Travel Guide

Vietnam, the new land of opportunities

When the Vietnam War (or American War, as it’s known in Vietnam) ended, hardly anyone would have thought 35 years later, the same country would become a haven for entrepreneurs and investors. Vietnam is still coming to terms with its new-found fame that is attracting entrepreneurs and business people not just from America, but also from the EU, other Asian countries and Latin America.

With a young population, the people of Vietnam have an innate entrepreneurship that is hard to replicate. Less than 6 percent of the country’s population is aged more than 65 and this is remarkable. This gives Vietnam a huge advantage in the global marketplace. Furthermore, in the last few years, the country’s stock market has doubled in value and economists reckon Vietnam’s economy will flourish over the next 2 to 3 years.

Even when the GDP of the country suffered in the 2009 global recession, the long-term economic prospects of Vietnam have not taken a beating. On the contrary, Credit Suisse, an investment bank, is extremely optimistic about the growth of the country’s GDP.

Opportunities Galore
Many Viet Kieu, as the Vietnamese who fled after the end of the Vietnam War are known as, are now making a beeline for their homeland. If statistics are to be believed, nearly 500,000 Viet Kieu return each year, and some for good. What is it that is bringing back the Viet Kieu back to their countries?

There are several reasons for the large number of Viet Kieu return. Of course, the recent economic reforms and subsequent growth the economy has witness is part of the reason. The other reason is the weak economy in the U.S. Today, the state has loosened controls on the economy and this has improved the standard of living in Vietnam quite a bit.

When the War ended in 1975, the totalitarian regime completely demolished free market, leading to countrywide poverty. However, in the 1980s, this restriction was eased by introducing reforms known as doi moi. These reforms helped spur the economy by allowing capitalism and foreign investment to re-enter the country.

The results of these reforms are visible today. Vietnam boasts of one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and may very soon become the fastest growing emerging economy in the world, according to the financial advisory firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

There are so many opportunities for business people and entrepreneurs now in Vietnam that it is attracting not just the Viet Kieu, but also investors from developed and emerging economies.

Exports: The biggest opportunity in the country lies in exports, which entrepreneurs and businesspeople are tapping on extensively. Today, the focus of the country is on textiles, IT services, shoes, oil and manufactured goods. The exports of these items are increasing by the day. Even though 2009 was a bumpy year for Vietnamese exports, things have improved tremendously ever since. And, economists predict exports will continue growing even in the near future.

Tourism: The lush natural beauty of Vietnam is legendary. Even the government has realized the potential of the country’s natural heritage and is going out of its way to promote tourism. The official tourism program is known as Impressive Vietnam and tourism businesses and travel agents are allowed to offer discounts on tourism-related services and tours. Practically every year Vietnam is witnessing an increase in its tourism revenue.

Attracting Entrepreneurs and Producers
With foreign exchange pouring in from business activities, the government of Vietnam has introduced many incentive programs, not just for entrepreneurs, but also for producers. Some of the incentives in place include:

• Tax Incentives: Vietnam has established tax incentives for imports from neighbouring countries. One good example is 0 percent taxes on imports from Laos. These imports include engines, engine components, motorbikes and automobiles. Similarly, Laos levies 0 percent tax on 87 different commodities from Vietnam, such as cigarettes, furniture, motorbikes, garments, floral materials and processed fruits.
• Tax Reduction and Exemption: In 2009, when global recession affected practically all economies, Vietnam introduced incentives for importers. Any business that was involved in exports to the EU, Latin America and Africa was given tax exemption and reduction. The government is offering 10, 15 and 20 percent tax exemption based on the kind of investment and business.

All is Not Perfect
While Vietnam has opened up its economy and made the environment more conducive for entrepreneurs and business people, it really hasn’t done much for personal freedom of people. Even today people are prevented from the right to speak freely, travel freely within Vietnam or practice their religions. Furthermore, The Legatum Prosperity Index also lists down some 11 different procedures that pose an obstacle when people want to start a new business in the country. Hence, business people looking to move into Vietnam to take advantage of the numerous business opportunities shouldn’t be too optimistic. Instead, you should make sure you are investing in a business that is viewed favourably by the government – one that is on the list of the government’s incentive program. Otherwise, you may regret it.

What the Future Holds in Store?
Even though Vietnam has a totalitarian government and some downturns because of the global recession, the overall economic outlook of the country is quite positive. It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, a little over 2 percent. Yes, inflation is still a major concern, the government has taken measures to curb it.

So, on the whole Vietnam’s environment is ripe for entrepreneurs and business people. Just ask David Thai, a Viet Kieu who left the country as a toddler. He once dreamed of being a snowboarder or a pro basketball player. Today, he is back in Vietnam where he has launched a coffee chain similar to Starbucks. Thai returned to Vietnam to rediscover his roots. Instead, he discovered simplicity of life. Most returning Viet Kieu will tell you Vietnam is a wonderful place to live in if you have little money and you can easily turn that little into quite a bit through prudent investments. However, be prepared to make compromises as state censorship in the country is still prevalent and widespread.

