Doing Businessin Vietnam

Asian Market Insights

A rapidly developing economy of over 98 million people, Vietnam is making strides into the international marketplace.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a new set of challenges for the Vietnamese market.

Enterprise Ireland is responding to the global crisis by working with Irish exporters to help them avail of business response supports announced by the Government. These supports are designed to help businesses stabilise and adapt to the evolving situation, in preparation for getting back on the road to recovery.

Market Overview

Vietnam’s rapidly developing economy is making strides into the international marketplace. Vietnam’s one-party system has embraced the free market while retaining a guiding hand in the internal workings of the economy.

It recently signed and implemented an EU- Free Trade Agreement. Economic growth has seen the rapid development of Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, and its southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City.

98.3m Population (2021)

7% GDP Growth (2019)

€32.4m Enterprise Ireland client exports (2020)

Get Export Ready

Conducting business in Vietnam requires an understanding of the country’s history, politics and society. These have shaped the thinking of Vietnamese people and the nature of business opportunities in the country. Vietnam is broken into eight regions and has two main airports. From Ireland, many major airlines and airports offer flights to Vietnam. Vietnamese airports handled 116 million passengers in 2019, a 12% increase on 2018. The government is planning to ease the load and build a mega airport in Ho Chi Minh City which is scheduled for opening in 2025.

Key Market Sectors

As Brexit plans progress, Irish businesses are exploring export options in sectors across the Eurozone markets, the USA and Canada and the APAC region.

Enterprise Ireland is playing a key role in supporting ambitious companies seeking opportunities in Vietnam’s aviation, aerospace and cleantech sectors.

Additionally, traveltech, construction, health, medtech, digital and telecomms continue to perform and add appeal to Irish exporters and service providers who want to scale, and develop a presence in the Vietnamese market.

Read more on Vietnam’s sectoral successes in our Going Global Guide.

  • Vietnam has the fastest projected growth in Asia – a forecast growth of 5% per annum from 2014-2050.
  • Vietnam signed a Free Trade Agreement with the EU – one of just two countries in ASEAN to do so.
  • Vietnam is one of the highest spending countries in terms of education in ASEAN, with 6.3% of GDP being allocated on education related expenditure.

Doing Business

In Vietnam, group consensus is valued more highly than individual perspectives. Relationships in business tend to be formal.

Exchanging business cards should be done with both hands and upon receiving a business card you should carefully read it as a way of showing interest and respect.

Vietnamese people prefer to use their native language in most situations. It is best to use a qualified interpreter experienced in business settings during initial meetings.

Best Routes to Market

Choosing the right route to market is very important.

Agents bring a deep understanding of local business practices and distributors can deliver products geographically across large nations. Joint ventures and acquisitions bring valuable established contacts, customers and market knowledge. Local representatives may not always be necessary with many global markets open to direct sales and prospecting from Ireland. Other markets require a ‘boots on ground’ approach – the power of referrals and networking shouldn’t be underestimated.

The key routes to market in Vietnam are direct sales, third party distribution, partnerships or establishing a local office.

Download our Going Global Guide to Vietnam to find out more.

Before You Go

Before you go, we recommend you invest some time in researching the terrain before you explore the Vietnamese market. Here’s a few starting points to consider…

  1. Market Landscape
  2. Market Trends
  3. Target Market
  4. Market Segmentation
  5. Market Competition
  6. Market Research Resources

Visa requirements, Vietnamese labour laws, business entities, import rules and regulations, key taxes, and data and intellectual property protection are also addressed in the Going Global Guide. Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre offers client companies access to market intelligence in the form of company, sector, market, and country information to explore opportunities and compete in international markets.

Helping You Succeed

We are committed to helping you succeed in global markets and have an immense wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Vietnamese market

Enterprise Ireland assists clients entering new markets with pre-visit support, in-market support, international trade events, additional supports and access to mentors.

Click here to download our guide to Going Global in Vietnam.

Our Market Advisors are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.

Vietnam is serviced from Enterprise Ireland office, Singapore
Mr. Kevin Ryan


Enterprise Ireland
Ireland House,
541 Orchard Road #08-00,
Liat Towers,
Singapore 238881

00 65 6804 9380

Download our Going Global Guide or talk to one of our Enterprise Ireland market advisers in Vietnam, today. Find out how you can achieve your global ambition.