Grant Thornton: 12 Graphs on How to do Business in Vietnam

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Many of you enjoyed our comprehensive guide on How to Do Business in Vietnam 2016 from our friends over at Grant Thornton. We decided to treat our business readers again by adding another report on how to do business in Vietnam. This guide covers key business trends and statistics, as well as a wealth of infographics on GDP, foreign direct investment, and inflation. You will find 12 graphs on Vietnam business in total. Enjoy!

Key trends and statistics


In 2015, Vietnam recorded a GDP growth rate of 6.68%, an increase from 5.98% in 2014. The economy has been successfully stabilised and inflation was controlled at under 2%.

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2015–2016, Vietnam ranks 56th in terms of competitiveness amongst 140 economies, an improvement of twelve spots compared with last year’s result. In addition, in October 2015, the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings affirmed Vietnam at “BB-” with a stable outlook, unchanged in comparison with last year.

In 2015, Exports and Imports had a growth rate of 8.1% (USD162.11 billion) and 12% (USD165.65 billion) respectively with a trade deficit of USD 3.54 billion. For 2016, the National Assembly has set export – import turnover growth of 10% and a trade deficit of 5% of projected exports.

Principal imports

The import turnover was USD166.16 billion in 2015.

Vietnam’s Principal Imports


China is the largest market holding USD50.33 billion of Vietnam’s import turnover, increasing by 15% from 2014, followed by South Korea, ASEAN countries and Japan.

Principal exports

In 2015, the export turnover was USD162.1 billion.

In 2015, Telephones and spare parts continued to contribute the largest export value with over $30 billion, followed by textiles products ($22.8 billion), and Electronic, Computers and spare parts ($15.7 billion). In terms of growth, ‘Electronics, Computers and spare parts’, and ‘Telephones and spare parts’ achieved the
highest growth of 33.8% and 25.3% respectively.

In 2015, USA was still the largest export market of USD33.73 billion, rising at the approximate rate of 18%. EU was the second largest export market of USD31.1 billion, increasing by about 11.4% compared to last year.


Vietnam’s Principal Exports Market (%)

Source: Government Statistics Office (GSO)

Economic environment

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth

In Q4 2015, the economy achieved a GDP growth rate of 7.01% higher than 6.12% in Q1, 6.47% in Q2 and
6.87% in Q3. In 2015 the GDP growth rate exceeded the target of 6.2% at the beginning of the year and is
the highest in the last 5 years. Economic growth in 2016 is expected to continue to grow at a projected rate of

GDP Growth Rate (2000-2016f)


GDP per capita

GDP per capita has continued to improve steadily y-o-y since 2000. The graph below shows the average GDP per capita of USD 2,109 in 2015, an increase of 4% compared to 2014. The actual GDP per capita in key cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are significantly higher than other regions.

GDP per capita (2000-2016f)


Contribution to GDP

Similar to previous years, in 2015, the services sector continued to contribute the largest portion to the GDP. Industrial and construction sectors ranked second, followed by agriculture.


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Total registered FDI in 2015 was USD22.8 billion, an increase of 12.5% compared to 2014. Of which USD15.6 billion represented new investment the balance being additional capital for existing projects.

In terms of sector, in 2015, the top 3 sectors for FDI were Processing industries (accounted for 67% of total FDI), Production and distribution of utilities (12%) and Real Estate (11%).

In 2015, Asian countries continued accounting for the largest portion of FDI investment into Vietnam, at 65%, including South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia.




Inflation in Vietnam averaged 10.4% between 2006 and 2014. In 2015, the inflation rate dropped to 0.63%, the lowest rate over the last 14 years.


Does Business in Vietnam excite you?


If the idea of doing business in Vietnam is something that excites you, you should read our “3 lessons” series from Vietnamese and Vietnamese American business titans. Two of our latest include 3 lessons from Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, VietJet’s rockstar CEO and Vietnam’s first female billionaire, as well as 3 lessons from Kieu Hoang, a Vietnamese American business magnate.


© 2016 Grant Thornton (Vietnam) Limited. All rights reserved. ‘Grant Thornton’ refers to the brand under which the Grant Thornton member firms provide assurance, tax and advisory services to their clients and/or refers to one or more member firms, as the context requires.Grant Thornton Vietnam is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a
worldwide partnership. GTIL and each member firm is a separate legal entity. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.

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