing at an annual rate of between 14% and 15%. As a result of this economic growth, numerous US firms are taking advantage of these profitable business and industrial opportunities.
Future Market Considerations
In January of 2007, Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) to enhance further economic growth on a global scale. The government began implementing several administrative, economic, and regulatory changes geared towards continually enhancing what is becoming an increasingly favorable market environment for US companies. These positive changes will be ongoing through 2015 and will continue to provide the US and other countries around the world with tremendous investment opportunities.
Vietnam is currently the 13th most populous country in the world with a population in excess of 86 million people, as well as an economic growth average of 7% annually for the last several years. Additionally, the trading of two-way goods between the US and Vietnam business now exceeds $10 billion annually and from 2005-06, this segment of the economy experienced a 23% growth factor.