Americans to pump in greener, high-tech capital

May 12, 2022 | 19:00
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Investment from the United States is expected to flow more strongly into Vietnam in the fields of digital economy, green energy, and healthcare.
Americans to pump in greener, high-tech capital
Inside an Amazon Web Services data center. The Group will build 10 more small data centers (Local Zones) in Vietnam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Photo: AWS

In the opinion of Marisa Lago, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce in charge of international trade, many US experts and the business community attached special importance to the Vietnamese market. Over 100 US experts are now ready to support businesses of the two countries in investing and promoting two-way trade. “We are working on a plan to bring US businesses in the medical field to Vietnam. We are also ready to introduce leading US corporations in the energy industry,” Lago said.

Many leading US corporations such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Intel have announced new investments in Vietnam in recent times. At a business summit in March, a representative of Ford Vietnam said the group plans to increase production capacity and recruit more workers this year, and a representative of ExxonMobil in Asia-Pacific said the company is speeding up the implementation of several gas-to-power projects in Vietnam.

Last year, Intel expanded its operation with an additional investment of $475 million, raising its funding in Vietnam to $1.5 billion. First Solar, one of the three largest energy corporations in the US, also decided to pour $1 billion into a project producing solar panels with thin-film technology. Hayward Quartz Technology INC from Silicon Valley, meanwhile, invested $110 million in Danang Hi-Tech Park in the central city of Danang. Universal Alloy Corporation, which manufactures electronic devices for aeroplanes built by Boeing and Airbus, has made an investment of $170 million in the park, and plans further expansion in the coming years.

Commenting on the investment climate of Vietnam, Sai Ramana Ponugoti, general director of P&G Vietnam Group, reaffirmed that the national economy has been recovering quickly, as well as the trust and confidence of numerous foreign investors thanks to the effective implementation of the country’s vaccination programme.

The group will continue to invest and transform the Vietnamese factory into a large production hub and export its products to several countries around the world, according to Ponugoti.

Last year, the US became Vietnam’s largest export market - with an estimated turnover of $96.29 billion, while Vietnam has become America’s ninth-largest trading partner.

A survey on business investment by the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) last November showed that nearly 80 per cent of its members rated very positively or positively the medium and long-term prospects in the Vietnamese market.

“The growth in trade and investment between the two countries will be maintained and accelerated in the coming time. The fact that the Vietnamese government is constantly improving the business environment and removing difficulties for investors is a prerequisite for American businesses to bring capital to Vietnam,” said Adam Sitkoff, executive director of AmCham in Hanoi.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), there are untapped opportunities for Vietnam and the US to cement and then foster two-way cooperation.

“The strength of US investors in finance, advanced technology, international markets, and good business administration skills are in line with Vietnamese policies on investment attraction with focuses on projects in the fields of hi-tech industries, research and development (R&D), and other projects which could help Vietnamese enterprises deeply participate in global value chains; promote the digital economy and actively contribute to ensuring national sustainable socioeconomic development,” said Do Nhat Hoang, director general of the FIA.

In the opinion of experts from the Vietnam Association of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), to attract more investments from the US, Vietnam should continue to improve its macro-economy, control inflation, and speed up administrative reform so as to better facilitate US investors. They said it was necessary for Vietnam to coordinate with the US in researching and developing specific policies on foreign investment attraction, especially from multinational companies with strengths in capital, technology, management capacities, research and development, competitiveness, and market penetration.

In the near future, the country could lure investments from US companies in two ways, including implementing large, high-tech projects for exports and creating favourable conditions for multinational companies to build R&D centres, as well as technology incubators associated with human resources training in Vietnam, in addition to making full use of US strengths like finance and banking, energy, hi-tech, infrastructure, supporting industries, processing, and manufacturing.

By Hara Nguyen

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