This will be an opportunity for Vietnam to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) from potential investors in the region and from around the world.
VBS has become one of Vietnam's biggest and most important international business-related conferences each year since it was first held at the APEC Summit in 2017. Following that success, VCCI was assigned by the Prime Minister to organize VBS-2018 on the sidelines of the 2018 WEF ASEAN Conference, with the theme "Vietnam-A Reliable Business Partner: Connecting and Innovating".
Parallel to VBS-2019 this year, VCCI will also coordinate with the Japan Economic Federation to hold the 10th Asia Business Summit (ABS) in Hanoi on 17 October 2019. It is expected to attract 600 delegates, including 200 CEOs of international businesses and corporations, and a Japanese business delegation will also visit and work with Vietnam in many fields.
In 2018, Vietnam's economy continued to achieve impressive results, and the GDP growth rate reached 7.08%, the highest in 10 years. This put Vietnam on the list of countries with the highest economic growth rate in the region. Vietnam is said to have socio-political stability, solid macro-economic foundation, under-control inflation and an improved quality of growth. The GDP per capita of 95 million people has reached USD 2,600, while GDP according to PPP is USD 7,600. The purchasing power of the Vietnam market is large enough for international investors to develop their businesses.
The competitive strength of Vietnam's economy was also reflected in the total trade turnover in 2018, which reached nearly USD 480 bn, with trade surplus of USD 7.4 bn. Along with the growth in exports of agricultural, forestry and seafood products, Vietnam has become one of the best manufacturers and suppliers of consumer electronics, textiles, footwear and mobile phones. Vietnam is a good location for 26,000 active FDI projects with a total registered capital of nearly USD 350 bn, which includes many large corporations such as Siemens, Novatis, Carlsberg, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Samsung, LG, Exxon Mobil, Ford, and GE.
After 20 years, Vietnam's stock market still continues to show positive growth. In 2018, FTSE Russell Securities added Vietnam onto its list to monitor the upgrade from a frontier market to a secondary emerging market in its September 2019 annual report. Thanks to the drastically improved business environment, in 2018 alone, Vietnam attracted a record FDI of USD 35 bn and a realized capital of USD 19 bn.
The private sector has developed strongly with more than 131,000 newly established enterprises in 2018. There have been many strong private corporations, which are confident to step onto the global playing field such as Truong Hai automobile corporations and Vinfast. Many prestigious international organizations had evaluated objectively and positively ranked Vietnam in 2018. According to the World Bank Business Environment ranking, Vietnam ranked 69/190 countries. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Vietnam's global competitive index (GCI) ranked 77/140. In addition, according to UNIDO (United Nations), Vietnam's competitive industrial performance (CIP) is 41/150, and Vietnam's sustainable development goals (SDG) increased by 11 places, ranking 57/156.
VBS-2019 will focus on discussing scientific and technological innovations, the shift of human resources in a digital age, and the many opportunities for Vietnam. During the conference, businesses will have an opportunity to update on the latest development trends in the economy in the digital age, learn of new business opportunities, and understand from the many practical lessons of those who have been successful in the Vietnamese market.
This is not only an opportunity to introduce and promote innovative policies, but it will also support localities to promote their image and promote trade, besides attracting more investments. It will be an effective platform for policy makers to listen to diverse opinions of domestic and international economic experts and business community to help improve Vietnam's business investment environment in a more open and transparent manner. Domestic enterprises can meet with each other directly, as well as share information about potential business co-operation projects with reputable businesses from abroad.