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“Market Opportunities in the Fast Growing Economy
of Vietnam” Key Address by H.E. Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam speaking at the Asia Ireland Trade & Investment Summit during Asia Business Week Dublin 2014
ASIA BUSINESS WEEK DUBLIN!
Asia Ireland Trade and Investment Summit!
5 June 2014!
Market Opportunities in the Fast Growing Economy of
H.E. Bui Thanh Son, !
Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam ! !!
By Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son
At Asia-Ireland Trade and Investment Summit
Market opportunities in the fast growing economy of Viet Nam
(Masion House, Dublin, 5th
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to attend the Asia-Ireland Trade and
Investment Summit held in the beautiful city of Dublin. I highly value
the efforts by the Asia Matters, the city of Dublin and Dublin Institute of
Technology in organizing this meaningful event. The presence of a large
number of enterprises, officials, experts and scholars from Ireland and
Asia at this Summit demonstrates your great interest in investment and
business opportunities between Ireland and Asia.
I would like to commend the previous speakers on their interesting
remarks about opportunities for trade and investment cooperation in
Asia. In my view, all the observations made are quite relevant, yet
insufficient. For Asia, a vast continent of great diversity and multi-
layered economic linkages, is home to many nations, each of them
possesses unique characteristics and comparative advantages. Given
that, allow me to spend a few minutes to introduce to you the
opportunities for business and investment in Viet Nam, a promising
destination for Irish businesses.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Over the past 30 years since the adoption of the open-door and renewal
policy, Viet Nam has recorded significant achievements in socio-
economic development. With an average growth rate of 7.5% per annum
within 1991-2010, Viet Nam has become a middle-income country. As
of 2013, real GDP per capita in Viet Nam reached approximately
US$1,900. In addition to pursuing the economic goals, we attach great
importance to maintaining social security and social equality. We have
achieved ahead of schedule many Millennium Development Goals of the
United Nations, including those in poverty reduction, gender equality,
universal education and healthcare.
Even during the period when our economy was hurt by the global
financial crisis and economic downturn, Viet Nam managed to maintain
a stable growth rate of 5.6% in 2011-2013. It is expected that our GDP
growth rate in 2014 will be 5.8-6%. The Vietnamese economy has
witnessed positive changes in the recent quarters in all areas, including
continuous GDP growth, macro-economic stability, and inflation curbed
at low level. In the area of information and communication, Viet Nam is
ranked the 3rd
in South East Asia and the 8th
in Asia with over 31 million
internet users, accounting for 34% of the population.
For nearly a decade now, Viet Nam has been considered one of the most
attractive destinations for FDI in the region. By April 2014, there have
been 16,300 FDI projects with total registered capital of US$238 billion,
a big increase compared to the US$40 billion FDI recorded ten years
ago. Most noticeably, Viet Nam’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)
reached the record-high of 53.1 points in April 2014 – the highest level
since the first survey conducted in April 2011. This showcases the
business confidence in Viet Nam’s economic prospects.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am here today not only to tell you about our success stories, but to
share and discuss with you in detail the prospects of the Vietnamese
economy. I hope that you will see in Viet Nam a friendly country willing
to transform itself to create momentums for sustainable development and
Amid the daunting challenges facing the economy such as unsustainable
growth, low productivity and competitiveness, and weak infrastructure,
we are aware that the future and the growth momentums of Viet Nam
will lie in the reforms and breakthroughs undertaken within the country
as well as the extensive international integration process that Viet Nam
I’d like to begin with the first momentum: domestic reforms.
Viet Nam is entering a period of deepened transformation and economic
restructuring, in which the endogenous resources are closely linked with
the external conditions.
In the short run, Viet Nam is undertaking three types of restructuring,
i.e. (i) banking system restructuring, (ii) public investment restructuring,
(iii) state-owned enterprises restructuring. Together with social policies
implementation, these restructurings will serve as the foundation to
ensure macroeconomic stability and improve national resilience to
economic shocks which every country should be cautious of, particularly
in the post-crisis phase. We are revising the Investment Law to create
more liberal investment climate and simplify investment licensing
procedures. The proposed amendments will soon be submitted to the
National Assembly for approval.
