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The Eastward Shift: Unpacking the Move of Chinese Businesses to Vietnam

In recent years, a significant shift has been observed as Chinese companies increasingly set their sights and investments on Vietnam, marking a notable trend in international business and supply chain diversification. This movement is driven by strategic imperatives, including cost reduction, risk mitigation, and the search for new markets amidst evolving geopolitical landscapes. Vietnam, with its promising economic growth, strategic location, and improving business environment, offers a fertile ground for Chinese businesses looking to expand their global footprint.

  1. Economic Attractiveness of Vietnam: Vietnam presents several attractive features such as low labor costs, abundant human resources, and a willingness to attract foreign investments. The country has been working on improving its business environment and competitiveness, as evidenced by its improved ranking in the Global Doing Business Report 2020. Vietnam's efforts to introduce foreign investment have been quite fruitful, marked by a strong recovery post-epidemic and its resilience with a GDP exceeding 400 billion US dollars for the first time in 2022.

  2. Global Supply Chain Adjustments: As the global supply chain undergoes adjustments, Vietnam has emerged as a favorable destination due to its strategic location and free trade agreements, including the RCEP. This allows Vietnam to undertake the transfer of labor-intensive industries from China and other countries, providing a cost advantage and demographic dividend.

  3. Avoiding Geopolitical Risks: The escalation of Sino-US trade frictions has prompted Chinese companies to seek alternative bases to mitigate risks. Vietnam's good relations with both China and the United States make it an attractive destination to avoid anti-dumping and other trade barriers.

  4. Supportive Bilateral Relations: The deepening of friendly relations between China and Vietnam, including agreements on economic and trade cooperation zones and investment in various sectors, has provided a conducive environment for Chinese companies.

However, the transition is not without its challenges:

  1. Local Supply Chain and Infrastructure Issues: The imperfection of the local supply chain, along with infrastructure concerns like electricity stability, present significant challenges. Despite the proximity to China, the need for a robust local supply chain and infrastructure is critical for long-term profitability and operational success.

  2. Policy and Regulatory Environment: Vietnam's market is still cautious about China’s dominant industrial investment. The Vietnamese government's policy and regulatory environment, including recent tax rate adjustments and restrictions in certain industries, require careful navigation by Chinese companies.

  3. Integration and Long-Termism: Successful integration into the Vietnamese market requires a long-term perspective, adherence to local laws and regulations, and a commitment to contributing to local development and job creation.

Vietnam's emergence as a key destination for Chinese companies reflects broader changes in global trade dynamics and supply chain strategies. As companies continue to seek strategic bases outside China to mitigate geopolitical risks and trade uncertainties, Vietnam stands out as a compelling choice. However, as with any international expansion, a thorough understanding of local conditions and robust risk management strategies are imperative.

For companies looking to understand the full spectrum of opportunities and challenges in this dynamic landscape, or to conduct comprehensive geopolitical assessments and risk due diligence, expert guidance is essential. Artisan Business Group offers specialized insights and support for businesses navigating these complex waters. For more in-depth analysis and tailored strategies, please contact us today at With the right approach and resources, the move into Vietnam can be a strategic leap forward for Chinese companies looking to thrive in a rapidly changing global market.

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