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Competitive Advantages / Emerging Market

Vietnam’s GDP reached 102 billion USD, export turnover gained 71.6 billion USD and import value reached 84 billion USD in 2010 making Vietnam a promising market for high-tech products and services. Main export items enjoyed substantial growth rates over two previous years, particularly machinery, equipment, parts and accessories rose 23.3% to 13.7 billion USD, raw petroleum rose 41.2% to 10.9 billion USD, garment rose 25.8% to 6.8 billion USD, , electronic accessories, computers and components rose 25.8% to 3.7 billion USD, Car import peaked at 2.4 billion USD in which CBU imported reached 1 billion USD with total 50.4 thousand cars.

With an average GDP growth rate of 7% per year in the period 2006-2010, Vietnam rank the second among Asian countries with high GDP growth rate, with average growth rate of agro-forestry and fishery at 3.34% per year, industry and construction at 7.94% per year and service industry at 7.7% per year. Vietnam continues to prove to be a potential market especially for services, construction materials, industrial machineries, materials for garment and textile, foot wares industry and agriculture, motorbikes and automobiles, wood materials…in the years to come. A trend of import surge in the coming years will become evident due to Vietnam’s AFTA and WTO commitments to lift tariff barriers for imported products.

Vietnam’s main export partners include ASEAN countries, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, EU, Hong Kong, India, USA,…In recent years, import volume from China, Taiwan and USA has seen a steady growth while there is an opposite trend for imported products from EU countries. Goods can be distributed in Vietnam in two ways – either directly or through distribution companies of wide network of distribution channels.

Regarding domestic market, Vietnam’s totalretail sale and services reached 1,446.9 thousand billion VND, equal to 55 billion USD, much higher than previous years. The figure was only 11 billion USD in 1995, 15.6 billion USD in 2000 and 30.4 billion USD in 2005. The ratio of consumer spending to GDP is at high level compared to other countries in the region (Vietnam: above 70%,Singapore: 55.9%, Malaysia: 58.2%, Thailand: 67.7% ...). Customer spending has witnessed a good growth rate surpassing the population growth rate (the average growth rate of population in the period 2001-2005 is 1.4% while that of customer spending is 7.7%) which means an increase in consumer spending per capita and indicates better standard of living. In addition, the ratio of retail sale and service turnover to the total consumer spending volume rapidly increases from 64.7% in 1995 to 68.5% in 2000, 82.1% in 2005 and 93.1% in 2007. This trend can be translated as reduction in self-production and self-consumption or marketability increase. The retail sales and services turnover growth rate has averaged 13% in recent years (excluding price growth rate), which is as 1.6 times as GDP growth rate over the same period (8%).

With a large population of 85.2 million people, 70% of whom live in rural areas, estimated population growth together with tendency of people moving to urban areas make Vietnam make up a increasingly large-scale market. Emergence of high-income class due to economic development along with large young population, increasingly upgraded infrastructure, robust development of tourism industry are the engine boosting consumer spending especially luxury goods. Agro-forestry and fishery products hold up only 19.1% the total retail sale and this figure is likely to reduce in the future, while industry-construction goods make up a big share of 53.6% and likely to increase. Service sector only accounts for a small part of 27.3% but likely to increase rapidly in the future.

Regarding goods categories, products which such as mobile phones, computers, air conditioners, refrigerators,…motor mobiles in rural areas and automobiles in urban areas were once considered unnecessary or luxury are increasingly consumed. There is also a tendency of changing distributors from traditional markets to modern markets with the emergence of many of supermarkets and trade centers.


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