越南河內北面的稻田和喀斯特地形石灰岩之間開一家韓國餐館，聽上去似乎是高風險的生意，但Le Thi Huyen開在這里的小餐館生意可謂蒸蒸日上。
其中原因何在？韓國公司三星電子(Samsung Electronics Co.)正在將越南打造為其最大的境外生產基地之一，生產價值數十億美元的高人氣Galaxy智能手機和平板電腦系列，而三星的工程師和管理人員對于韓國烤肉、石鍋拌飯以及其他家鄉風味渴盼不已。
James Hookway/The Wall Street Journal
Le Thi Huyen在北寧經營的一家韓式餐館，為附近一家三星電子大型工廠的員工提供家鄉風味的餐飲。
三星目前在越南出口總額中所 占份額超過10%。LG電子(LG Electronics Inc.)、英特爾(Intel Corp.)和富士康(Foxconn)等其他全球知名品牌也加大了在越南的投資，為發展中國家歷史上最快的經濟轉型之一提供助力。越南出口的智能手機和 電腦元件開始取代咖啡、服裝和蝦的出口。
國際咨詢機構麥肯錫(McKinsey & Co.)注意到這個由共產黨領導的全球經濟小角落是如何能夠在工業化如今以較以往更快的速度推進（尤其是在更新換代速度非常快的高科技行業）之際受益的。 麥肯錫在一份報告中說，日本企業用了40年才爬上全球價值鏈的頂端，韓國企業僅用了30年。華為等中國企業僅用了20年的時間就取得了這樣的成績。
擔 任世界銀行(World Bank)駐越南首席經濟學家至今的米什拉(Deepak Mishra)指出，一些專家認為越南的制造業可能正處于中國在上世紀90年代末高科技產品出口突然騰飛的階段。而這一趨勢不僅出現在硬件領域。一些科技 初創公司正在推動越南成為亞洲軟件開發領域的參與者，與此同時，越南高中學生的電腦技能令谷歌(Google Inc.)經驗豐富的工程師大為贊嘆。
越 南官員在這個初期階段認為這波外商投資熱潮有助于使越南經濟在長達10年的信貸繁榮期在2010年結束后保持穩定發展，信貸泡沫的破滅曾產生了一系列貨幣 貶值影響，進而推動越南通脹率飆升至20%以上。現在他們正準備迎接更多的投資者。太原省的地方官員戰勝了越南其他地區，成功說服三星在他們那里興建第三 座工廠，該省向三星提供了16年的稅收優惠措施。越南總理阮晉勇(Nguyen Tan Dung)還談到，越南重點致力于從日本等國引進投資者，以幫助該國進行設施升級，從而推動其科技行業的增長。
據 總部設在河內的創業孵化平台Topica稱，今年在東南亞，只有新加坡有較好的科技企業家創立公司，然后成功向外部投資者出售股份的記錄。在游戲行業，總 部設在河內的Emobi推出了基于1954年胡志明(Ho Chi Minh)戰勝法國殖民者的奠邊府戰役的視頻游戲。一些公司仍取得了更好的表現。FPT Software現在已躋身全球科技外包公司100強，年營收超過10億美元。
有些初創企業的表現并沒有這么好。一個政府創立的旨在搶奪 Facebook用戶的社交媒體網站還沒有真正實現“起飛”。谷歌和雅虎(Yahoo Inc.)等公司抱怨越南政府對網上言論的限制對該國電子商務的發展不利。目前已有35位博客作者被送入監獄，數量僅次于排名第一的中國。
Tech Firms Flock to Vietnam
The reason? Samsung Electronics Co., the South Korean firm, is building up Vietnam as one of its largest offshore production bases, churning out billions of dollars worth of its popular Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets, and its engineers and managers are hungry for bulgogi, bibimbap and other tastes of home.
Each day, Ms. Huyen's restaurants are packed with South Korean customers, as well as a smattering of curious Vietnamese. 'Samsung has really helped improve incomes around here,' says Ms. Huyen, 31 years old, who has opened a pair of Korean restaurants in Bac Ninh, a stone's throw from one of Samsung's largest factories. She's now planning on opening a third in nearby Thai Nguyen, where Samsung is building a $2 billion facility, its biggest manufacturing plant anywhere in the world.
