Made in Vietnam – Fortune Magazine

More than 30 years after the end of the Vietnam war, and more than a decade after relations were normalized with the U.S., Vietnam is set to merge onto that superhighway of global trade, the World Trade Organization, a move that will expose the country to both opportunity and risk.

Already Vietnam is the second-fastest-growing economy in Asia after China (8.4 percent last year), and the breakneck speed has been accompanied by enormous interest from global manufacturers looking for alternatives to China – from Intel (Charts), which is building a semiconductor test-and-assembly plant, to Victoria’s Secret, which sources loungewear from the city formerly known as Saigon.

It has also seen labor unrest: Wildcat strikes against some factories earlier this year, including Danu Vina, resulted in a government-mandated 40 percent increase in the minimum wage, although manufacturing costs are still as much as 35 percent lower than in China.

Made in Vietnam, Fortune, 20 Nov 2006