1. Introduction

1.1 WHY VIETNAM?
OPPORTUNITIES FOR AUSTRALIAN BUSINESSES

Vietnam is one of Asia’s great economic success stories of the past 30 years. Since economic reforms were implemented by the national government from 1986, Vietnam has experienced unprecedented economic growth, with an average annual increase in GDP of 6.5 per cent. With a young and energetic population – 40 per cent of its 97.1 million people are under age 24 – Vietnam is projected to remain among the world’s fastest growing economies over the next decade, and one of Asia’s best business and investment destinations.

As Vietnam’s Government continues to make the country an easier place to do business and encourage private enterprise – the standard corporate tax rate was cut from 22 to 20 per cent on 1 January 2016 – there has never been a better time for Australian companies to consider doing business there.

Consider some key facts:

• Thanks to the availably of cost-competitive labour, improving infrastructure and international trade links, the country has quickly established itself as the goto destination for labour-intensive and increasingly advanced manufacturing. Vietnam’s production of textiles, vehicles and electronic devices has increased by 15 to 30 per cent in a few short years.
• Economic growth in Vietnam in 2018 was 6.6 per cent. Over the coming decades, Vietnam is forecast to have some of the highest growth rates in the world.
• Its January 2007 admission into the World Trade Organisation further established Vietnam’s role in the global economy and reinforced the domestic economic reform process.
• Vietnam has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Southeast Asia, with almost 54.7 million people having access to internet.
• The Vietnamese workforce is young, dynamic and ready to transform Vietnamese industry.
• Vietnam received USD 19.1 billion in foreign direct investment in 2018, a 9.1 per cent increase on the previous year, making it an investment hub that is primed for growth and participation in international markets.

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