Projected annual growth: 5.2%
2010 GDP: $59 billion*
2050 projected GDP: $451 billion
As the world’s second-largest exporter of rice, agriculture has been a pillar of Vietnam’s economy. But this is rapidly changing as the government moves to liberalize and diversify the economy.
While, state-owned enterprises contribute 40 percent of the country’s GDP, overseas investment has been on the rise since the country was granted entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2007.
Vietnam’s low-cost manufacturing base has attracted a wave of foreign money, particularly by retail clothing and technology firms, looking for a cheaper alternative to China.
Intel, the first international technology company to make a major investment in the country six years ago, has helped raise Vietnam’s profile as an investment destination. A long list of companies including Samsung, Canon and Foxconn have followed, investing millions into developing manufacturing operations in the country. Analysts say this is helping to lay the foundation for Vietnam to become Asia’s next big electronics manufacturing hub.
Vietnam’s rapid growth in the recent years, however, hasn’t come without a price. The country’s pro-growth policies have resulted in record inflation. In 2011, consumer prices soared over 18 percent, doubling the rate in 2010.
* Based on 2000 U.S. dollars