Vietnam is finally set to get its first taste of the Big Mac after US burger chain McDonald's said it would open its first outlet in the communist-run country early next year.
The Illinois-based company said it had appointed a Vietnamese businessman, Henry Nguyen, an overseas Vietnamese who returned to the country a decade ago, as "developmental licensee" to "build the [McDonald's] brand" in the country.
The first outlet would be in Ho Chi Minh City, the commercial hub. McDonald's said the menu would include the Big Mac sandwich, cheeseburgers and fries.
The move, which makes Vietnam the 38th Asian country in which McDonald's operates, highlights how the country is fast becoming one of the most attractive consumer markets in southeast Asia, even as its economy is among the worst performing.
In February, Starbucks, the US coffee chain, opened its first outlet, also in Ho Chi Minh City, increasing its presence across Asia to 12 countries.
Other US chains already in Vietnam include Subway and Yum! Brands' KFC and Pizza Hut. Jollibee, the largest fast food group in the Philippines, is expanding in Vietnam through a joint venture with the owner of Highlands Coffee, Vietnam's leading upmarket coffee shop chain.
The entry of McDonald's also marks the arrival of arguably the most iconic of US food brands decades after the end of the Vietnam war.