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In 2012, economic growth reached a 13-year low in Vietnam, and the first two quarters of 2013 did not suggest any improvement. Financial gloom has been most apparent in the real estate and capital markets sectors, and in the construction space, the majority of projects remain on-hold across the country. However, more recent signs are encouraging and there is greater hope for the 2014 economic forecast. Foreign interest in the country remains high, and Vietnam continues to attract investment from around the region, particularly South Korea and Japan. Thailand’s decision to introduce a minimum wage has benefited its neighbour as companies have sought alternative markets for cheaper labour costs.
Last year’s entry of Allen & Overy LLP into the Vietnamese market triggered a number of lawyer moves: notably, Dao Nguyen (ex-Mayer Brown JSM) joined as managing partner, and Tran Anh Duc arrived from Vilaf to head the firm’s Hanoi office. Mayer Brown JSM bolstered its team in Vietnam, following the departure of Dao Nguyen, by adding Quynh-Anh Lam and David Harrison from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Additional moves saw Le Net and a number of other members of local firm LCT Lawyers transfer to the now-defunct AGZI LCT, before founding LNT & Partners in 2013.
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