Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, offering a wide range of business opportunities for international brands. With a population of over 97 million and a rapidly growing middle class, Vietnam is an attractive destination for companies looking to expand their business by offering a promising investment environment with its strategic location and talented workforce. Besides, the Vietnamese government’s commitment to economic development and infrastructure improvement has further boosted the country’s potential for investment.
This article will discuss the top 15 business opportunities in Vietnam for international brands. We will highlight the country’s strengths and opportunities across various industries, including:
1. The proliferation of E-commerce
E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry in Vietnam, driven by the country’s young and tech-savvy population. According to a report by Google and Temasek, Vietnam’s e-commerce market is projected to reach $52 billion by 2025. This presents a huge opportunity for international brands looking to enter the Vietnamese market.
One of the key advantages of Vietnam’s e-commerce industry is the high mobile penetration rate, which is currently at 61%. This means that many Vietnamese consumers are using their mobile devices to shop online, creating a massive market for mobile e-commerce.
Another advantage of Vietnam’s e-commerce industry is the low entry barriers for foreign investors. The Vietnamese government has introduced policies to encourage foreign investment in the e-commerce sector, making it easier for international brands to enter the market.
International brands can also tap into the growing demand for cross-border e-commerce in Vietnam. According to a report by eMarketer, cross-border e-commerce is growing faster in Vietnam than in any other Southeast Asian country, with a projected growth rate of 34.5% in 2021. This presents a huge opportunity for international brands to offer their products to Vietnamese consumers through cross-border e-commerce platforms.
2. Strong Growth of Retail and Consumer Goods
The retail and consumer goods industry is one of the most promising sectors for international brands in Vietnam. This is because the country’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing disposable income have created a strong demand for high-quality consumer goods and retail products.
The retail market in Vietnam is projected to reach $180 billion by 2025, making it a significant market for international brands. That’s why there are also various opportunities for international brands to enter the market through joint ventures or partnerships with local companies.
An advantage of Vietnam’s retail and consumer goods market is the growing popularity of modern retail formats, such as supermarkets and shopping malls. This shift towards modern retail formats is creating opportunities for international brands to establish a presence in the country’s major shopping centers. In addition to traditional retail channels, e-commerce has also become an important distribution channel for consumer goods in Vietnam. The growth of online shopping platforms like Shopee and Lazada has opened up new opportunities for international brands to reach consumers in Vietnam.
Consumer goods such as food and beverages, personal care products, and household items are also in high demand in Vietnam. International brands that offer high-quality and innovative products can gain a competitive advantage in the market.
3. Investment in Real Estate Industry
Vietnam’s real estate market is a growing and lucrative industry for international investors. The country’s rapid urbanization and economic growth have driven demand for both residential and commercial properties.
One of the key advantages of Vietnam’s real estate market is the government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and creating favorable policies for foreign investors. The Vietnamese government has introduced policies to encourage foreign investment in the real estate sector, such as allowing foreign ownership of property and simplifying procedures for granting land use rights. Furthermore, the country’s rapid economic growth has led to an increase in demand for office space and retail spaces, particularly in major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, which eventually leads to a growing demand for commercial real estate
4. Manufacturing industry offers multiple benefits
Vietnam’s manufacturing industry has been a key driver of the country’s economic growth, with a strong focus on electronics, textiles, and footwear. Furthermore, the government has also introduced policies to encourage foreign investment in the manufacturing sector, making it an attractive destination for international brands looking to expand their business in Southeast Asia.
The biggest opportunity coming from Vietnam’s manufacturing industry is the country’s strategic location, which provides easy access to major markets such as China, Japan, and the United States. This makes it an attractive destination for international brands looking to establish a manufacturing base in Southeast Asia to serve both local and international markets.
As mentioned above, international brands can also benefit from the Vietnamese government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and creating favorable policies for foreign investors. The government has invested heavily in infrastructure projects, such as highways and ports, to support the manufacturing industry and facilitate the movement of goods.
5. Rapid Recovery of Tourism and Hospitality
With stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the tourism industry in Vietnam is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% from 2019 to 2029, according to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
From the picturesque Halong Bay to the historic city of Hoi An, Vietnam has a wide range of tourist destinations that appeal to both domestic and international travelers. Taking advantage of this opportunity, international brands can also tap into the growing demand for high-quality tourism and hospitality services in Vietnam. As the country’s middle class continues to grow and disposable income increases, there is a growing demand for luxury accommodations and high-end tourism experiences.
