With a population of 90m, of whom 25% are aged 10-24, Vietnam is an exciting and dynamic although sometimes challenging market, full of long-term potential.
After two decades of rapid growth from a low base, Vietnam achieved lower middle income status in 2009. Growth was more subdued in the early years of this decade at around 5%, but picked up again in 2014 to almost 6% and looks set to strengthen in 2015.
Import demand is expected to grow by around 250% between 2010 and 2020 - faster than any other emerging economy - and Vietnam also boasts the fastest-growing middle class in South East Asia.
The British government sees the four primary sectors in Vietnam for potential UK commercial interest as Healthcare/Life Sciences; Mass Transport; Energy; and Education.
We also have three secondary sectors: Food & Beverages; Retail/Consumer Goods; and Advanced Engineering. In all these sectors, we see a combination of UK comparative advantage and also strong growth.
However, other sectors are also well served by the local British Chamber, which this year became part of the Global Accredited Network of the British Chambers of Commerce.
Infrastructure has been identified by the Vietnamese government as one of its priorities in its Socio-Economic Development Plan 2011-2015, in particular in transport with opportunities not just for infrastructure firms but also financial and professional service providers.
Prospects are good for conclusion of an EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in 2015, which should open up significant further opportunities for UK companies.
Similarly, Vietnam has implemented a 10-year-long modernisation policy which has opened the need for products and services which UK businesses can take advantage of. Particular sectors that offer great opportunities include consumer goods including plastics, dairy products, raw materials, unfinished iron and cotton.*
*Export Britain. Visit http://exportbritain.org.uk/market-snapshots/vietnam.html for further Vietnam statistics.