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Sector-specific opportunities

There are numerous prospects and high value opportunities (HVOs) for UK businesses in various sectors in Vietnam, including agritech, education and training, energy, financial and professional services, infrastructure, and mass transport sectors.


Research

Before exporting to Vietnam, you should carry out extensive planning and market research. Ideally you should use both desk research and market visits, as you will need to determine whether there is a market for your product or service, and if your pricing is competitive.

Public private partnerships

Public private partnerships (PPP) will be important when funding Vietnam’s infrastructure development as donor aid will cease as the country gains a middle-income status. London has world-leading experience in terms of PPP, therefore UK companies are becoming important strategic partners.

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) trade specialists to find local representatives for your products via: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-customers-export-opportunities.

From its worldwide network, DIT can provide international export sales leads. Find export opportunities in Vietnam at: https://www.great.gov.uk/export-opportunities/. For more information about opportunities and advice on doing business with Vietnam, contact DIT at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-vietnam#contact-us.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Vietnam, gov.uk]

Do not forget to check that your goods meet legal requirements for export, at the UK Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) (formerly known as the Export Control Organisation) at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/export-control-organisation.

 

Government tenders

In Vietnam, funds are shared between various public procurement departments by the Ministry of Finance, but there are no common requirements across all government bodies, so each ministry or agency sets its own criteria and rules.

Some government tenders are formally declared in both Vietnamese and English-written newspapers. Vietnamese newspapers include Nhan Dan, Lao Dong, Dau Thau and Saigon Giai Phong, and Vietnam News and Vietnam Investment Review are examples of newspapers written in English.

Partnering with a Vietnamese firm may improve your chance of success if applying for a government tender. Check with the DIT team in Vietnam at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-vietnam#contact-us for assistance and information about government tenders and use of third-party advisers.

Earlier this year (2019), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was signed by the ASEAN and the EU, meaning that businesses in the UK can engage in government tenders as domestic suppliers, although this is dependent on the outcome of Brexit. 

[Source – DIT, gov.uk]

 

Agritech sector

Feed and animal breeding

Vietnam is the third-largest market for meat in Asia, valued at $13.5 billion. Globally, Vietnam is one of the largest contributors towards the 10% increase expected for the global growth in all meat-types import demands.

In 2018, Vietnam’s import value for animal feed and materials for producing animal feed, such as wheat, corn, soybean, fat and oil, was valued to be around £2.5 billion. At least three large animal feed factories were also set up within this year for the commercial production of animal feed. Animal feed that is domestically produced is roughly between 35%-40% of the total demand in Vietnam.

In 2020, the total value of the animal feed market is predicted to be valued at $8 billion.

Dairy

By 2020, it is predicted that the dairy market will reach a value of £6.1 billion, double the value from 2015. The expansion of powdered milk and other dairy products, in 2017, helped to increase the country’s recovery growth rate to reach 10.5%.

It is expected that growth will continue as a result of the increasing population and growing health awareness, although local production is still a small portion of domestic demand, reaching a self-sufficiency level of only 27%. Therefore, importing raw materials is important to Vietnam due to limited local capacity.

Value chain
In the coming years, greater importance will be placed on sustainable agriculture and agri-value chain development. It will be necessary to improve all elements throughout the supply chain in order to allow Vietnam to produce high-quality processed agricultural products that match international standards. There will be a particular focus on optimising agricultural practices and improving inputs and effectiveness.

Opportunities

Traditional conglomerates in Vietnam, including VinGroup, THACO, FPT, and FLC, have begun to turn towards the agricultural sector. This has inevitably increased demand for experienced foreign companies to help design Vietnamese agricultural projects. 

The demand for safe and traceable value chains with decreased losses has created a necessity for knowledge and technology in the field of smart agricultural planning. Favourable trends resulting from this include the collaboration between farmers, and farmers contracting with enterprises.

Contact: ho.xuanhieu@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in Vietnam’s agritech sector.

[Source – UKABC]

 

Education and training sector

Numerous British education institutions have set up in Vietnam and, due to the large market, there is room for further institutions to set up in the country. With more than 8,000 students, and the number rising by 15% each year, the UK is now amongst the top five destinations for overseas study.

Vietnam has:

  • a relatively young population

  • an awareness of the importance of education in the family

  • the need for improved vocational training

In 2015, the Vietnamese Prime Minister signed a decision to approve a US $37 million curriculum project. During the last academic year, the Ministry of Education and Training planned to launch the curriculum and textbooks.

Opportunity areas in Vietnam include:

  • curriculum reform

  • teacher training

  • English language training

  • vocational and technical education

  • higher-education collaboration

  • school equipment

Contact: DIT.Vietnam@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in Vietnam’s education sector.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Vietnam, gov.uk]

 

Energy sector

Power

Between 2000 and 2012, power consumption increased five times its value. This increase is to continue, with an estimated 12%-15% growth rate between 2015 and 2030.

