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Vietnam – The Next Asian Tiger?

Updated On: Nov 24, 2006

Vietnam’s booming economy has become the fastest growing in Asia and has captured the attention of not only regional countries but the world.

This was especially highlighted at the recent APEC Summit in Hanoi where global attention was focused on Vietnam’s rapid economic success and the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization which will help Vietnam integrate into the regional and global economies. “This is great significance, contributing to raisingVietnam’s status, prestige and voice in the international arena,” noted Vietnam’s President Triet.

Currently, Vietnam has established trade ties with over 220 nations and economies, including over 8,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth over US$7 billion coming from 76 nations and economies, the highest level after the regional financial crisis and after Vietnam enacted the Foreign Investment Law in 1995. APEC accounts for over 70% of Vietnam’s exports and over 73% FDI capital. In recent time, Vietnam has held out many initiatives aimed at enhancing APEC co-operation in many fields, receiving strong support and implementation from member economies.

Leaders across the world including Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chilean President Bachelet Jeria and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had congratulated Vietnam on its achievements and expressed their admirations at the country’s rapid socio-economic development in recent time and highly appreciated Vietnam’s integration into the WTO. They also expressed the importance of their relations with Vietnam and would continue to boost bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the country.

Japanese PM Abe has affirmed that Vietnam is developing like “Thang Long” (ascending dragon)- the former name of capital city Hanoi adding that “Japan’s total investment in Vietnam rose by four times by the end of 2005.” Singapore PM also affirmed Vietnam that Singapore was ready to share useful experiences with Vietnamese partner.

Besides governmental interest, business people are also taking a hard look at Vietnam now. Thousands of international investors from Asia-Pacific economies turned up at the Vietnam Investment Promotion Forum, APEC Trade and Investment Forum and several other exhibitions and fairs signing contracts with Vietnamese businesses worth over US$2 billion.

However, despite the overwhelming economic success, that is not the end of the story. “There are still a lot of things to be done to overcome weaknesses in promoting Vietnam to the outside world…namely socio-political stability and favorable business and investment environment,” said President Triet. To target the widespread corruption, lack of transparency and bureaucratic red-tapes in Vietnam, PM Dung has assured that administrative reform and anti-corruption campaign are being carried out vigorously and the Enterprise and Investment Law will be judiciously implemented.

Sources:

Vietnam the new ASEAN star (Straits Times, 22 November 2006)

Vietnam develops like ‘ascending dragon”: Japan PM (Vietnam New, 21 November 2006)

APEC 14, a great contribution to the community’s development and prosperity (Nhan Dan, 21 November 2006)

Vietnam’s role highly valued by APEC leaders: President Triet (Nhan Dan, 20 November 2006)

Vietnam’s FDI surges in 11 months (People’s Daily Online, 21 November 2006)

There will be many business merging and acquisition deals: MPI (Vietnam Net, 22 November 2006)

Vietnam burnished image at APEC (Thanh Nien News, 22 November 2006)