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Vietnam's economy is experiencing dynamic changes


03-22-2017 13:54 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

In 30 years, Vietnam has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world, into a lower-income market. The dynamic changes have been particularly apparent in the country's southern financial hub, Ho Chi Minh City. But as Calum Stuart now reports, maintaining Vietnam's economic success could be challenging.

HCMC is changing. New buildings now dominate the skyline. Big brand shops and restaurants line the streets. Over the years an increase of foreign investment is opening up business opportunities, especially now much of the red tape has been lifted to those wanting to set up businesses here.

"There is a big change from several years ago. Most of the business activity [don’t] need the investment licence anymore. So the foreigners who come here, they can open restaurants, they can [start] service companies, they can open shops. Before it wasn’t easy like that, but now they’re considered the same like local companies," Thu Tran, senior lawyer with Global Business Services, said.

Property group, Jones Lang Lasalle, ranked HCMC as the second fasted developing city in the world, outpacing the likes of Silicon Valley and London.

The combination of low costs, and a young, educated workforce, is creating a recipe for economic success.

Over the last decade Vietnam’s GDP has grown at a healthy pace, averaging between five and six percent.

But with rapid development comes challenges. It’s becoming clear that achieving this level of growth is one thing… maintaining it, is quite another.

Lack of transparency in government policies can cause problems. Infrastructure is also playing catch up as congestion in the city increases. Experts say now is the time to put the breaks on investment coming through the city.

"Sometimes markets can get overly exuberant, just like it did in 2007, 2008. So a lot of funds piled into Vietnam, the market and the amount of capital was really indigestible. I think the government really have to be watchful to the kind of capital going it and the pace of growth, and manage it carefully," Regina Lim with Advisory & Research, Capital Markets, JLL, said.

Vietnam’s success story is now starting to take shape. Handled with care, and its economy could reach even greater heights.

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