Trade Guide: Vietnam

Do you know?

Vietnam (official name: the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) is the 8th most populous country in Asia, and the 13th most populous overall. More than a decade of average growth rates of roughly 7% starting in the early 2000s has made Vietnam one of the world’s premier emerging markets, although subsequent economic stumbles have tempered somewhat the early enthusiasm.

“Do’s and Don’ts”


  • Make appointments several weeks in advance.
  • Be punctual - your Vietnamese counterparts will be.
  • Refer to Ho Chi Minh City as Saigon when you are in HCMC/Saigon.
  • Dress conservatively if you are a woman.
  • Walk briskly on the street.
  • Wrap gifts in colorful paper.
  • Be aware that corruption is a fact of life in Vietnam.


  • Assume your colleagues will have strong English skills - consider using an interpreter.
  • Point with your finger - the hands is preferable.
  • Touch anyone's head.
  • Give handkerchiefs or anything black as a gift.
  • Make eye contact with strangers on the street.
  • Refuse an offer of tea at a reception - it is regarded as a ritual form of hospitality.

Select the language you would like to use:

This setting will be saved in your computer if you have cookie enabled.