Vietnam is a true emerging market, offering ground floor and growing opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors. Vietnam’s economic growth rate has been among the highest in the world in recent years, expanding at an average about 7.2 percent per year during the period 2001-2010, while industrial production grew at an average of about 12 percent per year during the same period.
Vietnam registered GDP growth rate of 6.7 percent in 2010 and was one of only a handful of countries around the world to experience such levels of economic growth.
Moving forward, inflation remains a main risk to Vietnam’s economy, which the Government of Vietnam (GVN) is addressing by balancing growth targets with price stability measures. This challenge will not be easy to meet. Nevertheless, the GVN has confirmed its commitment to economic growth and is targeting 2011 GDP growth at 6.5 percent.
The momentum and direction generated by the entry into force of the U.S.–Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in 2001 transformed the bilateral commercial relationship between the United States and Vietnam and accelerated Vietnam’s entry into the global economy with Vietnam joining the WTO in January of 2007. Since the BTA, bilateral trade has increased over six-fold from $2.9 billion in 2002 to $18.6 billion in 2010.
Despite the continuing global economic recession in 2010, U.S. exports to Vietnam grew by an impressive 19.8 percent to $3.7 billion. During the same period, Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. increased 21.0 percent to $14.9 billion resulting in an $11.2 billion bilateral trade deficit with Vietnam.
U.S. goods exports to Vietnam in 2010 were $3.7 billion, up 19.8% ($613 million) from 2009. U.S. exports of agricultural products to Vietnam totaled $1.3 billion in 2010, the 15th largest U.S. Ag export market.
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam (stock) was $524 million in 2009 (latest data available), up 10.8 percent from 2008.
*According to Office of the United States Trade Representative
In 2010, U.S. exporters saw significant growth in agricultural products sectors, which accounted for roughly one-third of U.S. exports to Vietnam. Industrial inputs also continued to see steady growth as Vietnam continues to import machinery, chemicals, instrumentation and software to support its growing industrial sector.
Sales of equipment, technologies and consulting and management services associated with growth in Vietnam’s industrial and export sectors and implementation of major infrastructure projects continue to be a major source of commercial activity for U.S. firms.
Export-Import Bank Support for U.S. Exports to Vietnam 
The U.S. Export Import Bank (Ex-Im) provides both export insurance and working capital for U.S. exporters and guaranteed loans for Indian importers.
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative - Vietnam 
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Foreign Agricultural Service 
Represent the interests of U.S. agriculture and assist exporters of American agricultural products in assessing and developing markets in the South Asian nations in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
U.S. State Department Background Notes 
Background Notes include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency - South and Southeast Asia 
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions, and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.