Doing Business in Vietnam
Exporting to Vietnam
President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Vietnam. In this section, you’ll find a quick description of Vietnam as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.
As the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement opens up new markets for U.S. goods and services, and as Vietnam meets its WTO commitments, the Vietnam market represents the next great opportunity for all types of American companies. However, doing business in Vietnam can still be challenging. The U.S. Commercial Service page for Vietnam provides an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. For further information, the U.S. Commercial Service’s Market Research Library contains more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.
The Library includes the Country Commercial Guide titled “Doing Business In Vietnam” (PDF 2 MB) with chapters covering:
- Chapter 1: Doing Business In Vietnam
- Chapter 2: Political and Economic Environment
- Chapter 3: Selling U.S. Products and Services
- Chapter 4: Leading Sectors for U.S. Export and Investment
- Chapter 5: Trade Regulations, Customs and Standards
- Chapter 6: Investment Climate
- Chapter 7: Trade and Project Financing
- Chapter 8: Business Travel
- Chapter 9: Contacts, Market Research and Trade Events
- Chapter 10: Guide to Our Services
Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Vietnam. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You
Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs). Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Contact in-country business support organizations such as the The American Chamber of Commerce in Ho Chi Minh City or AmCham Hanoi.
To make use of business matchmaking services, please visit USCS Vietnam.
Investing in Vietnam
This section provides information for current and potential investors in Vietnam
Potential investors: Getting Started
If you are considering investment in Vietnam here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Register with the U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City – If you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to: Office.HoChiMinhCity@trade.gov
- Visit host country resources, such as:
- Provincial 2011 Competitiveness Report (PDF 6 MB):
- General Statistics Office of Vietnam
- Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City:
- AmCham Hanoi
- AmCham Ho Chi Minh City
Current investors: Staying Connected
If you are a current U.S. investor in Vietnam the U.S Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:
- Register with the U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City – If you are active in Vietnam let us know by sending an email to: Office.HoChiMinhCity@trade.gov
- Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
- Subscribe to our Embassy Facebook page or to the Consulate Facebook page.
- Set up a meeting with the Consulate’s economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise
Working in Vietnam
In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.
For information on obtaining a visa to visit Vietnam go to the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the United States webpage at http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/services/visa-application-process. You may also want to check out the Vietnamese Embassy’s page Doing Business in Vietnam.
Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory for Vietnam.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.fcpa.us/
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.
More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here:
Doing Business in Vietnam
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