Businesses are optimistic about revenue, profit and general business development in the first three months of 2017, with expected outcomes better than or similar to the same period 2016. When asked about their business plans in the next two years, 76 percent of respondents said they will scale up business, 19 percent have plans to expand operations and only 5 percent will keep their current scales.

These positive signals are found in the latest survey in 500 biggest companies ranked in the VNR 500 rankings from 2007 to the present. VNR500 Rankings – The list of Top 500 businesses in Vietnam in 2016 – was made by Vietnam Report Joint Stock Company in close cooperation with VietNamNet Newspaper. This is the 10th edition of VNR 500 in honor of high performing businesses in fiscal year of 2015.

A majority of respondents reported on better business performances in the first 10 months of 2016 than the same period in 2015. 16 percent of respondents admitted revenue decline, while 15 percent anticipated profit slump. Businesses had to face a lot of hurdles in 2016, ranging from economic growth challenges, global business and political fluctuations. Up to 47 percent of respondents said their workforces are stable in the reviewed period. In the first quarter of 2017, 60 percent of companies plan to keep employees unchanged.

As the upcoming economic trend is extensive integration and expansive cooperation. Therefore, many investors from Thailand, Japan and South Korea chose to enter the Vietnamese market by taking over local businesses. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals and joint venture deals are gradually becoming the methods by which businesses seek to attract domestic and international investment flows. Nearly 25 percent of respondents experienced M&A and joint venture negotiations in the past three years and 10 percent searched and explored these deals.

M&A is becoming a good fundraising channel, an effective investment form and an important facilitator of corporate and economic restructuring. Many companies intend to adopt this fundraising channel but they still worry about the information reliability of target partners.

Currently, Vietnam has signed many free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries and regions and planned to conclude more FTAs in the future. When asked about their capabilities and competencies to catch up with integration requirements, a majority of VNR500 respondents said they feel they are strong enough on international markets. Nearly 60 percent believe they are strong and very strong at management skills and stable supply sources. But, only 25 percent thought the quality of their goods and service is strong and 9 percent thought it is very strong. 12 percent admitted their weak marketing. This showed that big companies need to give priority to branding and quality improvement if they want to join the global playing field.

In the investment field, most big companies decided to make investment increase in business performances in Vietnam in the period 2017-2018, and 32 percent of respondents will increase over 50 percent of investment in current business operations.

In addition, nearly 45 percent of respondents expressed their intentions for overseas investment in the next five years, especially those engaged in industry/manufacturing and trade/service, to seek markets for their products. For VNR 500 companies, their most attractive investment destinations are in the United States/NAFTA (North America: Canada, the US and Mexico), and developing Asian countries (India, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia).

Top 10 in the VNR500 Rankings 2016
Vietnam Oil and Gas Group; Samsung Electronics Vietnam Co., Ltd; Viettel Group; Vietnam Electricity – EVN; Vietnam National Petroleum Group; Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd; Vietnam Post And Telecommunications.

Group (Vnpt); Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin); Northern Power Corporation Vietnam Airlines Corporation.

Top 10 VNR500 private enterprises in Vietnam in 2016
Truong Hai Auto Corporation; Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company; Doji Gold And Gems Group; Fpt Corporation; Vingroup Joint Stock Company; Masan Group Corp.; Hoa Phat Group JSC; Mobile World Investment Corporation; Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank; Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank.