As China confronts the West, Vietnam seizes opportunity for rapid rise


news analysis

Entering 2023, as the United States continues to impose sanctions on China and the withdrawal of American companies is accelerating, Vietnam, which was an enemy in the Vietnam War, is receiving favorable moves from the United States.

A large American business delegation about to visit Vietnam has captured the attention of the world, and people are increasingly interested in this fast-growing Asian country, China’s southern neighbor. I’m here.

Observers have identified three main drivers behind Vietnam’s rapid rise. system reform, strategic position in the Indo-Pacific economic landscape, and demographic advantage.

US companies bullish on Vietnam

More than 50 companies, including SpaceX, Netflix and Boeing, have joined a delegation organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council to explore investment and trade opportunities in Vietnam, Reuters reported on March 17. I plan to participate.

“Vietnam is about to host the largest delegation in history,” said Vu Tu Thanh, Vietnam’s representative to the council.

On February 14, a Vietnamese government news site reported that Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Tan Son will meet with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Catherine in Hanoi to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the United States on February 13. He reportedly held talks with Thailand.

Bilateral trade between the United States and Vietnam will exceed $123 billion in 2022, an 11% year-on-year increase, making a significant contribution to the comprehensive partnership, the report said.

Thai commended Vietnam’s participation in the regional integration process and underscored Washington’s commitment to strengthening partnerships with countries in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

Since 2018, Vietnam has benefited from the trade friction between the United States and China, and a series of high-tech industries have withdrawn from China and moved to Vietnam. Moreover, since the outbreak of his COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, the Chinese economy has been hit hard by Beijing’s “Zero COVID” policy. Vietnam, by contrast, has successfully expanded its supply chain operations despite the global slowdown.

On December 31, 2022, the Vietnam Bureau of Statistics announced that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 8.02% year-on-year. This is his highest rate of increase in ten years. GDP per capita in 2022 is estimated at 95.6 million VND (about $4,110), an increase of $393 over 2021.

More and more foreign companies want to locate their factories in Vietnam rather than China.

US companies that have already invested or are planning to invest in Vietnam include 3M, Amway, Apple, Bank of America, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Google, Medtronic, Netflix, Nike, Roche, UPS, and visa.

Additionally, Intel has invested an additional $475 million in Intel Products Vietnam in 2021. Ford also plans to expand production capacity in Vietnam.

demographic dividend

According to public information, almost 88% of Vietnam’s employed population is between the ages of 25 and 59, giving the country a distinct age advantage over China.

Vietnam’s average population growth rate is also rising steadily.

The country is projected to become the 15th most populous country in the world, with a population of over 100 million by April 2023, making it the third most populous country in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and the Philippines. increase.

Labor costs are also very competitive.

The head of the General Statistics Bureau said that talent is the most important tool for improving the country’s competitiveness, and that welcoming Vietnam’s 100 millionth citizen will be a proud milestone.

In addition to manufacturing and service industries, Vietnam boasts a strong agricultural sector with a long history of rice cultivation. The Goddess of Rice is the common ancestral deity worshiped by all 54 ethnic groups in the country.

The Vietnamese government granted land use rights to farmers in 1993. In just over 20 years, the country has gone from being food-deficient to being a major rice exporter. Last year, Vietnam exported a total of 7 million tons of rice, ranking second in the world.

lean west

In 2011, Vietnam began to tilt westward. Today’s rise of Vietnam is reminiscent of the “Miracle on the Han River”. After the Korean War, South Korea achieved rapid economic development with the enormous support of the United States.

We have also built good neighborly relations and strategic partnerships with almost every country in the Indo-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines.

In particular, the United States, an enemy in the Vietnam War, arranged two visits to Vietnam by an aircraft carrier in two years amid ongoing territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

Epoch Times photo
US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson moored off the coast of Tien Sa port in Da Nang, Vietnam March 5, 2018 (Getty Images)

On March 5, 2018, USS Carl Vinson arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam for a four-day visit, becoming the first aircraft carrier to dock in the country since the Vietnam War.

Maj. Gen. John V. Fuller, commander of the Carl Vinson Strike Group, said the goal was to “promote security, stability and prosperity in the region.”

On March 5, 2020, Vietnam hosted the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its attack group ships in Da Nang port.

Apparently, the Vietnamese authorities have seized a once-in-a-lifetime chance that the world is gradually being cut off from the Chinese Communist Party.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.