Vietnam developing as leader in Asia trade

Vietnam is becoming the great hope among those involved in Asian trade, as neighbouring economies continue to flounder. Speakers at GTR Asia Trade Finance Week in Singapore singled out the Mekong Delta country as one in transformation and voiced hopes that its rapid improvement would continue apace. Rajiv Biswas, chief economist for Asia Pacific at IHS, said that the Vietnamese government had successfully pursued a policy of “export transformation” since 2011. The government has made the country more open to foreign direct investment, leading to the establishment of production plants by the likes of Cisco and Samsung in the country over recent years.

Exports as a whole rose by 13.6% – bucking the regional trend of declining foreign sales – with the share of electronics exports growing by 9% year on year. In 2014, such exports added US$33bn to the Vietnamese economy. Previously, there were concerned that the Vietnamese economy was too reliant on commodities. But reforms made in recent years have helped address that imbalance, with the government keen to pursue similarly progressive trade strategy going forward.

Vietnam is one of the country’s involved in the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12 nation Asia Pacific free trade agreement. Stephen Capon, Asia Pacific manager at insurer Ace said that his company is one of the most active in lobbying the US government over the deal, and that he “had it on good knowledge” that the agreement would be inked soon.