Doing Business

Business Opportunities for Foreign-Owned Companies in Vietnam in 2020

Linh Pham

October 7, 2020

Vietnam has become an emerging economy in Southeast Asia since a lot of improvements and achievements in diplomatic relations and integration policies. Despite the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the Vietnamese government was praised for the very cautious actions to constrain the pandemic from spreading in the community. Thanks to such efforts, it can be said that economic activities are gradually soon boosted to recover the loss caused by the epidemic. Vietnam has a lot of potential for investors today to invest in. This article provides you with promising sectors in Vietnam for foreign-owned companies to consider and grasp the chance of investment.

Online gaming industry

According to a research conducted by Niko Partners and Google, Vietnam’s e-sport market will hit the highest rate of compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Southeast Asia and is predicted to reach $10.1 million in 2020. 

There are three main sub-sectors in the gaming industry consisting of mobile games, online gambling, and e-sports. Most online games used by Vietnamese youngsters are produced by foreign companies. Chinese companies account for the largest proportion of 69% of products released in the Vietnam market. Other big players come from South Korean and US companies who create PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), League of Legends, and FIFA Online. 

Online gaming in Vietnam becomes more popular because of three main reasons. First, Vietnam remains a high level of smartphone penetration with more than 50% of the population using smartphones. Besides, the speed of internet coverage has been increased like 4G, 5G, which allows users to play on the go. Second, the young population is a key driver for the thrives of the online gaming industry in Vietnam. Two-thirds of 3.99 million gamers in Vietnam are between the age of 18 and 30. It is a large number of youngsters that drives a high growth of the gaming industry as well as brings huge potential for giant gaming companies to exploit the market. Last but not least, Vietnam has skilled and well-trained developers. Despite game products with simple user interface, quality and graphics created by Vietnamese teams, some games are introduced in overseas markets namely Caravan War and Tiles Hope: EDM Rush!. Hence, these are examples proving the possibility of online games in Vietnam. 

To enter the Vietnamese gaming industry, having local knowledge is of significance. Foreign developers usually collaborate with local publishing firms that help them build the user community, market products, and meet the local regulations. Obtaining a license from local authorities is the very first step for market entry. The licensing process usually takes from 20 days to a month and goes through the approval of the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Youth Union.

Foreign companies have two options if they would like to obtain a license for releasing games in Vietnam. They can partner with a Vietnamese representative that helps them conduct necessary procedures or establish a branch or representative office in Vietnam. In addition, these companies need to comply with requirements related to content and image so that those games are suitable for the ages of players. 

Healthcare industry

The healthcare industry has been a top priority for both Vietnamese people and the government during the fight against the pandemic. The Vietnamese healthcare system gains merits in the context of changing socio-economic and demography. Vietnam has implemented social health insurance as the main public financing method. Currently, 87% of the Vietnamese population has been covered with social health insurance and the government makes an attempt in achieving universal healthcare coverage. 

Over the past few years, the authority has focused on the construction of new hospitals to prevent overcrowding as well as reduce the pressure of central medical institutions. Meanwhile, the number of private hospitals and clinics have increased to cater to the middle-class segment. 

The public hospital system in Vietnam is facing some challenges because of facilities, equipment, and services. In spite of these challenges and the COVID-19, digital healthcare seems to be a promising sub-part that needs to be invested. 

On April 18, 2020, the MoH (Ministry of Health) coordinated with the MIC (Ministry of Information and Communication) to launch a telemedicine program. In the collaboration with Viettel Group, one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Vietnam, the government would like to bring telemedicine to rural areas where rural patients are able to be cured via a virtual platform. Telehealth will help people access quality healthcare without paying a high fee and commuting to a clinic. Besides, the private sectors also quickly take advantage of the shift towards technology-based healthcare, hence a lot of private hospitals in Vietnam have had access to modern technology in their operation. 

Nevertheless, the swelling health tech sector is still in its infancy and attracts less investment than other sectors namely e-commerce or payments. In fact, this healthcare technology-based sector relies on the development of 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT). 

In order to boost the application of technology in the healthcare sector, companies need to draw investors’ attention as well as adhere to Vietnam’s national health frame. 

The MoH approved a five-year project on remote medical examination and treatment involving 24 hospitals nationwide. Additionally, technological apps and medical services will be developed to help doctors manage files and bring convenience to patients when they want to find medical information and make appointments with doctors. These methods will boost the digitalization in the healthcare system. 

Textile and garment

Obviously, the COVID-19 affected the supply and distribution process of textile and garment companies. Despite difficulties, Vietnam has positive prospects of recovering the textile and garment industry. This industry shifts production from conventional clothes to personal protection equipment to response with the current situation. Vietnam produced a large number of face masks to supply domestically and abroad. According to MoIT, in April, local manufacturers could produce 40 million face masks per day. Furthermore, the textile and garment industry has been supported wholeheartedly by the government, even prior to the pandemic. Vietnam encourages garment companies to improve the quality so that the national brand image becomes more and more trustworthy in the eyes of international customers. 

SEE MORE: Life in Vietnam: What can Americans look for?

In conclusion, grasping the business opportunities helps investors expand their businesses and generate revenues. Vietnam, it can be said, is becoming a should-not-miss investment destination in Southeast Asia. Although the pandemic impacted adversely on the development of some industries, the situation is better now in Vietnam and a lot of industries namely online gaming, healthcare, and textile and garment have prospects to grow further. If you would like to invest in sectors in Vietnam, Viettonkin is always ready to provide you the best consultant service. 

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