In the medium and long run, Viet Nam is undertaking three strategic
breakthroughs i.e. (i) completing the market-economy institutions; (ii)
modernizing the infrastructure; and (iii) developing the human
resources. Along with this process, we are accelerating the reform and
equitization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). It is our goal to complete
equitization of 432 SOEs by 2015.
The reform efforts as such will create a driver for Viet Nam to achieve
sustainable development, build a competitive, socially-responsible and
environmental-friendly economy while creating opportunities for
strategic investors with financial capability and governance capacity.
It is encouraging to see such reforms receive the enthusiastic
endorsement and engagement of the business community, domestic and
international investors. Viet Nam considers foreign businesses and
investors an inseparable part of its economy. Therefore, it is essential
that the reform efforts must produce more favorable conditions for them.
The second growth momentum of Viet Nam lies in its international
We are living in globalized world where cooperation and multi-layered
economic linkages present significant development opportunities for all
nations. Apart from the efforts to fulfill the WTO commitments and
complete the Roadmap for ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Viet
Nam, as a dynamic and fast growing economy, is taking part FTA
negotiations with most of the world’s leading economic centers,
including the Free Trade Agreement with the EU, the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
(RCEP) and others.
With the prospect of finalizing 14 FTAs in 2015-2020, Viet Nam will
become an important chain of the wide network of economic linkages
involving 55 partners including 15 members of G20. These are the basic
foundations for Viet Nam to deepen its regional and international
integration, capitalize on the huge external resources for national
development, accelerate economic restructuring, and deepen its
participation in the global value chains.
With such prospect, Viet Nam is not only a potential market with 90
million people but also a gateway to access the vast market of ASEAN
with 600 million people, a GDP of US$2.31 trillion (ranked the 9th
world in terms of scale) and the fastest growing economies in the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The bilateral trade and investment between Ireland and Viet Nam remain
modest. Our two-way trade only stood at over US$1 billion in 2013.
Ireland currently has 6 investment projects in Viet Nam with the total
registered capital of US$6.25 million, ranking the 69th
of 101 countries
and territories investing in Viet Nam. Nevertheless, I believe that
building on the inherent friendship and traditional relations between the
two countries, our economic, trade and investment ties will take off in
the near future.
I believe that the relationship between Viet Nam and Ireland is not just a
one-sided relationship, for both countries possess many strengths that
are complementary. As the first country in the Euro zone escaping the
public debt crisis, Ireland has quickly returned to the growth orbit with
sky-rocketed increase in export value, and has proven itself to be a
promising partner with world-class technology and governance
capability. The strengths of Ireland lie in energy, agricultural exports,
dairy and pharmaceutical products. These are also the items for which
Viet Nam has demand. Besides, Viet Nam wishes to absorb from Ireland
its advanced technology and expand cooperation with Ireland in human
resources training and pharmacy.
I am sure Irish businesses will find in Viet Nam reliable partners who
are willing to cooperate with you under various forms such as in joint
ventures, business partnership, tri-partite cooperation or Public Private
Partnership (PPP). The Vietnamese Government will create every
favorable condition for Irish businesses to trade with Viet Nam, and do
business and invest in our country, for we believe your success is also
Under the Asia-Europe cooperation framework (ASEM), I do hope that
Viet Nam and Ireland will increase exchanges and contacts, actively
coordinate in the negotiation of the EU – Viet Nam Free Trade
Agreement (EVFTA) and in successfully organizing the 14th ASEM
Workshop on Human Rights under the theme: “Businesses and Human
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Cooperation and integration represent an irreversible trend, which
emerged from the burning desire of all countries and peoples to live in
peace, stability and development. It is incumbent upon all of us present
here today to fulfill that desire.
I believe that the exchanges and meetings under the framework of this
Summit as well as the activities within the Asia Business Week are
practical actions that help enhance mutual understanding and create
opportunities for cooperation and linkages between Irish and Asian
businesses, including Vietnamese ones. And that is an active way to
promote the common peace, stability and prosperity.
On our part, Viet Nam will work closely with Ireland in promoting Asia-
Europe cooperation (ASEM); preparing well for the 10th
in Milan in October 2014 with a view to add substance and efficiency to
ASEM dialogue and cooperation. We are fully committed to create the
most favorable and healthy environment for the operation of foreign
businesses and investors in Viet Nam.
I would like to conclude by wishing the Summit every success. I wish
you all good health, happiness and success.