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Vietnam is in Southeast Asia area which is high growth engine in the world economy. The region has a promising prospect of booming economies towards sustainable and integrating development of all countries in the area.

Vietnam became one of the fastest growing economies in the world with significantly high annual GDP growth rate of 8% from 1990 to 1997 and 6.5% from 1998 – 2003 and more than 8% from 2004 – 2007. Vietnam has maintained constantly rapid growth from accession to WTO in 2007 - averaging 6 – 7%. In 2011, Vietnam eyes GDP growth of 5.89%, lower than the growth level of 6.78% in 2010, but the growth forecast of 2012 reveals a more stable increase.


The total export turnover of Vietnam has been witnessing rapid growth in recent years. The export turnover of goods increased from US$5.4 billion in 1990 to over US$5.4 billion in 1995, US$14.5 billion in 2000 and US$32.5 billion in 2005, US$71.6 billion in 2010 and reach US $84.5 billion in 2011, making a year-on-year increase of 17%-18.4%. To be included in the top five largest exporters in Asean region in 2012, Vietnam has targeted to reap an export turnover of $100 billion. Vietnam's main exports include:

  • crude oil
  • textiles and garment
  • rice
  • coffee
  • rubber
  • coal
  • aquaculture
  • processed forest products
  • agriculture, forestry and fisheries

The number of countries and territories that import Vietnamese goods has increased rapidly in the last ten years which are more than 100 territories so far.


The total import turnover was US$ 22.7 billion in the period of 1991-1995, US$ 61.6 billion in the 1996-2000 period, US$ 130 billion in the 2001-2005 period, and US$ 107.6 in the 2006-2007 period, US $105 billion in 2011.

Vietnam’s key import commodities include:

  • petroleum products
  • iron and steel
  • fertilizer and chemicals
  • electronics
  • cars
  • medicine
  • machinery and equipment

Foreign investment has drastically increased. From 1988 to December 2004, cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) commitments totaled US$46 billion. By December 2004, about 58% had been dispersed. In 2005 new foreign direct investment commitments were US$1.6 billion. During the period 2006-2011, Vietnam receive US$18 billion of FDI. The Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) estimates that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attraction would hit US$15-16 billion in 2012 and FDI disbursement would reach US$11 billion. These capital sources have made great contribution to the development of the economy, the improvement of living standards and the increase investment among citizens.

The legal system on the economic development and international economic intergration has been highly reformed and improved, after 1986, the Law on Foreign Investment was enforced in 1988. Especially after the enforcement of the new Constitution (1992), a number of important legal documents were enacted including Labour Code (1995), Civil Law (1996), Cooperative Law (1996), State Budget Law (1996), State Bank Law (1997), Credits Organization Law (1997), Trade Law (2005), Enterprise Law (2005), and Investment Law (2005). In recent years, many legal guidance from government have been revised which make the business environment become more favoured to local businesses and foreign investors or trading partners.

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