Vietnam: Not For The Faint Of Heart

FRONTIER MARKETS REPORT
​Vietnam has great potential, but it also has significant hurdles to overcome to improve its business climate for foreign investors. Given the government’s dominance of industries such as agriculture, utilities and banking, those looking to invest must be prepared for the challenge.

 
 
Source
Central bank

State Bank of Vietnam

International Reserves

USD 28.3 billion (2015)

World Bank, data retrieved January 2017

Source
Gross Domestic Product - GDP

USD 215.9 billion (2017, estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

Intl$ 645.3 billion (2017, estimate)

Real GDP growth
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
7% 7.1% 5.7% 5.4% 6.4% 6.2% 5.3%
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*    
5.4% 6% 6.7% 6.1% 6.2%    

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

USD 2,306.7 (2017, estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

Intl$ 6,894.1 (2017, estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2017*
0.18% 0.24% 0.33% 0.44% 0.5%

*Estimate

 
 
Source
GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 17% 
  • industry: 39% 
  • services: 44%

(2016 estimate)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)

N/A

Inflation
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
6.6% 4.1% 0.6% 2.0% 3.7%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
2.8% 2.1% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4%

*Estimate

Household saving rates

N/A

 

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2013 2014* 2015* 2016* 2017*
 51.8% 55.1% 58.3% 62% 64.6%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2013 2014* 2015* 2016* 2017*
-7.4% -6.1% -5.9% -6.5% -6%

*Estimate   

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: BB-

Moody's: B1

Standard & Poor's / Moody's (Updated January 2017)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2013 2014 2015
USD 40.1 billion USD 46.1 billion USD 51.9 billion
Largest companies

Commercial Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam, Vietin Bank, Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam.

 
 
Source
Current account balance

USD 0.2 billion (2017 estimate)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

0.1% (2017 estimate)

Exports as percent of GDP (Exports of goods and services)

89.8% (2015)

Shares in world total merchandising export

1.0% (2015)​

Shares in world total commercial services export

0.2% (2015)

Total exports

USD 169.2 billion (2016 estimate)

Export commodities

Clothes, shoes, electronics, seafood, crude oil, rice, coffee, wooden products, machinery

Total imports

USD 161.0 billion (2016 estimate)

 
 
Source
Import commodities

Machinery and equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries, electronics, plastics, automobiles

Exports - major partners

US 21.2%, China 13.3%, Japan 8.4%, South Korea 5.5%, Germany 4.1% (2015)

Imports - major partners

China 34.1%, South Korea 14.3%, Singapore 6.5%, Japan 6.4%, Hong Kong 5.1%, Thailand 4.5% (2015)

FDI inflows
2013 2014 2015
USD 8,900 million USD 9,200 million USD 11,800 million
FDI outflows
2013 2014 2016
USD 1,956 million USD 1,150 million USD 1,100 million
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser
2012 2013 2014 2015
USD 21.5 million USD 7.0 million USD -0.2 million USD 3.5 million
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2014

N/A

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2015

N/A

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Best countries for doing business

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

Overall ranking: 82 out of 190 countries (2017)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 121 out of 190 countries

Enforcing Contracts: 69 out of 190 countries

Registering Property: 59 out of 190 countries

Getting Credit: 32 out of 190 countries

Protecting Minority Investors: 87 out of 190 countries

Trading Across Borders: 93 out of 190 countries

Paying Taxes: 167 out of 190 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 24 out of 190 countries

Getting Electricity: 96 out of 190 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 125 out of 190 countries

Global competitiveness ranking

60 out of 138 countries

(2016-2017)

Index of Economic Freedom

Ranking: 131 / Score: 53.99 (Mostly unfree) (2016)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed)

 
 
Source
Time zone

UTC+7

Total area

 331,210 sq km

Capital

Hanoi (Ha Noi)

Currency

dong (VND)

Government type

Communist state

Languages

Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

 

Religions

Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)

Total population
1990 2000 2010 2014* 2019**
66.017 million 77.635 million 86.933 million 90.63 million 95.473 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

 
 
Source
Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2013
14.7% 19% 24% 32%
Population median age

29.2 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate

1% (2014 est.)

Life expectancy

72.91 years (2014 estimate)

Adult literacy

93.4% (2011 estimate)

% of population living on less than $2 a day

12.5% (2012)

Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

35.6 (2012)

(0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating

Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 5 (2014)

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Source
Total telephone subscribers as % of population

Fixed 10.1%   Mobile 130.9% (2013)
(fixed-telephone subscribers and mobile-cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

43.90% (2013)

Cost of living - Mercer index(ranking by city on a basis of 214; the 1st is the most expensive and the 214th is the least expensive)

Hanoi 131st (2014)

CO2 emissions(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)

1.7 (2010)

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