Van Eck Global has launched the Market Vectors Vietnam exchange-traded fund, linked to the VN-Index, which is up 61% so far this year.

Van Eck notes that while Vietnam is still a communist country, it is beginning to adopt capitalist ways. Foreign investors have invested $8.7 billion directly in Vietnam in the first six months of the year, and those investments are projected to skyrocket in the second half of the year for full-year 2009 investments of $2 billion, according to Vietnam’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. Another $22 billion is expected to be invested in 2010.

“If you look at the horizon [in Vietnam] now,” said Chris Wolf, co-chief investment officer at Cogo Wolf Asset Management, “it looks like Beijing in its heyday. It’s construction cranes everywhere.” Also of note is that the workforce in Vietnam is 90% literate yet is paid far less than Chinese, so the country is ripe for outsourcing from China.

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