Samsung now accounts for more than 10% of Vietnam's total exports. Other global names such as LG Electronics Inc., 066570.SE -1.11% Intel Corp. INTC -1.22% and Foxconn are also stepping up investments and helping to accelerate one of the developing world's fastest-ever economic transformations as Vietnam's shipments of smartphones and computer parts begin to overtake exports of coffee, garments and shrimp.
International consultancy McKinsey & Co. notes how this Communist-run corner of the global economy could benefit from the way industrialization can happen faster today than it did in the past, especially in high-technology businesses where new trends quickly set root and leapfrog older ways of doing things. While Japanese firms took 40 years to climb to the top of the global value chain, South Korean firms took only 30 years, McKinsey wrote in a report. Chinese firms such as Huawei achieved the same feat in 20 years.
Deepak Mishra, until recently the World Bank's lead economist in Vietnam, notes that some experts 'argue that Vietnam's manufacturing sector is perhaps at the stage where China was in the late 1990s, when high-tech exports suddenly took off.' And it isn't just on the hardware side. A number of new tech startups are turning Vietnam into a player on the Asian software development scene, while the computers of its high-school students are wowing seasoned Google Inc. engineers.
Some economists say that despite the trickle-down effects of workers shifting from agriculture to higher-paying factory jobs, the broader economic impact of booming investment figures isn't yet clear. Samsung, which declined to comment for this article, and other manufacturers largely assemble products from components made elsewhere.
'I'm not sure Vietnam is really adding value from this just yet,' says Tim Condon, Asia-Pacific economist at ING in Singapore.
Vietnamese officials at this early stage credit the wave of foreign investments for helping to keep the economy afloat after a decadelong credit boom popped in 2010, triggering a series of currency devaluations that sent inflation rates spiraling over 20%. They are now laying out the welcome mat for more investors. Local officials in Thai Nguyen province outbid other parts of the country to persuade Samsung to build its third plant there, offering up to 16 years of tax breaks. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also talks about Vietnam's focus on bringing in investors from Japan and elsewhere to help upgrade its infrastructure to enable its technology sector to grow.
'We're aiming for top quality investments,' he said in a written response to questions.
The mushrooming of local tech startups, meanwhile, suggests that making smartphones could just be one sign of a broader shift toward developing technology-related industries in Vietnam, where the median age of its 92 million people is a youthful 26.
In Southeast Asia this year, only Singapore has a better record of tech entrepreneurs starting companies and then successfully selling stakes to outside investors, according to Hanoi-based startup incubator Topica. In the gaming sector, Hanoi-based Emobi launched a videogame world-wide based on Ho Chi Minh's famous victory over French colonists at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Some firms are doing better still. FPT Software is now among the world's top-100 companies in the field of technology outsourcing, with annual revenues of more than $1 billion.
Others aren't faring quite so well. A government-started social media site designed to draw users away from Facebook hasn't really taken off, and firms such as Google and Yahoo Inc. complain that government restrictions on what can and can't be said on the Internet has chilled the growth of e-commerce in the country. Currently, 35 bloggers are in prison, the highest number in the world after China.
Yet the renewed focus that many Vietnamese schools are placing on teaching computer science suggests there could be better news in the pipeline.
Neil Fraser, a software engineer at Google, recently visited Vietnam on vacation and marveled at the technological skills displayed by computer science students at a school in Danang, in central Vietnam. Fifth-graders, he said, were performing at the level of 11th-graders in the U.S., while he estimated that around half of the Vietnamese 11th-graders could pass the Google interview test.
'To say I was impressed is an understatement,' Mr. Fraser said.
He spent some of his holiday writing fresh educational software for the school, and then when to an ATM to withdraw enough money to cover the annual salary for an additional computer science teacher. The amount spoke volumes about Vietnam's appeal: Just $1,200.