A couple weeks ago I read an article about the manufacturer of certain Apple products looking to move manufacturing to Vietnam. Now, this wasn’t Apple’s decision, this was the decision of the Chinese manufacturer. They wanted to move the plant to Vietnam. This is interesting for several reasons.
First, it is a sign that China’s economy has improved dramatically over the last several decades, leading the salary of simple manufacturing jobs to rise to the point where manufacturers in China are looking to outsource their own jobs.
There is the second intriguing feature, outsourcing from China. The fact that China is outsourcing, and specifically to Vietnam, is fascinating, not only does it testify to salary differentials, but to the similarity between cultures, at least similar enough for Chinese businesses to feel comfortable in Vietnam.
Third, this means that Vietnam’s manufacturing capabilities have improved to the point where the high tech industry is looking to Vietnam for options. This is where the money is in manufacturing, and this is where the possibilities for a future economic miracle gain form. If Vietnam can successfully transition into high tech manufacturing, working on microchips and smart phones, then the technology will only continue to improve as technology transfers accelerate to allow the manufacturing processes to improve.
All of this means that Vietnam is growing and learning, and that its capabilities are improving. Vietnam may be a developing country, but this signals a way point on the road to development, a way point that could lead quickly to a country of greater wealth and greater prosperity for everyone.