At the World Economic Forum conference in Manila this week, economists from around the world named 20 companies from East Asia set for massive growth in coming years. Of these, a quarter were based in Vietnam, one of the region’s fastest-growing economies.
Last year, the country’s GDP grew by 5.42 percent, and the IMF forecasts the rate could reach 8 percent in less than five years, rivaling China.
A major focus for Vietnam and the region at large is small and medium enterprises (SMEs.) These types of businesses are responsible for 50 to 85 percent of all domestic employment in East Asia, and contribute between 30 and 53 percent of its gross domestic product.
“Promoting their economic dynamism -- and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit behind their success -- is therefore essential in order to continue fostering growth and development in the region,” wrote David Aikman, managing director of the WEF, in a blog post.
The WEF’s “Global Growth Companies” are selected by its members for having “clear potential to become global economic leaders.” Earlier this month, 16 companies were selected from Africa, with another 16 from Latin America chosen in April.
Here’s a quick summary of the five Vietnamese companies that made the list.
This interior design company caters to the hospitality sector in Vietnam and overseas, working with brands such as Marriot, Hilton, Hyatt and Fairmont. After the first factory opening in 2006, AA now has three factories in the country.
The Gioi Di Dong
Thegioididong.com is one of Vietnam’s largest electronics retailers, with more than 200 stores and a massive online shopping platform where customers can buy anything from mobile phones to laptops and tablets. It was a notable investment of the Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital.
Founded in 2004, VNG is one of the largest Internet companies in Vietnam. Operations include game development, social networking and e-commerce.
Thien Minh Group
This travel and hospitality company has been in operation since 1994, and brings approximately 90,000 tourists to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. It specializes in boutique adventure tours and owns a few local hotel chains.
Minh Phu Seafood Corporation
This seafood distribution company was founded in 1992 and handles various stages in the seafood production process from farming to exports. It also is involved in the production of biochemicals and even some real estate.
Other companies chosen by the WEF include one each from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, two from Myanmar, three from South Korea and six from Japan, all listed below.
ACLEDA Bank Plc. (Cambodia)
WanaArtha Life (Indonesia)
LINE Corporation (Japan)
Hearts United Group Co., Ltd (Japan)
Cross Company Inc. (Japan)
Tokushinkai Group (Japan)
Ferrotec Corporation (Japan)
Myan Shwe Pyi Tractors Ltd. (Myanmar)
Capital Diamond Star Group (Myanmar)
Manila Water Company Inc. (Philippines)
Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd. (Singapore)
ILJIN Group (South Korea)
Fila Inc. (South Korea)
Humax Electronics Co., Ltd (South Korea)