Vietnam is a country investors should be watching for a number of reasons. Despite being a relatively poor Asian country, it has managed to contain coronavirus through timeliness, strict quarantine rules, widespread testing and intensive contact tracing. By 18 June it had 335 confirmed cases and no recorded deaths.
In terms of economic growth, Vietnam has been Asia’s success story over the past five years. While the economy will be severely affected by a drop in manufacturing and exports this year because of the pandemic, coming into the crisis the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate was 7 per cent. This has been fuelled by a boost in foreign capital. According to the World Bank, foreign direct investment (FDI) was $15.5bn in 2018, up from $7.5bn in 2011.
Vietnam has benefited from taking market share from China in low-cost manufacturing amid Sino-US tensions, and it is also starting to move up the value chain. South Korean company Samsung, for example, announced earlier this year that it has started building a $220m research and development centre in Vietnam.