From BRIC to VIC

Among the top findings from an UK investment survey (Economist Survey Unit – above), Vietnam, India and China (VIC) are the top three to watch. Other findings by HSBC came up with CIVETs (remember BRIC?): Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and S Africa as stable political markets (as of this edit, you can take out Egypt).

Vietnam itself has held top spot three years in the row (ending in 2010).  It’s GDP growth has teetered above 6 percent, despite the Global Recession we all know too well.

While developed countries move toward a post-consumerism stage, Vietnam barely starts shopping (the size of its supermarket shopping carts says it all – half the size of the likes in Walmart and Costco).

76% over 23%  of  surveyed companies say they plan to adjust (localizing) their product offerings to domestic market as opposed to just offshoring for cost-saving .

IT outsourcing stands just below construction, tourism and retail growth in Vietnam. Thus, HP took notice (it is obtaining a license to invest 18 million dollars in a Quang Trung software park company). Samsung in Bac Ninh just passed its $1 B mark of handset manufacturing and exporting to other countries. Hon Hai also chipped in another $ 5 Billion.

Meanwhile, after years of savings, Chinese are on a buying spree for London properties, the same way the Japanese did in Los Angeles back in the 80’s (remember Michael Douglas in Rising Sun?).

Nikita, the TV show, now casts a Vietnamese-Euro actress with sharp shooting precision (to make a case for Euro-Asian mash).

Apple I- phones are selling well in Vietnam.

It has been obvious that China and India are doing well, manufacturing and service respectively.

Vietnam tries to fit the bill as a CI+1 destination, a low-wage labor market despite its own infrastructure problem.

(a taxi stuck head down in a city pot hole during a recent storm).  Sure, Vietnam has an undeniably long history (1000 years Hanoi), but only one future: it will have to move quickly to reverse brain drain, and beef up its infrastructure to accommodate growth. The higher the FDI inflow, the higher the expectations.

Due to easy loan, Shanghai office buildings faced low occupancy rates.  With increased urbanization comes other consequences.

London urban influx in the 19th century taught us a lot (plague and crime). And the new UK investors’ survey tells cautionary tales about a new century, a new market without improving on old business practices (opium anyone). If so, the top ten on the list will have to fight like gladiators, while the King enjoys his grapes and wine.

I am with sword in hand, ready. Gotta to follow the money.


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