The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail on Oct. 1 ran an article, highlighting the Vietnamese market’s great potential and opportunities it is offering to Canadian businesses.

Entitled “ Vietnam ’s growth offers wealth of opportunity”, the article quoted Vice President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi , Alexandre Legendre, as saying Vietnam offers lots of opportunities for savvy and adventurous entrepreneurs.

“Despite what is going on in first-world countries, Vietnam ’s GDP is still growing 5 percent to 6 percent a year and that means there are opportunities”, Legendre said.

Legendre, a lawyer-turned-software entrepreneur, said Vietnam now has a population of about 90 million, and most are under 35.

He noted that the country’s infrastructure and education are booming. There is also a hunger for new technologies, an area in which Canada can be very competitive.

Software and services enterprises, he added, should look to expand into the Vietnamese market as he believed the country is an ideal launching pad – not to “move jobs out of Canada ” but to allow for greater access to other new markets in the region, creating value for Canadian companies.

And with many young Vietnamese citizens with rising disposable incomes, the consumer goods sector is also ripe for opportunities. “People have more money in urban areas and consumer habits are changing. In the past four years, just in terms of food, for example, people are now more open to Western-type food, to try new dairy products. They are buying fast food.”

Legendre also noted that the new generation graduating from schools speak English quite well because they want to do business internationally. And he gave an advice to businesses seriously looking to enter Vietnam : “You have to be present and be here to capture opportunities”./.