This report is designed to assess the medium term opportunities for
Australian trade, investment and education in Vietnam. 1 Interviews and
round tables were held with a wide variety of private and public sector
individuals and organisations acknowledged at the end of this narrative.
This report is based on those views and sources consulted as listed in the footnotes and Appendix.

Executive summary

  • As credit growth has slowed,
    vulnerabilities in the financial sector have come to the fore. The
    authorities have begun to tackle several small weak banks that are
    experiencing a liquidity squeeze;
  • State owned enterprise reform
    is needed to reduce risks to the financial sector and public finances,
    and to improve growth prospects in the medium term. The authorities are
    initiating reform measures, but progress is slow and will likely remain
    modest in the lead-up to the 2016 Party Congress;
  • Popular
    dissatisfaction is widespread but not yet at a critical stage. Upper
    middle class emigration and labour exports have acted as a safety valve;
  • Education, particularly in-country vocational education and trades training in partnership with industry has a bright future;
  • The
    prospects for increased exports of Australian primary products,
    processed foods, low to mid-market focussed retail franchises and
    professional services related to the urban landscape (architectural,
    engineering, software design etc.) and an embryonic mining sector are
    also robust;
  • Health services, medical devices, e-health may flow from government investment and growing middle class demand;
  • There
    are opportunities to invest in improved agricultural productivity –
    yield and seed varieties including environmental mitigation products and
    services, the onshore processing of coffee, cashews, pepper and
  • Infrastructure opportunities, notably transport design
    and engineering services, are largely predicated on foreign company
  • Corruption remains a serious problem and
    business needs to understand fully the implications of exporting to and
    operating in Vietnam.


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