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Found along the South China Sea, Vietnam borders Cambodia and Laos to the west, and China to the north. The nation warred through the 20th century, including a civil war that began in 1954 and ended with reunification in 1975. The 1986 Doi Moi policy was enacted to lead Vietnam from its central-oriented economy to an economy based on the market.
Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, and has prioritized becoming a developed nation by 2020. Vietnam’s GDP per capita has increased by 350% since 1991, second only to China, and boasts the fastest-growing middle-class in South Asia.
Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, and has prioritized becoming a developed nation by 2020.
It has also been an attractive destination for foreign business, with foreign investment accounting for 8% of Vietnam’s GDP (the highest among markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
More than half of the foreign business investment comes from manufacturing, especially mobile phones. Around 70% of Samsung’s smartphones are made in Vietnam, with the majority being overseas exports.
The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi however the nation’s largest city is Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Ho Chi Minh City is known as the financial hub of Vietnam and was listed by CNN as one of the top ten emerging cities in the world for launching a startup business.
In 2016, foreign business investment accounted for 24% of Ho Chi Minh City, with the government projecting an 8.5% increase by the end of 2017.
Among other businesses, Ho Chi Minh City currently hosts Haivl, a social media website, and Tiki, an ecommerce website that hopes to be “Vietnam’s Amazon.”
Hanoi, home to most of Vietnam’s government buildings, isn’t too far behind Ho Chi Minh City, boasting lower labor costs and an ideal geographical location for domestic and international business.
Vietnamese cities Haiphong and Da Nang are also worth mentioning, as they are less congested with competition. Haiphong is Vietnam’s third largest city and is known for its seaport, which offers a convenient path for imports and exports. Haiphong also led Vietnam in foreign business investment in 2016 ($2.74 billion USD), showcasing the global interest in the city.
Da Nang’s rapidly-improving infrastructure, along with an IT and communications sector which earned $58 million USD in software exports in 2016, make it a worthy location for your business as well.
Business opportunities in Vietnam
Furniture Making and Remodeling
Furniture making is a good business because almost every home or office you step into has one piece of furniture or the other. Asides that, a lot of companies and businessmen in other countries source for furniture from Vietnam which they take into their countries for resale.
Since Vietnam is a popular place to source for furniture among furniture importers in several countries, it won’t hurt to set up your own furniture making company. It doesn’t even matter if you know how to make furniture or not; you can always outsource the production aspect of the business while you concentrate on marketing and promoting your business. Another way to go about it is to take some time out to learn how to make and remodel furniture.
Garment and Textile Products
Garment and Textile making is another profitable business in Vietnam because Garments and Textiles are among products that Vietnam exports. You can also specialize in making ready-to-wear clothes or start your own clothing line. However, if you think that it would be too costly to start your own textile and garment Production Company, you can become a cloth retailer or start an online clothing store. All these businesses are equally profitable.
Construction and Building Materials
Another good business that you can start in Vietnam is selling of construction and building materials. There are so many building materials that you can sell like cement, roofing materials and home fitting materials. You could also start a business in the construction service sector like painting services, plumbing, home decoration, home renovation, HVAC installation and repair amongst several others.
Detergents and Cosmetics
Detergents are used by almost everyone for washing and house cleaning. There are so many brands of detergents but that doesn’t mean that you cannot come up with something unique and different. There would always be a demand for something that is unique, different from the regular and solves a challenge.
For instance, you can decide to focus on developing car washing detergents or detergents for baby clothes. These two niches would find a ready-made market because people are looking for ways to clean their cars without messing up the paint and finish, just like a lot of new parents are looking for ways to protect their bundles of joy from the effect of harsh chemicals in detergents.
Agricultural Products Processing
Any business in the food industry would always sell as long as the business owner employs the right strategy to promote and market the business. Agricultural products processing involves sourcing for raw farm produce that you can process for sale.
For instance, Tomato puree is made from tomatoes, Potato chips from raw potatoes and so on and so forth. You can always find an agricultural product that you can process for sales and export.
Vietnam exports a lot of products like rice which is a world staple, coffee, Crude oil, footwear, rubber, electronics and sea food; there are just so many things that you can sell to buyers from other countries. To get international buyers, you can go to a website like Alibaba.com and several other e-commerce websites; you will find a lot of people looking to buy stuffs from Vietnam.
You can also consider becoming a product sourcing consultant. What a product sourcing consultant does is to link buyers and sellers together. For instance, there are people who would like to buy stuffs from Vietnam via internet and since they have never been to Vietnam, they would need someone they can trust who is either a Vietnamese or resides in Vietnam to help out.
You could also become a freight forwarder for people who wish to buy stuffs from Vietnam. You can also merge importation and exportation together, meaning that you would export items to other countries and also import from too. Some items you can import include raw cotton, petroleum products, cement, fertilizer, motorcycles and electronics.
Another profitable business you can start in Vietnam is building/buying properties for resale. With the number of expatriates and immigrants coming into Vietnam, real estate is a business you won’t regret. You can buy old properties to renovate and resell; you can build office blocks for rent or small housing units for rent as well.
However, real estate is expensive business because you need a lot of capital to invest in real estate. But it’s not a totally hopeless situation for the cash-strapped investor, as you can still partake in the real estate business by becoming a property manager. What a property manager does is to maintain properties on behalf of the owners and earn commission for his services.
Restaurant and Bar
Vietnamese love good food and drinks. If you love to invest in the entertainment industry, starting a restaurant and bar is a very profitable niche in this industry. You could also consider setting up a night club where people can relax and unwind after a hard day’s job.
Why I personally love haulage and logistics business is that you can start this business without capital. How? I hear you ask. Yes, you can start a haulage business without capital by leasing a truck from a company which would allow you to spread your payments over a long period of time.
You can also consider purchasing a used truck which is cheaper and more affordable. Your clients would be manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, construction companies as well as private individuals.
Used Car Dealer
Everyone loves a nice, clean, brand new vehicle but sadly, not everyone can afford it. This is why a lot of people resort to buying used vehicles. Used car dealers make a lot of money just from helping people sell their used vehicles or importing used cars from other countries for sale.
You can also become a used car broker which is quite different from a used car dealer. As a used car broker, you don’t need much money; what you will be doing is linking people who need used cars with people who need to sell their cars and earn commission for it.