Vietnam has been the fastest growing digital economy in ASEAN in 2022, 2023 and expected to maintain this position until 2025, with the forecast of smartphones users reaching 67.3 million by 2026, accounting for 96.9% internet users, according to HSBC experts.

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Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking for South and Southeast Asia at HSBC, revealed that the country has become a leading market for the digital industry for both local and international players.

The HSBC think tank pointed out that growth occurring in the nation’s digital economy continues to impress, with last year it contributing 16.5% to GDP with over 1,500 Vietnamese digital technology enterprises gaining revenues from foreign markets, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2022

She revealed that in a recent survey, 60% of businesses operating in the Vietnamese market indicate that they plan to invest in technology and digitalisation of their existing business, with the focus being on digital payments, e-commerce, and AI. Those companies believe that adopting and enhancing digital services will help them to meet customers’ expectations for digital convenience whilst improving efficiencies.

She noted that capital has become the lifeblood of innovative companies in this context. Against that backdrop, HSBC has enhanced our offering to digital-economy companies, launching a dedicated US$1 billion to the ASEAN Growth Fund that can help to finance platform companies with a proven track record in generating sustainable cash flows, even if they do not meet traditional financing criteria. 

“We understand that profitability may not always reflect a company’s potential in its early stages, hence we take a long-term view of potential growth by evaluating companies based on key operating metrics, growth plans and customer-acquisition strategies,” she added.  

HSBC economists therefore predict that the economic recovery is serving to drive consumption among an increasingly affluent population of 670 million, as one person enters the middle-income bracket every two seconds on average.

The ASEAN region boasts one of the highest digital penetration rates in the world, while e-commerce passed the US$100 billion revenue mark last year.

“Progressive approaches to financing, and the region’s strong fundamentals will all help drive the growth ambitions of businesses in ASEAN. And Vietnam, as one of the bloc’s members, will definitely benefit,” they stressed.