Vietnam has moved from sixth to fifth place in Southeast Asia, overtaking the Philippines, and is well positioned to overtake Thailand (rank 4) next year if this positive momentum continues.
The gap between the only two ranked Vietnamese cities has widened this year. Ho Chi Minh City ranked first and edged closer to the world’s top 100, jumping 68 places to 111 and showing positive momentum from last year. This rapid growth signals that good things are happening in Ho Chi Minh.
“On the other hand, Hanoi has dropped 31 places to 222, falling from the top 200 in the world. Having Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as innovation hubs is a huge bonus for the Vietnamese ecosystem, but I hope that d “Other cities will follow. With Vietnam’s population nearing 100 million, two classified ecosystems are certainly not enough,” the report said.
The Vietnamese startup ecosystem has enormous potential, mainly due to the economy’s substantial market size, making the creation of successful local startups profitable even if they don’t expand internationally.
A large number of expats and digital nomads in Ho Chi Minh City also contribute to the growth of the local ecosystem.
However, to become a true regional and global hub, Vietnam will need to generate innovations with regional or global impact.
To attract foreign investors or companies to Vietnam, the government offers tax incentives. In 2016, Vietnam approved the Vietnam Startup Ecosystem Initiative to 2025, popularly known as the National 844 Program, to further promote thriving startup ecosystems in the country.
Since the start of the program, there has been strong growth in both the number of new startups and their revenue. In 2018, the government approved the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Act to support startups through technology transfer, investment, training, and incentives for venture capital funds.
According to StartupBlink, growing industries attracting investors to Vietnamese startups include e-commerce, fintech, food tech, business solutions and IT services.
With unicorns such as MoMo and Sky Mavis, Vietnam is proving to be a startup powerhouse in Southeast Asia.