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A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Vietnam

Since moving to a market economy in the mid-1980s, Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth and is now considered an increasingly attractive country in which to invest and do business. Vietnam’s strong economic growth is expected to continue and the IMF’s World Economic Outlook, April 2017 projects Vietnam to be one of the fastest growing economies over the next two years. With its young population, combined with developments in mobility and urbanisation, the skills available to foreign companies in Vietnam are gradually improving. Further regional and international integration, through Vietnam’s membership in ASEAN and an increasing number of bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs), are opening up opportunities in all sectors, in particular manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, making Vietnam an attractive destination for Hong Kong companies.

Before investing and doing business, it is important to understand the key aspects involved. Whilst doing business in Vietnam has improved, a number of challenges remain. Vietnam is ranked 60th out of 138 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 and 82th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report. Both reports highlight the following areas of challenge:

  • An inadequately educated workforce
  • Weak intellectual property rights enforcement
  • Tax regulations, tax rates and payments
  • Corruption and bureaucracy, with many reports of irregular payments and bribes. Vietnam ranked 116th out of 176 economies in the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index

This guide provides practical information for Hong Kong companies on investing and doing business in Vietnam, helping them manage and minimise the challenges arising from doing business and investing in Vietnam.

  1. Regulatory Environment
  2. Establishing a Presence
  3. Intellectual Property Protection
  4. Staff Recruitment
  5. Tax Considerations
  6. Import/Export Procedures
  7. Further Information

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