Trade in Services and Telecommunications in Vietnam

After Vietnam began liberalizing its planned economy 30 years ago to become a “socialist-oriented market economy”, monopolies have been dismantled including in the telecommunications sector which is so key for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive. This paper reviews how the telecom sector has been liberalized and reformed in Vietnam, and recommends ways forward to improve capacity for regulatory independence and evening the playing field for market players and consumers. While the reform road remains paved with challenges, significant improvements have been noted. Today, prices have significantly dropped, consumers enjoy wider choices, and private and foreign service providers find it easier to enter the industry.