"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
~ Benjamin Franklin
Vietnam has become an increasingly popular choice for many global companies looking to expand operations, diversity their Asian business, maximize opportunities and minimize risks - often referred to as the "China Plus" strategy. Some companies that have found opportunities in Vietnam include: Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, Microsoft, Pepsico, Abbott. Honda, Nestle, Samsung.
Vietnam offers significant growth potential as both expert and domestic markets. Vietnam also has a growing middle class and expected so show excellent growth rate. Vietnam is a favored location for foreign investment in Southeast Asia. Some considerations include a young population, increasingly stable political system, strong manufacturing, relatively low inflation.
Some areas that Vietnam offers include low-cost manufacturing such as plastic, shoes, textiles. Fashion brands with sourcing operations include Adidas and Nike. Big buyers such as Walmart have established operations that employ workers at considerable cost reduction compared to China. Companies such as McDonalds and Starbucks enjoy both a low-cost workforce and a growing consumer market with more and more buying power.
While Vietnam is not yet on par with the more sophisticated manufacturing markets, many tech companies are investing in Vietnam's grown tech capacity, including Samsung, Intel, Microsoft. In the late 1980s, Vietnam was officially open to direct foreign investment.
From 1887 until the Geneva Accord of 1954, Vietnam was a colony of French Indochina and even today it is possible to find French influences through the country. Yet, the influence of Chinese culture over hundreds of years is most significant. Confucianism has shaped the culture and Vietnamese place great emphasis on this system of behaviors and ethics.
While Vietnam is viewed as a land of opportunity for global companies, it is essential to have an understanding of Vietnamese business culture in order to unlock the opportunities and avoid pitfalls.
Like most Asian cultures, Vietnamese culture is based on building relationships, trust and respect. Vietnam is also influenced by Confucianism and the hierarchy of relationships. Taking time to connect with people and develop relationships will produce positive results. The American approach of just "getting down to business" doesn't work well in Asian cultures, including Vietnam. Showing respect and avoiding anything that will cause someone to lose face is important.
Vietnam also has a unique cultural history and while it shares numerous cultural values with other Asian cultures, it is a mistake not to understand the history and characteristics of this special culture.
Our Vietnam cross-cultural training and coaching will help your organization develop mission critical cultural competence and effective communication skills. Our specialist is a native of Taiwan and a highly respected trainer and coach.