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1 Int'l Trade & Bus. L.J. 45 (1995)


Recent years have brought burgeoning interest in foreign investment in Vietnam. Although a few observers have sounded discordant notes about Vietnam's economic potential, they have been drowned out in the chorus of the prevailing opinion that Vietnam appears set to become the next 'tiger' of Southeast Asia. Recognising this potential, the US lifted its trade embargo of Vietnam in early 1994. By this time, foreign investors from other nations had already established a presence in Vietnam.

Foreign investors have well-founded reasons underlying their interest in Vietnam. Vietnam's plentiful natural resources, including timber, oil, agricultural resources, a long coastline, tourism, and seafood production, present ample opportunity for development. The labour force has a 90% literacy rate, partly due to the ease of reading and writing the language thanks to the efforts of early Portuguese missionaries to phonetically transcribe the language into the Roman alphabet. The people also possess unique qualities; they demonstrated their resilience throughout nearly 40 years of warfare. Finally, the country's isolation until recent years makes Vietnam the 'new kid on the block' in terms of investment opportunities; the investment vacuum inevitably attracts investors wishing to gain an edge in an untapped market. Indeed, Vietnam now seeks investment in everything from new golf courses to infrastructure overhaul.


Reprinted with permission of International Trade and Business Law Journal.


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