Export Britain


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Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Vietnam requires:



Vietnam is predicted to be the fastestgrowing of the world’s emerging economies by 2025, with a potential growth rate of almost 10% per annum. The country has slowly been transforming itself into a more market-oriented economy. Reforms include partial privatisation of state-owned enterprises and modernisation of the trade regime. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007, which has promoted more competitive, export-driven industries.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 6.2 6.5 6.2
Export of goods and services 10.0 4.9 8.1
Import of goods and services 11.1 5.3 9.2
Inflation 2.7 4.9 5.0
Current account balance (% of GDP) 4.7 4.1 2.4
Population (millions) 92.6 93.6 96.0
Source: Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2017

Economic outlook

Gross domestic product grew 4.9% in the first half of the year, according to preliminary data released by the General Statistics Office. Corporate difficulties, a banking system weighed down with bad debts and high interest rates were among the main factors contributing to the weak economic climate. GDP growth in 2013 is close to last year’s 5% as a result of subdued exports and persistently high real interest. But a pick-up is in prospect from 2014, as the past year’s strong rise in inward investment starts to boost exports to faster-recovering markets.

Trade outlook

Vietnam’s exports grew by an estimated 20% in 2012. China is forecasted to overtake the US as Vietnam’s largest trading partner. Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia will also become fast growing export partners for Vietnam. Plans to expand the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement to zero tariffs on all goods by 2015 will also drive Vietnam’s trade with other economies in the region over the medium term. The US and Japan will remain key sources of demand for Vietnam and will remain among Vietnam’s top export markets.

Cultural tips

Essential Customs Tips

De-minimis value (duty free allowance): 1,000,000 VND (approx £34GBP). VAT and Special Sales Tax may still apply. All gifts must have a full description of goods, including the quantity. Goods descriptions must be specific; if descriptions are ambiguous such as gift, present, sample, textile, garment, or parts, they will not be accepted. All publications which refer to the ‘south China sea’ are prohibited.

SWOT analysis

Strong interest in Western lifestyles
Large young population
Expanding middle class with strong purchasing power
Slow structural reforms
Reduction in trade barriers following international commitments
Fiscal situation deteriorating
Import slowdown

Vietnam's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Metal products
  • pulp & paper
  • other manufacturing n.e.c. 
  • beverages.

Fastest-growing exporters into Vietnam

1 India
2 Korea
3 Brazil
4 Hong Kong
5 China
6 Poland
7 Indonesia
8 Canada
9 Bangladesh
10 France

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

Key sectors include education, healthcare, food & drink, technology, chemicals and lifestyle. Both the public and private sectors in Vietnam have a strong interest in UK business expertise and brand reputation.

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