6. Healthcare is substantially developing
Vietnam’s healthcare sector has been rapidly developing in recent years, presenting various opportunities for investment and growth. For example, the demand for health insurance in Vietnam is increasing rapidly as more people become aware of the importance of having health coverage. This presents an opportunity for international insurance companies to expand their services in the country. Besides, the growing population and increasing demand for healthcare services make digital health solutions a promising opportunity. This includes telemedicine, mobile health applications, and electronic health records.
What’s more important is that Vietnam is currently facing a shortage of hospitals and healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas. Therefore, there is a significant demand for the development of new hospitals and healthcare centers across the country, which opens doors of opportunities for foreign investors and companies to invest in hospital construction and management.
7. Abundant opportunities in the education sector
The education sector in Vietnam is ripe for investment and growth, and there are many opportunities for international brands to make a positive impact while also tapping into a fast-growing market.
International brands can partner with local universities and educational institutions to provide joint programs or courses, which not only helps to bring international expertise and perspectives to the Vietnamese education system but also establish a strong reputation and brand image in the market.
Furthermore, Vietnam’s government is actively promoting foreign investment in the education sector. This includes initiatives such as tax incentives and streamlined regulatory processes, which can make it easier and more cost-effective for international brands to enter the market.
8. Promising agricultural opportunities for investors
Vietnam’s agricultural and food processing industry has been growing steadily in recent years, creating opportunities for international brands looking to expand their presence in the country.
One of the biggest opportunities lies in the growing demand for high-quality agricultural products. Vietnam is known for its agricultural exports, such as coffee, rice, and seafood, and there is a growing demand for these products from both domestic and international markets. International brands that can offer high-quality products, sustainable sourcing practices, and innovative solutions will be well-positioned to tap into this market.
Another opportunity is in the food processing industry, which has been expanding rapidly in Vietnam. As incomes rise and consumers become more health-conscious, there is a growing demand for processed food products that are both convenient and healthy. International brands that can offer products that meet these needs, while also catering to local tastes and preferences, will be able to capitalize on this trend.
Additionally, Vietnam’s government has been actively promoting foreign investment in the agriculture and food processing industries, offering tax incentives, streamlined regulations, and other benefits to attract international companies. This makes Vietnam an attractive destination for companies looking to expand their operations in the region.
9. Great potential for renewable energy investment
The Vietnamese government aims to achieve a 15% share of renewable energy in the country’s total power production by 2030, which creates significant opportunities for foreign brands in the renewable energy sector.
One of the significant opportunities for foreign brands is in the solar energy sector. The government has set a target to install 12 GW of solar power by 2030. Vietnam has a favorable climate for solar energy, and solar projects are relatively straightforward to develop. Foreign brands can bring their technology and expertise in developing and operating solar power plants in Vietnam.
Another opportunity for foreign brands is in the wind energy sector. Vietnam has significant potential for wind energy due to its long coastline and favorable wind conditions. The government has set a target of 6 GW of wind power by 2030. Foreign brands can bring their experience in designing, developing, and operating wind farms to Vietnam.
10. Logistics and transportation sector is rapidly expanding
Vietnam is considered as a key player in the logistics and transportation industry in Southeast Asia. With a strategic location, a growing economy, and a favorable business environment, there are significant opportunities for foreign brands looking to enter the market.
One of the most promising opportunities is in e-commerce logistics. As more Vietnamese consumers turn to online shopping, there is a growing need for reliable and efficient logistics services to deliver goods to their doorsteps. Foreign brands with experience in e-commerce logistics could offer their expertise to Vietnamese businesses looking to meet this demand.
Another opportunity lies in the cold chain logistics industry, which is still developing in Vietnam. With the country’s tropical climate, there is a need for more reliable and efficient transportation of perishable goods such as food and medicine. Foreign brands with expertise in cold chain logistics could offer their services to businesses in Vietnam to help them meet this growing demand.
In addition, there is a need for more warehousing and distribution centers in Vietnam as the demand for goods and services continues to grow. Foreign brands with experience in warehousing and distribution could offer their services to businesses in Vietnam to help them manage their supply chains more efficiently.
Finally, freight forwarding is another area of opportunity for foreign brands in Vietnam. With the country’s long coastline and strategic location in Southeast Asia, there is a growing demand for international freight forwarding services. Foreign brands with experience in this area could offer their services to Vietnamese businesses looking to expand their international trade.
11. Increasing demand of consumers in financial services
Vietnam’s fast-growing economy and young, tech-savvy population are creating opportunities for foreign brands in the financial services sector. As the country continues to modernize and open up its economy, there is a growing demand for a range of financial services, from banking and insurance to investments and digital payments.
One area of opportunity is in consumer banking, where foreign brands can offer innovative products and services to the rapidly growing middle class in Vietnam. Many Vietnamese consumers are looking for more sophisticated banking options, such as credit cards, personal loans, and online banking services. Foreign brands with experience in these areas can leverage their expertise to capture a share of this market.
