Dominant APEC investors
The Bac Ninh People’s Committee will soon issue the investment certificate to expand Samsung Display in Yen Phong Industrial Park. With the addition of this project, South Korean FDI in Vietnam has reached $53 billion, a number unthinkable a few years ago.
The great speed at which Samsung has increased its investments in Vietnam has attracted other South Korean companies to follow in suit. FDI from South Korea has made up a significant portion of FDI from APEC countries.
According to numbers from the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as of the end of 2016, apart from Peru, Papua New Guinea, and Chile which do not yet have any projects in Vietnam, the other 17 APEC members have already entered the country, registering a total of $230 billion, making up 78.5 per cent of the total FDI flows into Vietnam in the past 30 years.
Notably, of the Top 10 biggest investors in Vietnam, besides British Virgin Islands ranking 5th, the remaining nine spots belong to APEC members.
(Source: the Foreign Investment Agency)
Together, the nine top FDI providers from the APEC provided $209.3 billion, accounting for 91 per cent of the total APEC investment in Vietnam, and 71 per cent of total FDI in the country.
Not only ranking top of the chart in terms of value, FDI projects from APEC countries, such as projects by Samsung (South Korea), Intel (US), Honda (Japan), and Sembcorp (Singapore) have also made big contributions to the socioeconomic development of Vietnam.
Visiting the complexes of Samsung in Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, and Ho Chi Minh City, and Vietnam Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) from north to south Vietnam, the factories of Honda, Microsoft, and General Electric, along with other big names, one can see the strong economic ties between APEC members and Vietnam. Vietnam has gained huge benefits since becoming a member of the APEC in 1998.
On February 18, the first Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) will open in Nha Trang. The meetings, to be held between February 18 and March 3, are the first official activities of APEC 2017.
Hosting the conference, Vietnam is looking at a rare opportunity to push FDI from APEC members to grow even faster. In 2006, when Vietnam also hosted the APEC, tens of agreements and contracts were signed with other member states, valued at billions of dollars. A good example would be the 10 cooperation agreements with China, valued over $3 billion.
At the Trade and Investment Promotion Forum in 2006, eight cooperation agreements and contracts between Vietnamese companies and foreign counterparts were signed, with a total value of almost $2 billion.
In the following years, FDI from APEC jumped both in terms of amount and quality.
Truong Dinh Tuyen, former Minister of Trade, said he placed a lot of hope on APEC 2017. “APEC 2006 was nothing short of a miracle to trade and investment activities in Vietnam, changing the country for the better and has become the basis for Vietnam to continue attracting investments from APEC members,” he said.
“APEC 2017 is a golden opportunity for Vietnamese companies to connect more with APEC partners,” said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
FDI into Vietnam from APEC countries is expected to continue growing because many APEC companies have come to Vietnam looking for opportunities.
Plenty of networking opportunities in APEC 2017
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and industry (VCCI) was assigned by the government to organise activities concerning the business community in the framework of APEC 2017. VCCI chairman Vu Tien Loc talked to VIR’s Khanh An about how these activities will help companies explore opportunities and find partners.
Will Vietnamese companies have the chance to promote themselves to potential international partners?
Vietnamese companies will enjoy a lot of benefits from APEC 2017. The activities organised by VCCI are designed for companies not only to promote themselves to potential international partners, but to join directly and expand their horizon, build relationships at the CEO level, and spark novel business ideas.
For example, the CEO Summit, hosting the dialogue between leaders of the APEC economies and companies, will allow them to discuss global economic policy as well as corporate governance trends in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
Companies should also look up the business support programmes of the APEC, such as the Boracay Action Agenda for micro, small, and medium-sized companies to join the global market in 2015-2020, the APEC business travel card, the training programme for companies in special fields, such as export safety, new logistics services, financial security, and supply chain.
What image of Vietnam does VCCI want to convey to international companies this time?
Through the trade and investment promotion forum we will organise, we hope to convey the message that Vietnam is a good destination for business.
We have asked the 63 cities and provinces to join in the activities so that APEC 2017 will be a chance for all of them, not only those that host activities. We are working with international partners to build a dossier introducing the investment potential of each locality, to be handed out to international investors.
We will hold business-to-business meetings upon request. We have also contacted some well-known faces in the startup community to talk to startups in Vietnam. We will also hold a forum for women entrepreneurs from the APEC. We may tream the events live, so that more people can join.
APEC 2006 gave a push to Vietnam’s economic growth. This time, we hope that domestic companies will integrate deeper into the global economy.