Entry modes of European firms in Vietnam

Daniel Simonet


Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to explore the entry modes of EU firms setting up operations in Vietnam.


Design/methodology/approach: we use a case study approach on Haymarket, Cadbury, Creative Education, Fairchild, Aventis and Artemisinin and Farming International using interviews from managerial professionals in Vietnam.


Findings: Despite the fact that Vietnam has been opening up for more than 20 years, licensing is the preferred entry mode because of the risks involved in venturing with local firms; that preference signals a low level commitment and a high perception of risk and state interference. In line with Vietnam transition to state - rather than private market - capitalism, a foreign company opting for a joint-venture will do so with a state-owned rather than privately-owned company. The choice of a subsidiary can be explained by the lack of trust in partners and institutions, not by improvement in the socio-political environment.

Limitations: In determining the entry mode strategy, the paper focuses on the Uppsala school’s “psychic distance” (e.g. cultural distance, lack of trust) rather than on firm-specific advantages (Rugman, 1980; 2006).

Key-words: international entry mode; emerging markets; subsidiary; joint-venture; India; Vietnam

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/emaj.2012.27


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