Meet Asia’s new manufacturing powerhouse: Vietnam

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If you thought Asia’s manufacturing giants are just China, South Korea and Thailand, say hello to a new one: Vietnam. Its benchmark purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing has expanded — a reading above 50 — every month since Aug. 2013, according to HSBC and Markit Economics.
That feat is unmatched by any other Asian country that HSBC and Markit track. By contrast, China’s manufacturing PMI has contracted in eight months in that same period. Thailand’s manufacturing, as measured by the government, contracted for 22 months through January.
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“Central to the latest improvement in business conditions were further rises in both output and new orders,” HSBC and Markit said in a note accompanying the release of Vietnam’s March data. Vietnamese firms were able to secure more new orders from both domestic and export clients and “falling commodity prices in world markets continued to feed through to lower input costs,” said Andrew Harker, senior economist at Markit.
Vietnam last year became the biggest exporter to the U.S. among the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean. And with its strategic location, younger population and lower costs than China, it has drawn the likes of Samsung Electronics, Intel and Siemens, besides apparel and shoe makers.
In Vietnam’s favor, wages are still low, with the average monthly wage at $197 in 2013, compared with $391 for Thailand and $613 for China, according to the International Labour Organization. Its population is younger: only about 6 percent is above the age of 65, compared with about 10 percent in China and Thailand and almost 13 percent in South Korea.
Of course, much of Vietnam’s work now is in low-end manufacturing in textiles, garments, furniture and electronics. That may change, as companies invest in training and R&D. What has raised some questions is worker unrest. Thousands of workers at a Ho Chi Minh City factory struck work this week over a government pension change, the worst labor unrest since last May’s anti-China riots that led to factory closures. It may be the one wrinkle in Vietnam’s rise to manufacturing greatness.
Source : Thanh Nien Daily | April 2, 2015
Thomas D’Innocenzi
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About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D'Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. thomas@novaadvisors.com In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
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