Trade-friendly Vietnam now offers far more than just low-cost labor, by Thao Vi, Thanh Nien News, 8 January 2015.

An edited extract of the original article is reproduced below.

Vietnam is seen by many foreign businesses as being a very attractive place to invest in and do business for many reasons, Francois Guibert, Chairman of the EU-ASEAN Business Council says.

“Vietnam has a lot more to offer investors than just low-cost labor,” Guibert told Thanh Nien News in a recent email interview. “The country is fast developing economically and has a large consuming class of its own. It also takes an increasingly liberal approach to trade as witnessed by the EU-Vietnam FTA, the TPP and other trade deals that Vietnam has undertaken recently.”

As manufacturers are moving their factories from China to ASEAN countries, Guibert said that move “is not solely about labor costs though such costs are certainly a significant element.”

He said the ASEAN Economic Community, which will remove many trade barriers within the region, coupled with the large and growing population and a young and relatively tech savvy working populations, will make the region a more attractive place for investors.

The prime beneficiaries of the move from China will be countries which adopt a more liberal approach to regulation and shy away from unexpected regulatory developments, according to Guibert.

“Countries such as Vietnam which are opening up more and more are certainly well positioned to take the most advantage,” he said.

The country is fast developing economically and has a large consuming class of its own.” — Francois Guibert, Chairman of the EU-ASEAN Business Council

Vietnam’s actual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow hit a record of US$14.5 billion last year, or a 17.4-percent year-on-year increase, official data showed.

 

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