Vietnam has made amazing progress over the past decade with annual GDP growth averaging 6.3%, only behind China in Asia, and achieved a remarkably high GDP per capita CAGR of 14%. The main factors supporting Vietnam’s impressive growth are political stability (only behind Singapore and Brunei in South East Asia, according to World Bank, 2011), favourable demographics with 65% population at working age, highly competitive labor cost, and a booming consumers’ market. The Government has recently demonstrated their determination to eradicate deep-rooted socio-economic problems such as corruption, high banking NPLs and inefficient SOEs. They have indeed made some visible progress in the last 2 years with tamed inflation, trade balance turning surplus and stable currency being the highlights. More pro-growth measures such as lowering interest rate, tax cuts and stimulus packages will also be applied to improve the business environment.
An attractive destination for FDI in the region
With stable currency, highly competitive labor cost (one third of China’s), favorable business conditions and improving regulatory environment, FDI disbursement has averaged 22% growth per annum over the past decade and become the most dynamic and effective contributor to the economy with 67% contribution to 2013 total export. Participating in potential Free Trade Areas, such as TPP and Vietnam-EU FTA, will make Vietnam an even more attractive destination for FDI, especially for textile and apparel, footwear, furniture and aquaculture companies.
An agricultural power
Taking advantage of favourable weather, large farming area and more than 1000 years of agricultural history, Vietnam has been deriving significant growth from agriculture. Being the world's biggest (or second biggest) exporter of rice, peppers, coffee and pangasius (fish), etc. demonstrates the country’s power well on the global agriculture map. With growing global food consumption and global resources scarcity currently being burning issues, there are plenty of opportunities for Vietnam to promote its agricultural advantages.
And a top performer among Asian stock markets
The equity market in Vietnam has undergone tremendous growth with market capitalization rising 22% per annum from 2006-2013. 2013 market-wide P/E of 11.9 was the lowest in the region whilst dividend yield and ROE at 4.9% and 24.9% were the highest; the Vietnam stock market outperformed all others in South-East Asia with an impressive gain of 22% in 2013 of the main index.