Vietnam Investment Tops the Agenda at Baker Tilly International Summit

2 Apr 2012

Investment in Vietnam topped the agenda at Baker Tilly International's annual Asia Pacific summit, held last week in Ho Chi Minh City. Geoff Barnes, CEO & President of Baker Tilly International, outlined the network's investment plans to build on its strong growth record in the region and described the outlook for business in Vietnam.

Right for Investment

"As a network, we are continually assessing the changes that are occurring in the marketplace," said Barnes. "We recognise the importance of continuing to invest in being in the right places, so that we have the right capabilities in locations of strategic importance to the future of our business, and our clients'. Asia - and Vietnam in particular - is certainly the right place to be investing in now."

Baker Tilly International saw strong growth in Asia Pacific last year, with combined revenues of its member firms up 40%. Its member firm in Vietnam, Baker Tilly A&C, saw good growth in all service lines.

"In Vietnam, our focus in the coming year is to continue to build market share across the core services of audit, tax and consultancy services," said Barnes. "Baker Tilly A&C will work closely with other firms in the Baker Tilly International network to expand its service offering to clients with cross-border operations. Talent is also a key focus: we will continue to recruit, train and develop high quality professionals in Vietnam and draw on the power of Baker Tilly International's global training and secondment programmes."

Government Reforms

Although Vietnam's economy has performed well in recent years, resulting in high levels of GDP growth and foreign direct investment into the country, the government is now looking to the future.

"The Vietnamese government is taking steps to reform the economy and has said that its first priority is controlling inflation and delivering macroeconomic stability," said Barnes. "Last year it began addressing fiscal issues - tightening monetary policy and government spending. Its focus now is on restructuring public investment and state-owned economic entities as well as reforming the finance sector, with particular emphasis on the commercial banks."

Barnes believes that the government's recently unveiled three-year bank restructuring plan is a positive development, which should help stabilise the economy and support wider economic reforms. "Investors want a stable banking system - this is vital if Vietnam is to continue to attract the investment that is needed to drive economic growth," he said. "Improvements in the quality of financial reporting will also benefit investors as the Vietnamese accounting and audit profession continues to develop and strengthen in light of gradual convergence to IFRS."

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