Around 50 people, all key players in the Principality’s economy, attended the MEB’s Ambassador’s Lunch to meet H.E. Mr Thiep N’Guyen, Vietnam’s Ambassador to France and Monaco.
They came to learn more about opportunities in this Asian Tiger (After the four Dragons in Asia, five Tigers emerged in the late eighties: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.), and gained valuable information ahead of the MEB’s Trade Mission to Hanoi in November, accompanying an official visit by HSH Prince Albert II.
With growth averaging 6% over the last 25 years (6.8% in 2017), Vietnam’s economy has taken off, integrating it into middle-income countries. A population in excess of 90 million represents a large market with a growing middle class. Equally important, Vietnam enjoys remarkable political, economic and financial stability, and a skilled low-wage workforce.
The country has introduced numerous measures to attract investors, including the possibility to set up a company with 100% foreign capital and the establishment of dedicated business areas with a single local contact for administrative links.
Thanks to this policy of openness the country has boosted trade, signing a number of free trade agreements through its membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) totalling 500 million inhabitants. An agreement with the European Union is set to come into force this year.
Regards business opportunities by sector for Monegasque entrepreneurs, Mr Thiep N’Guyen cited banking-finance, health, renewable energy and new technologies related to smart cities. He also highlighted the privatisation policy in banking, which is open to foreigners, and needs in the services sector, particularly health management.
After the Ambassador’s speech, Djivan Djierdjan, Executive Director of MEB member company Siamp Cedap, talked about their experience and why they set up in Vietnam 20 years ago: “The goal was not relocation for the low-cost production but regional development”. It was a gamble that paid off and the company now employs 230 people with references from clients such as the Sofitel Group and the National Parliament. In this entrepreneur’s view, three key qualities of the country are behind his company’s success: dynamism, stability and openness.
To date, trade between the two countries is small, a situation that may start to change. The Automobile Club de Monaco is expected to participate in the MEB’s mission to Hanoi with a view to contributing to the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Vietnam. An initiative that should bring many other opportunities for entrepreneurs, in the wake of the Prince’s visit.
Originally published at Monaco Economic Board