Vietnam is currently negotiating its membership of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) a trading zone of seemingly eclectic countries comprising: Brunei, Chile, Singapore, New Zealand and to be closely followed by the USA among others. Although not expressly identified as an APAC initiative it is likely to serve as a key pathfinder to the objectives of an APAC free trade area.
Not only is the TPP of significance as a trading block it also helps to alleviate this writers concerns regarding the risk of import substitution and trade protectionism. At the time of the global debt crisis in 2008 we wrote of such concerns and with reference to the Smoot Hawley Tariff and Trade laws developed by the USA in response to the global meltdown of the 1930’s.Although the WTO in many ways has stalled there are a number of smaller trading blocks emerging. Interesting and untypical of economic history such blocks are less in line with any cultural, economic and political ideology but more along the lines of convenient real politics the shifting of global plates will less likely follow Huntingdon’s model of “A Clash of Civilizations” but more a scrabble for global brands and dealerships.

Vietnam’s current export services are suggesting the economy is starting to demonstrate robustness and it is hoped it’s current export led position will go someway to resolving the bank debt issue.

The construction market will remain in the doldrums and costs and prices may only rise in response to global commodity prices which remain driven by the China market. At the time of writing this China Market Data seems to be taking an upside so watch this space.

click on the link to download Langdon Seah’s Vietnam Construction Cost
for Q2, 2013.