Vietnam will be among the emerging economies that will lead the way to global economic recovery, says a Grant Thornton report released last week.
The business-consulting and accounting firm notes that Vietnam ranked 16th in the emerging markets opportunity index that ranks the level of opportunity for investors in 27 emerging economies worldwide.
Although agriculture still accounts for more than one-fifth of total output, Vietnam's economy has become increasingly open in recent years, reinforced by its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2007, and increasingly diversified, the report says.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows averaged US$1.3 billion in Vietnam between 1990 and 2000 and had risen to almost $10 billion last year with FDI commitments rising to $20 billion.
"The importance of the emerging markets to the world economy has been brought into sharper focus as the world emerges from recession," said the firm's managing partner in Vietnam Ken Atkinson.
"Not only have these economies been less severely hit, but they are also recovering more quickly, with growth rates over the next two years forecast to be double that of more mature economies."
China is leading the way thanks to its huge consumer market, increasingly open economy and trade growth, followed by the other developing Asian powerhouse, India, according to the report which said Russia, thanks to its wealth of natural resources, was third.
However, businesses in emerging markets fear their growth prospects are being hampered by poor access to finance and a lack of highly-skilled workers to a much larger extent than their counterparts in more mature economies, said the report.