This is one of the more interesting phenomenons in East Asian investment. Recently in Taipei, I’ve run into more and more people who have friends or relatives working in Vietnam. A training client’s husband, a friend of my wifes, our interior decorator’s husband…all of them are working in Vietnam.
A quote from a Vietnam business forum:
As of August 22, 2007, Taiwan has invested roughly US$9.175 billion in 1,706 projects in Vietnam, ranking third among 79 countries and territories with investment capital in Vietnam. In the first eight months of 2007 alone, Taiwanese investors were licensed to invest US$600.5 million in 134 projects and allowed to increase US$279 million in 59 projects.
Several business investors I’ve spoken too have said that Vietnam is the next China; labor is cheaper, the workforce is well-educated and hard working, there are fewer government restrictions on investment.
If you’re considering an OEM relationship overseas, it might be worth giving Vietnam a look. Rule of thumb in manufacturing: Go where the Taiwanese go.