Vietnam, the new land of opportunities Maanasi Travel Guide
When the Vietnam War (or American War, as it’s known in Vietnam) ended, hardly anyone would have thought 35 years later, the same country would become a haven for entrepreneurs and investors. Vietnam is still coming to terms with its new-found fame that is attracting entrepreneurs and business people...
When the Vietnam War (or American War, as it’s known in Vietnam) ended, hardly anyone would have thought 35 years later, the same country would become a haven for entrepreneurs and investors. Vietnam is still coming to terms with its new-found fame that is attracting entrepreneurs and business people not just from America, but also from the EU, other Asian countries and Latin America. With a young population, the people of Vietnam have an innate entrepreneurship that is hard to replicate. Less than 6 percent of the country’s population is aged more than 65 and this is remarkable. This gives Vietnam a huge advantage in the global marketplace. Furthermore, in the last few years, the country’s stock market has doubled in value and economists reckon Vietnam’s economy will flourish over the next 2 to 3 years. Even when the GDP of the country suffered in the 2009 global recession, the long-term economic prospects of Vietnam have not taken a beating. On the contrary, Credit Suisse, an investment bank, is extremely optimistic about the growth of the country’s GDP. <strong>Opportunities Galore</strong> Many Viet Kieu, as the Vietnamese who fled after the end of the Vietnam War are known as, are now making a beeline for their homeland. If statistics are to be believed, nearly 500,000 Viet Kieu return each year, and some for good. What is it that is bringing back the Viet Kieu back to their countries? There are several reasons for the large number of Viet Kieu return. Of course, the recent economic reforms and subsequent growth the economy has witness is part of the reason. The other reason is the weak economy in the U.S. Today, the state has loosened controls on the economy and this has improved the standard of living in Vietnam quite a bit. When the War ended in 1975, the totalitarian regime completely demolished free market, leading to countrywide poverty. However, in the 1980s, this restriction was eased by introducing reforms known as doi moi. These reforms helped spur the economy by allowing capitalism and foreign investment to re-enter the country. The results of these reforms are visible today. Vietnam boasts of one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and may very soon become the fastest growing emerging economy in the world, according to the financial advisory firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers. There are so many opportunities for business people and entrepreneurs now in Vietnam that it is attracting not just the Viet Kieu, but also investors from developed and emerging economies. <strong>Exports</strong>: The biggest opportunity in the country lies in exports, which entrepreneurs and businesspeople are tapping on extensively. Today, the focus of the country is on textiles, IT services, shoes, oil and manufactured goods. The exports of these items are increasing by the day. Even though 2009 was a bumpy year for Vietnamese exports, things have improved tremendously ever since. And, economists predict exports will continue growing even in the near future. <strong>Tourism</strong>: The lush natural beauty of Vietnam is legendary. Even the government has realized the potential of the country’s natural heritage and is going out of its way to promote tourism. The official tourism program is known as Impressive Vietnam and tourism businesses and travel agents are allowed to offer discounts on tourism-related services and tours. Practically every year Vietnam is witnessing an increase in its tourism revenue. <strong>Attracting Entrepreneurs and Producers</strong> With foreign exchange pouring in from business activities, the government of Vietnam has introduced many incentive programs, not just for entrepreneurs, but also for producers. Some of the incentives in place include: • Tax Incentives: Vietnam has established tax incentives for imports from neighbouring countries. One good example is 0 percent taxes on imports from Laos. These imports include engines, engine components, motorbikes and automobiles. Similarly, Laos levies 0 percent tax on 87 different commodities from Vietnam, such as cigarettes, furniture, motorbikes, garments, floral materials and processed fruits. • Tax Reduction and Exemption: In 2009, when global recession affected practically all economies, Vietnam introduced incentives for importers. Any business that was involved in exports to the EU, Latin America and Africa was given tax exemption and reduction. The government is offering 10, 15 and 20 percent tax exemption based on the kind of investment and business. <strong>All is Not Perfect</strong> While Vietnam has opened up its economy and made the environment more conducive for entrepreneurs and business people, it really hasn’t done much for personal freedom of people. Even today people are prevented from the right to speak freely, travel freely within Vietnam or practice their religions. Furthermore, The Legatum Prosperity Index also lists down some 11 different procedures that pose an obstacle when people want to start a new business in the country. Hence, business people looking to move into Vietnam to take advantage of the numerous business opportunities shouldn’t be too optimistic. Instead, you should make sure you are investing in a business that is viewed favourably by the government – one that is on the list of the government’s incentive program. Otherwise, you may regret it. <strong>What the Future Holds in Store?</strong> Even though Vietnam has a totalitarian government and some downturns because of the global recession, the overall economic outlook of the country is quite positive. It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, a little over 2 percent. Yes, inflation is still a major concern, the government has taken measures to curb it. So, on the whole Vietnam’s environment is ripe for entrepreneurs and business people. Just ask David Thai, a Viet Kieu who left the country as a toddler. He once dreamed of being a snowboarder or a pro basketball player. Today, he is back in Vietnam where he has launched a coffee chain similar to Starbucks. Thai returned to Vietnam to rediscover his roots. Instead, he discovered simplicity of life. Most returning Viet Kieu will tell you Vietnam is a wonderful place to live in if you have little money and you can easily turn that little into quite a bit through prudent investments. However, be prepared to make compromises as state censorship in the country is still prevalent and widespread.

About the author

Maanasi

Leave a Comment

Mystic Treasure Trove2017