Vietnam's Economy is Opening - And Eager for American Investment
Vietnam recently began relaxing its social distancing regulations after what so far appears to be a successful containment of the virus. Despite sharing a border with China, Vietnam has been able to keep the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases below 300. There are no confirmed causalities caused by the virus.
American experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have applauded Vietnam's success with one of the center's directors publicly stating they "don’t have any indication that those numbers are false".
Experts have pointed to multiple reasons that help explain Vietnam's success. The one-party ruled country was quick to shut down flights with China, close schools, and initiative mass testing.
Vietnam's independent and forward thinking provided the country the opportunity to begin what Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan calls a "new phase" of "socioeconomic development".
The Ho Chi Minh City government plans on opening schools and manufacturing in around mid-May. Other cities and provinces are also aiming to open up in the months of May and June.
With uncertainty caused by the US-China Trade War, Vietnam was already becoming a popular destination for American investment. In 2019 the United States accounted for two-thirds of Vietnam's total export growth.
Big American companies including Apple, Chevron, L Brands (owner of Victoria's Secret) have all moved business operations to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government has enacted multiple measures to help attract American investors. Currently American citizens are the only foreign passport holders who are eligible for one-year tourism and business visas.
Vietnam's progressively open economy has helped set a foundation for a mutually-beneficial relationship between the United States and Vietnam where both countries can win from trade and investment.
With global uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and the US-China Trade War, Vietnam has become an increasingly viable and attractive destination for foreign investment.
About the author:
Alexander graduated with his bachelor's degree in political science from Portland State University. He is a master's student studying international relations at Peking University. He is currently based out of Saigon, Vietnam.