India, Russia, and China fell to second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 2008 index. Viet Nam’s leap from fourth in the 2007 index to first place in 2008 was driven by strong growth its gross domestic product, changes to its regulatory structure favoring foreign investors, and increased consumer demand for modern retail concepts.
While Viet Nam's $20 billion retail market pales in comparison to India or China, the absence of competition and 8 percent GDP growth makes it an attractive opportunity for global retailers.
Vietnamese consumers are among the youngest in Asia, with 79 million below the age of 65. Consumer spending has increased by more than 75 percent between 2000 and 2007.
These factors explain why Viet Nam has ended India's three-year reign as the most attractive emerging market destination for retail investment.