DAVOS, Switzerland — As one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic apparel exporting nations, Vietnam looms large as a major destination for foreign investors.
A panel of business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum, held here last month, cited Vietnam as a rising star following the path of four leading emerging-economy nations: Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Hoang Trung Hai, Vietnam's deputy prime minister, told a packed auditorium Friday that the economy of the nation grew 8.5 percent last year and is projected to expand another 9 percent this year.
Vietnam, with a population of 84 million, attracted $20 billion in new foreign direct investment, and 70 percent was ploughed into the manufacturing sector.
Hoang said the government is committed to attracting additional foreign investment and to making "more room for the private sector." He noted that the number of state-owned enterprises is about 2,700, compared with 12,000 at the peak of government-controlled business several years ago.
In 2006, Vietnam was ranked the world's 50th largest exporter, with shipments valued at $39.6 billion. The U.S. was the top destination with an 18.3 percent share, according to World Trade Organization data. Vietnam also was positioned as the 10th largest apparel exporter, with shipments valued at $4.8 billion.
Business executives said higher wages and production costs in China, especially in the southern coastal manufacturing area, is increasing the attractiveness of Vietnam and other low-cost Asian nations as alternatives.
Other developing countries identified as likely contenders for the next wave of emerging markets by experts such as Mitsubishi Corp. president Yorihiko Kojima and Angel Gurría, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, included Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia and Turkey.
Hoang said it's difficult to compete on scale with China and added: "What we try to do is to compete in efficiency." He said China still has the edge on competitiveness, but emphasized that Vietnam is determined to increase its potential, including retraining much of the labor force.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion