Close to 30 participants were given an in-depth briefing on Vietnam, including its potential and implications for the rest of Asia at this event held at the SIIA House. The speaker, Mr Manu Bhaskaran, is a partner and board member of Centennial Group Inc and the Honorary Secretary of the SIIA Council. The event ‘Vietnam: The Next ASEAN Tiger’ was among this year’s series of corporate briefings organized by the SIIA to provide our RTM and Corporate members with insights of the business operating environment of the key and emerging markets. Having left behind decades of war and economic chaos, Vietnam is a promising emerging economy in Southeast Asia. Its recent entry into the WTO has spurred foreign investment and GDP growth is now estimated to average 8% for the next few years. Despite its strong growth, it has a difficult operating environment, which makes it a unique market to Singapore companies. The briefing offered an overview of the areas of interest in the country, a prediction on its growth sustainability, and reasons which make it attractive yet difficult for foreign businesses to enter.
Prior to his current position, where he heads the Centennial Group’s Asian economic research practice, Mr Bhaskaran worked for 13 years as Chief Economist for Asia in an investment bank. He graduated in economics from Cambridge University and also has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.