Another area of opportunity is in digital payments, where foreign brands can offer innovative solutions to the large and growing number of Vietnamese consumers who are using smartphones and the internet to manage their finances. With the government’s push for a cashless society and the rapid adoption of mobile payments, foreign brands with experience in digital payments can help Vietnamese consumers and businesses navigate this new landscape.
12. IT and software industry is booming with skilled talent and competitive costs.
One area of opportunity for foreign brands is in software development outsourcing. Vietnam has a large pool of talented software developers who are proficient in a range of programming languages and development tools. With competitive labor costs and a favorable business environment, foreign brands can tap into this talent pool to deliver high-quality software development services to clients around the world.
With a supportive government and a growing number of tech startups, Vietnam is positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technological advancement. Cloud computing is also an area of growth in Vietnam, with the government promoting the development of cloud computing services and infrastructure. Foreign brands with experience in cloud computing can offer their expertise to Vietnamese companies looking to leverage this technology to improve their operations and scalability.
13. Vietnam’s labor workforce offers competitive pricing and high-quality work.
Vietnam’s labor workforce presents a range of opportunities for foreign brands looking to establish a presence or expand their operations in the country. With a large and growing population, a favorable business environment, and a young and skilled workforce, Vietnam is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investment in labor-intensive industries.
One area of opportunity is in manufacturing, where Vietnam has become a hub for low-cost production of goods such as textiles, footwear, and electronics. Foreign brands can tap into this market to take advantage of the country’s competitive labor costs, as well as its strategic location within Southeast Asia for exporting to other markets.
Another area of opportunity is in the service sector, where the young and highly educated workforce in Vietnam presents opportunities for foreign brands to provide a range of services, such as business process outsourcing, customer service, and IT support. The country’s favorable business environment and low operating costs make it an attractive destination for companies looking to outsource these services.
There is also an opportunity for foreign brands to invest in the training and development of the Vietnamese workforce. With a growing emphasis on education and training, foreign brands can partner with local educational institutions to provide training programs that help develop the skills and knowledge of the local workforce. This can help to create a more skilled and competitive labor force that can drive economic growth and innovation in Vietnam.
14. Environmental services offers sustainable growth potential.
Vietnam is facing significant environmental challenges as a result of rapid economic growth and urbanization. However, this also presents opportunities for foreign brands to invest in environmental services and help address these challenges.
One area of opportunity is in the development of renewable energy sources. Vietnam has abundant natural resources, including wind, solar, and hydropower, and the government is actively promoting investment in renewable energy. Foreign brands with expertise in renewable energy can partner with local companies to develop and implement projects that will help reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and promote sustainable development.
Another area of opportunity is in waste management and recycling. Vietnam is facing a significant waste management challenge, with much of the country’s waste ending up in landfills or polluting the environment. Foreign brands can invest in waste management and recycling infrastructure to help address this challenge and create a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly economy.
There is also an opportunity for foreign brands to invest in environmental consulting and advisory services. With a growing awareness of the need for sustainable development, many Vietnamese companies are seeking expertise and guidance on environmental issues. Foreign brands with experience in environmental consulting can offer their expertise to Vietnamese companies looking to improve their environmental performance and compliance with regulations.
15. Digital marketing in Vietnam is cost-effective and reaches a large online audience
With a growing number of internet users, social media users, and e-commerce shoppers, Vietnam’s digital marketing landscape presents a range of opportunities for foreign brands.
With opportunities in social media marketing, where Facebook and other social media platforms are widely used by Vietnamese consumers, foreign brands can leverage these platforms to engage with Vietnamese consumers, build brand awareness, and drive sales. By partnering with local influencers and developing targeted advertising campaigns, foreign brands can reach a large and engaged audience in Vietnam.
Another area of opportunity is in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), where Vietnamese consumers are increasingly turning to search engines like Google to find products and services. Foreign brands can optimize their websites and content for Vietnamese search engines and target their ads to specific keywords to drive traffic and conversions.
There is also an opportunity for foreign brands to invest in content marketing, where high-quality and relevant content can help to build brand awareness and drive engagement with Vietnamese consumers. By developing local content and leveraging social media platforms, foreign brands can create a strong and authentic brand presence in Vietnam.
Overall, Vietnam presents a range of investment opportunities for international brands across various industries. However, entering the market can be challenging due to language barriers, cultural differences, and complex regulations. To overcome these challenges, international brands can partner with a marketing agency in Vietnam that can provide valuable insights and assist in developing effective marketing strategies to target the local audience.
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