European financial group SEB eyes expansion in Vietnam

January 21, 2024 | 09:53
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SEB Group, a prominent European financial services group with a history dating back to 1856, has recently expressed significant interest in extending its business operations to the Vietnamese market.
European financial group SEB eyes expansion in Vietnam

The group, known for its status as the largest bank in Northern Europe by market capitalisation, boasts a commanding asset base nearing $339 billion.

On January 17, Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of SEB Group, along with his colleagues, expressed deep admiration and were profoundly impressed by Vietnam's development achievements, acknowledging the country’s increasing role both regionally and globally.

"Vietnam’s integration process and economic achievements have been remarkable," stated Wallenberg. "It's an important destination for our future investments."

The sentiment was echoed in the plans laid out by the group.

In the immediate term, SEB aims to organise a Northern European Business Conference in Hanoi, while actively seeking to engage with various Vietnamese ministries and departments to explore further investment opportunities.

Wallenberg disclosed that SEB's annual events typically draw 70-80 Northern European enterprises, but the upcoming Vietnam conference has seen over 100 businesses register, a testament to the country's growing international allure.

"The overwhelming response to the conference in Vietnam underscores the country's magnetic pull in the global business arena," Wallenberg added.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has invited SEB to partake in the Vietnamese financial market, building upon the already robust relationship between Vietnam and Sweden.

“We are eager to see SEB’s participation in our financial market, further strengthening the amicable Vietnam-Sweden relations,” PM Chinh remarked.

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden and the first Swedish PM to visit Vietnam in the 1990s, is currently advising SEB. He shared his aspirations to facilitate and advance economic, trade, and investment cooperation between the two nations.

“The potential for economic collaboration between Vietnam and Sweden is immense, and we are keen to explore these opportunities,” Bildt noted.

Praising SEB's past achievements, PM Chinh welcomed the group’s expansion plans. He suggested that the upcoming business conference could serve as a catalyst for investment promotion, linking Vietnamese and Northern European enterprises, especially in sectors like the green and digital transformation, the circular economy, and the energy transition.

Furthermore, the prime minister encouraged SEB to consider hosting events at Vietnam's renowned World Heritage sites and the National Innovation Centre to foster deeper connections between Swedish and Northern European companies with their Vietnamese counterparts in science, technology, and innovation.

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