Deputy PM of Vietnam in the UK: Opportunities for growth if SMEs want them

April 23, 2014

It was an honour to host the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr Vu Van Ninh in London last week.  We, the Vietnam-UK Network, welcomed Mr Ninh and senior government officials at our ‘Business, Investment and Export Opportunities in Vietnam’ morning seminar, kicking off his week-long tour of the UK.  In a two-hour program with speakers including global economic forecaster Dr Gerard Lyons and Mr Ninh himself, the key message was; Vietnam is rich in opportunities for those that want to take them. As the Vice Chairman of the Vietnam – UK Network it was an honour to introduce DPM Ninh to his first business audience in the UK.

We listened to Mr Ninh speak on Vietnam’s background of providing a sustainable environment for development and investment. Vice Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr Cao Quoc Hung highlighted Vietnam’s stability such as their 20% growth in 2013 and Gerard Lyons, cief Economist The London Lord Mayor, was compelling on the, still largely untapped, potential within Vietnam and the wider ASEAN region.  British businesses have a real opportunity here and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a particular advantage. More agile and less hampered by many of the restrictions (both internal and external) that govern global corporations, the way is open for mid-sized operations in a country where SMEs make up 80% of GDP.  NashTech, a part of Harvey Nash Group plc, is a perfect example, having become the largest IT and software company In Vietnam in just over a decade – this ahead of much larger but later arrivals such as Microsoft and IBM.

Despite the on-going economic squeeze in the UK, or perhaps because of it, UK support for doing business in/with Vietnam is strong and continues to grow.  Organisations like the Vietnam-UK Network, advice from the UKTI and events such as our Business seminar, fully supported by the Vietnamese Embassy, are just a few examples of the resources available to SMEs.  I would agree with some press that see an element of Mr Ninh’s trip as ‘wooing’ UK business.  Yet the atmosphere among almost 100 diverse, UK-based professionals on Monday morning was positive and energised – two things we have been lacking in UK business for some time.

Click to find out more about the Vietnam-UK Network

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