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The New China?

Open and ready for business, Vietnam may prove to be Asia's new up-and-comer.

This story appears in the February 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Patrick Kruse realized he'd have to manufactureoffshore if he wanted to remain competitive, he started with .That gave him the labor cost savings he needed, but quality wassorely lacking. "We actually had to refuse some shipments,which really hurt our ," says the 45-year-old founderof Ruff WearInc., a Bend, Oregon-based maker of dog booties and othercanine gear with $2 million in 2005 sales.

Another entrepreneur suggested Kruse check out , andprovided a referral to a factory owner there. When Kruse visited,he found a booming sewing industry catering to European buyers,which had developed during the years when Vietnam was on the outswith U.S. trade policy. Kruse noticed that many of the factories inHo Chi Minh City specialized in backpacks, climbing gear and otherproducts similar to the performance canine apparel and equipmentRuff Wear sold.

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