By 2050, Vietnam has predicted that its nuclear power plants will produce 20%-25% of its overall power supply.

Vietnam’s power development plan includes:

  • about US $130 billion investment in the next 20 years

  • 65.5% of investment to develop power generation

  • building nuclear power plants on seven sites

  • building 183 new power plants by 2025, of which 90 will be coal-based

UK companies have opportunities in all project phases including in consultancy and equipment.

Opportunities for UK companies in specialist power areas include:

  • education and training

  •  regulation and safety management

  • security

  •  waste management

  • operation management

Oil and gas

Vietnam is the third-largest producer of oil in Southeast Asia, providing opportunities for UK companies in services such as: 

  • seismic surveying for oil and gas exploration

  • engineering, construction and production facilities

  • drilling and production technologies, including drilling rigs (70 to 200 metres)

  • oil spill management

  • refineries

  • health, safety and environmental waste management

  • consultancy

  • training and education

Contact: DIT.Vietnam@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in Vietnam’s energy sector.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Vietnam, gov.uk]

 

Financial and professional services sector

Recently, foreign investors have begun to consider Vietnam as one of the most attractive locations for business. A GDP of 7.1% in 2018 was a ten year high for the country.

The young population of Vietnam are becoming some of the most confident consumers in the world due to the country’s strategic location and rapid development. As a result, salaries have been increasing and a market for more sophisticated financial and professional services has opened up. This market is due to grow as a result of Vietnam’s increasing affluence and numerous economic opportunities. This sector produces significant potential as currently only half of the potential market use banking insurance and other financial services.

Foreign investors have been attracted to Vietnam due to the country’s participation within a number of FTAs. These have helped new and existing participants enter the market in an alternate way. There are concerns, however, surrounding Vietnam’s regulatory and tax regimes that are aimed at foreign investors. Investors have also found challenges in management and accounting standards when entering Vietnam. This has made privatisation a slow process.

Contact: tran.huonggiang@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in Vietnam’s financial and professional services sector.

[Source – UKABC]

 

Healthcare and life sciences sector

Approximately 30,000 Vietnamese citizens travel abroad for their hospital treatment every year as a result of the country's mixed public-private healthcare system developing slowly.

Incentives offered by the government to healthcare investors include:

  • lower corporate income tax rate

  • four-year tax exemption

  • land rent reduction/exemption for at least seven years

Vietnam has a weak pharmaceutical production and supply capacity, and spends over US $1 billion a year importing drugs into the country.

To access opportunities in Vietnam, you should consider not only direct exports, but also joint ventures with local companies.

Domestic health equipment in Vietnam does not yet meet national and international standards of quality. As a result, most medical equipment in Vietnamese hospitals has been imported. There is significant potential for UK businesses in the medical equipment sector as only 5% of the market is accounted for by local production.

Contact: DIT.Vietnam@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in Vietnam’s healthcare and life sciences sector.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Vietnam, gov.uk]

 

Infrastructure sector

Vietnam has been one of the fastest-growing Asian economies of the last decade, with a GDP growth rate averaging at 6.2% between 2000 and 2017. The Vietnamese Government recognises that infrastructure development still needs to catch up, so the country has prioritised transport infrastructure and has planned to increase investment from US $7 billion (2001-2008) to US $120 billion (2020).

Urban Railway

Development of four metro lines in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is underway – expected to be operational by 2020. Private developers are being involved to invest and develop, and bids for sub-projects are open for international tenders.

Railway

The Ministry of Transport is carrying out a feasibility study on the construction of a new north–south high-speed railway that would replace the existing century-old line. The new high-speed railway will serve 200-350 kph trains. Construction is expected to start in 2020.

Seaport

Vietnam aims to develop six regional port groups between 2020 and 2030, with 39 ports to be constructed/expanded as part of their port development strategy.

The total investment for these plans is expected to be between US $18 billion and US $23 billion.

Road

73% of the Government’s investment in transport goes into road development. Investment from the private sector is much needed.

Construction

In Vietnam, the hotel, resort and mixed-use buildings/residential sector is rapidly expanding, and major local, private developers dominate. Some UK companies have partnerships with leading developers, resulting in UK expertise being used in a number of landmark projects.

Contact: nguyen.nam@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on opportunities in Vietnam’s infrastructure sector.

[Source – UKABC]

 

Mass transport sector

By 2020, transport infrastructure investment from the Vietnamese Government will grow from US $7 billion to US $120 billion. Plans for infrastructure include:

  • building two new international standard airports

  • upgrading seven existing airports

  • building six metro operations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

UK companies will be able to offer:

  • consulting

  • technology

  • design/construction

  • project management

There is also the opportunity to work in partnership with leading contractors from Japan and South Korea.

The airline industry also has potential for UK companies who could become involved in its operation.

Contact: DIT.Vietnam@fco.gsi.gov.uk for more information on mass transport opportunities in Vietnam.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Vietnam, gov.uk]


 

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