(Photo: baodoanhnghiepvietnam)
Hanoi (VNA) - Fitch Ratings has named Vietnam among its top five favourite frontier markets.

According to the rating agency, as wages have risen in mainland China and its manufacturing bases shift toward more sophisticated products, many companies have opened basic production facilities in Vietnam to take advantage of lower wages, said Andrew Fennell, Associate Director, Sovereign Ratings, Hong Kong.

Vietnam has a large population of some 90 million, a growing labour force, a stable political environment and a strategic location in Asia to access key suppliers, such as Taiwan and [mainland] China, he pointed out.

Further, foreign direct investment in Vietnam has quadrupled over the past decade to more than 8 billion USD, as trade improves. Today, for instance, 30 to 40 percent of Samsung mobile phones are manufactured in Vietnam.

"We also believe Vietnam's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, if ratified, will provide a further boost to its medium-term growth outlook. The partnership will lower trade barriers and give Vietnam enhanced access to some of the world's largest consumer markets, including the US, Japan, Canada and Australia," the analyst commented.

Last month, Fitch Ratings reported Vietnam's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) at ‘BB-' with a stable outlook.

The issue ratings on the country's senior unsecured foreign – and local-currency bonds are also affirmed at ‘BB-'. The country's ceiling is affirmed at ‘BB-' and the short-term foreign-currency IDR at ‘B'.

The rating agency noted that Vietnam's ratings balance its strong macro-economic outlook against high public debt levels, sizeable budget deficits, and relatively weak structural indicators.

Besides Vietnam, Paraguay and three nations in sub-Saharan Africa are also on Fitch's list.-VNA