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Vietnam is one of the fastest growing in the Southeast Asian region with the GDP growth coming in at 8.4% in 2006, according to the International Monetary Fund. The country has recently become the 150th member of the World Trade Organisation. The investment bank Citigroup has also hailed it as "the new powerhouse of southeast Asia".
The investment opportunities in this country are tremendous. With a dynamic, hardworking population of over 80 million, Vietnam is an attractive location for investors as manufacturing workers here are the cheapest in the world.
The country needs almost everything. A fundamental renovation of the infrastructure. The rapid development of the power industry. The modernisation of all its airports. The development of its enormous tourist potential. Bridges, ports, railways, irrigation systems, waste disposal and effluent control, city transport, telecommunications, services of all descriptions. The list is endless.
The stock-market was created in July 2000 with a daily trading volume of about $50m. This is relatively small in scale in comparison with other countries in the region. But 70 large state-owned companies are set to list by 2010 and analyst say the total value of listed shares could rocket to around $20bn to $45bn by the end of 2007.
The command economic system has become history. The Money Week said deregulation, political and religious stability and a growing middleclass all add up to a very attractive investment story. American giants like Intel and Nike has been committing more and more resources to the country, aiming to expand their influences in the southeast Asian region.
As Merrill Lynch regional strategist pointed out Vietnam is a "10-year buy", the new Asian "Tiger" is now ready to take off.