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A Comprehensive Guide to Sourcing Products from Vietnam

Vietnam, a rapidly growing manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia, has gained increased attention from businesses worldwide as an alternative sourcing destination to China. Due to the ongoing trade uncertainties and the rise in wages in China, Vietnam's lower labour costs and skilled workforce have made it an attractive option for sourcing a diverse range of products.

February 20, 2024

Vietnam, a rapidly growing manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia, has gained increased attention from businesses worldwide as an alternative sourcing destination to China. Due to the ongoing trade uncertainties and the rise in wages in China, Vietnam's lower labour costs and skilled workforce have made it an attractive option for sourcing a diverse range of products. In this blog post, we will provide an introduction to sourcing products from Vietnam, exploring its pros and cons, and guiding you on when it makes sense for your business to consider partnering with Vietnamese suppliers.

The transformation of Vietnam's manufacturing industry began with the Doi Moi economic reforms in 1986. This led to a steady rise in foreign investment and the establishment of domestic private enterprises, opening up new opportunities for the Vietnamese economy. Over time, Vietnam has become an essential player in various industries, including textiles and apparel, electronics, furniture, and agricultural products, demonstrating the wide range of options available to businesses looking to source goods from the country.

As global perceptions of Vietnamese products continue to improve, businesses worldwide are eagerly exploring opportunities here for sourcing high-quality and cost-effective goods. However, it is essential to evaluate both the advantages and potential challenges associated with sourcing from Vietnam, to ensure that making the shift aligns with your business's objectives.

In the sections that follow, we will delve deeper into the pros and cons of sourcing products from Vietnam, helping you understand the factors that could impact your decision-making process. We will also discuss the circumstances when it makes sense for your business to consider sourcing goods from Vietnam, offering strategic insights to help you make informed choices. Additionally, we will introduce you to Epic Sourcing Australia and share how our dedicated team on the ground in Vietnam can assist your business in finding the right suppliers and seamlessly navigate the sourcing process.

The Growing Appeal of Vietnam's Manufacturing Industry

In recent years, Vietnam has become an increasingly attractive destination for global businesses looking to source products outside of China. As wages in the world's second-largest economy continue to rise and trade uncertainties loom large, companies have begun to explore alternative manufacturing hubs with lower labour costs and favourable trading environments.

Vietnam's geographical proximity to China, skilled workforce, developing infrastructure, and involvement in several free trade agreements have significantly contributed to its appeal as a sourcing destination. As foreign investments continue to pour in, Vietnam's manufacturing sector has become more diverse, making it a viable consideration across a wide range of products and industries.

Advantages of Sourcing Products from Vietnam

1. Cost-effective Manufacturing

One of the main reasons businesses turn to Vietnam for sourcing products is the relatively low cost of production. The country's minimum wages are significantly lower compared to China and other more developed Asian countries. This cost advantage extends to other factors too, such as raw materials and transportation, making Vietnam an attractive option for businesses looking to optimise their procurement costs.

2. Skilled and Abundant Workforce

Vietnam boasts a young, hardworking, and skilled workforce. The country has a strong tradition of craftsmanship, often manifested in the high-quality products produced across various industries like textiles, apparel, and woodworking. Additionally, the Vietnamese government continuously invests in education and skill development, ensuring that the manufacturing sector continues to evolve and adapt to global market demands.

3. Diverse Industry Specialisations

Vietnam's manufacturing prowess extends to a broad spectrum of industries, including textiles, apparel, footwear, electronics, furniture, and agricultural products. This diversification allows businesses to source a wide variety of products that cater to their specific requirements and preferences.

4. Regional Trade Partnerships

Vietnam's multiple regional trade partnerships make it an ideal sourcing destination by ensuring smooth import and export processes. These partnerships have cultivated favourable trading environments, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).

Challenges to Consider When Sourcing from Vietnam

1. Infrastructure Challenges

While Vietnam's infrastructure is continuously improving, businesses may still face challenges related to transportation efficiency, port congestion, and power outages. These issues can impact shipment timelines and the overall product supply chain. However, the Vietnamese government is investing in infrastructure upgrades to mitigate these concerns.

2. Limited High-tech Industries

Vietnam's expertise in high-tech manufacturing may not match the level of more developed countries. As industries become increasingly reliant on technological advancements, this limitation may impact your business's ability to source advanced electronic products or components.

3. Intellectual Property Protection

While Vietnam is making strides in improving intellectual property (IP) protection, IP violations still occur. This may lead to counterfeit goods or compromised proprietary information. Businesses must take necessary precautions to safeguard their IP rights.

4. Language and Communication Barriers

Communicating with Vietnamese suppliers can be challenging due to language barriers. Miscommunication can lead to delays, unexpected costs, and dissatisfaction with the final product. Partnering with a local sourcing expert, like Epic Sourcing Australia, can help to alleviate such communication challenges.

When to Source Products from Vietnam

To determine if sourcing products from Vietnam might be the right decision for your business, consider the following factors:

1. Assess Your Business Needs

Determine whether the type of products you're looking to source align with Vietnam’s industry expertise. Identifying the specific materials, processes, or labour skills required for your products will give you a better understanding of whether Vietnam can cater to your needs or not.

2. Balancing Cost and Quality

While Vietnam offers a cost advantage in manufacturing, it is essential to ensure that final product quality meets your business's standards. Thorough research and connecting with networks of reputable suppliers can help strike the right cost-quality balance.

3. Geographical Proximity and Shipping Costs

Location matters when it comes to sourcing products. Vietnam's strategic location can be advantageous if your business is based in Asia, Australia, or the Pacific region, resulting in lower shipping costs and lead times.

How Epic Sourcing Can Help Your Business Thrive in Vietnam

Epic Sourcing Australia, with its dedicated local team in Vietnam, can help your business navigate the complexities of sourcing products from the country. Our comprehensive services include:

1. Market Expertise:

Our familiarity with Vietnamese industries ensures that you'll partner with the best possible suppliers to meet your business needs.

2. Seamless Communication:

With a dedicated team on the ground, avoid communication barriers and enjoy efficient collaboration with suppliers throughout the sourcing process.

3. Supplier Vetting:

Epic Sourcing Australia conducts thorough evaluations of potential suppliers to ensure they meet your specific requirements and maintain high-quality standards.

4. Navigating Import-Export Processes:

Our expertise in handling the necessary import-export documentation and understanding Vietnamese regulations ensure a smooth and seamless process.


Sourcing products from Vietnam presents both unique advantages and challenges that businesses must consider. With appropriate market research and a local product sourcing agency like Epic Sourcing, your business can thrive in the Vietnamese market and take advantage of cost savings, quality products, and lasting partnerships with reliable suppliers. So why wait? Embark on your sourcing journey in Vietnam today with the assistance and guidance of a seasoned partner like Epic Sourcing Australia.

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