Four Tips for Building Your Vietnam Export-Import Business

By: Gen Wright

On the easternmost rim of the Indochina Peninsula, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a country that stands for diplomatic relations and economic growth, though it has not been an easy road by any means. With the end of the Vietnam conflict in 1975, it may not have seemed possible, but the government has changed a lot about the country's image in the last three decades, with membership to the World Trade Organization occurring in 2007 and membership to the United Nations Security Council occurring one year later.

Vietnam's greatest export over the years has historically been in wet rice cultivation, but Vietnam also holds quite a few more tricks up its sleeve economically. Firstly, it owns a 33% global share of black pepper and cashew markets. In addition to these areas of economic growth, Vietnam is also a major exporter of coffee, tea, rubber, and fishery items. Regarding its relationship to the United States, Vietnam is a major exporter of cotton apparel and crude oil. Major imports include plastics, new and used automobiles, and lumber, to name a few.
Though Vietnam is a poor country, deep poverty has largely decreased over the years. It is a country on the rise, and a good area to focus your export-import efforts. Here are four tips for getting started:

1. Decide what export-import Vietnam products you wish to sell by researching thoroughly. Do not just take anyone's word for what you should do. If you are starting a business, then you need to make decisions based on official sources. Those official sources should include the Consulates or Embassy in the country with which you are hoping to do business. Furthermore, check with your own government for trade restrictions.

2. Avoid costly legal oversights. An "open for business" sign is not enough. Within any industry there is a number of considerations you cannot afford to ignore. For instance, are you considering alcohol or pharmaceuticals for your Vietnam export-import business? There may be some additional licensing requirements you must address before your first transaction. In addition to this, it is important to make sure you are registered with your country's taxation department.

3. Beware embargoes. For over a decade, Vietnam was a country heavily restricted by trade embargoes, due to the perceived treatment of its citizens and the messy Vietnam conflict. Though most of those trade barriers have been lifted, you should still be mindful of possible restrictions that exist against Vietnam, or within its borders pertaining to your home country.

4. Protect yourself and your transactions. A letter of credit works wonders when it comes to protecting your products and your payments. No matter what side of the transaction you fall on, getting a bank or financial institution to vouch for you and your vendors takes a lot of the fear and uncertainty out of any business, especially your Vietnam export-import business.

Following these tips cannot ensure the success of your Vietnam export-import business, but it will certainly set you on the right path to making the right kind of decisions, which will ensure your viability in the market for years to come.

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