Vietnam is better than you think

“Swedish corporations established in Vietnam are extremely pleased with their presence and doing very well,” says Mr. Niels Sundvik, Sweden’s dynamic Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City.
     “For some of them, Vietnam is their best emerging market in Asia,” he elaborates.
“For many it is the fastest growing market. And for all of them it is a market where budget goals are being reached and exceeded.”
     Armed with a barrage of success stories, which appear regularly on the website for Vietnam under the Swedish export council, www.swedishtrade.se/vietnam, Mr. Niels Sundvik is fully prepared for an upcoming Vietnam Day to be organized by the Swedish Export Council in Sweden in September this year.
     “Take this one company, which we helped establish a Representative Office in this building one year ago – for them Vietnam is simply their best market in Asia already,” he says.
     And there is plenty of room for many more companies.
     “The trade between Sweden and Vietnam could be much bigger,” he says.
According to Niels Sundvik, there are two main categories of companies which should be interested in Vietnam.
     “One group are those interested in buying products of good quality with high value added features. Those products are typically textile, furniture, interior decoration items. Vietnam is particularly strong on the good price/quality – value for money balance. China may be cheaper for some basic clothing items, but the more buttons, zippers, pockets, patches, etc. you add, Vietnam comes out a strong winner.”
     “The other group of companies are those with systems, products and machines for upgrading the Vietnamese industrial infrastructure such as industrial automation systems. Environment is also a good sector as long as one keeps in mind that most of the orders so far have been financed with soft loans or on loans from the Asian Development Bank.”
     “The health care sector in its widest sense is also growing and will constitute a considerable market in a few years,” he adds.
     One obstacle which keeps some companies away from Vietnam is a pre-conceived notion among many Swedish businessmen that Vietnam is “too much red tape and corruption.” Which it certainly was some eight years ago, but which is today just not true.
     “The business climate has improved considerably over the last few years,” says Sundvik.
     “Companies, whose last evaluation of Vietnam was done more than three years ago should make a new evaluation today. They would most likely be surprised.”

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