Vietnam is one of the easiest places to start a business in Southeast Asia: Olam
A big advantage was Vietnam’s absence of tariffs and its position as a “gateway” to ASEAN.
Vietnam is a relatively unknown place to many foreigners, so they feel it must be difficult, but in fact, it is one of the easiest places to start a business in Southeast Asia, said Prakash Jhanwer, president, South East Asia & China, at Olam – a leading food and agri-business company in the world.
Olam is originally Nigerian but is now based in Singapore. It is a multinational agribusiness which uses Vietnam as a “center of excellence” for its Asian trade operations, a hub from which it imports commodities from all over the world, processes them, and then redistributes products throughout the region.
In a podcast with CEO of ANZ Shayne Elliot, Prakash said a big advantage was Vietnam’s absence of tariffs and its position as a “gateway” to ASEAN.
“We get a zero-tariff treatment wherever we export across ASEAN, as well as China,” he said. “But the icing on the cake is it’s pretty easy to set up operations in Vietnam. We get the fastest route to market we find across countries… and the quality of people is fantastic,” Prakash added.
“It is a large population which is hungry to work. I think the [next 10 to 12 years] can be some of the most-transformative for Vietnam. I’m quite bullish about the prospects of Vietnam in the next decade,” Prakash added.
ANZ’s Elliot said Vietnam is a valuable market for ANZ and the bank wants to help connect Vietnam into the trade-and-capital opportunities around this region.