H1 FDI rockets in HCMC

July 01, 2014 | 08:34
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This year’s first half saw foreign direct investment inflows to Ho Chi Minh City more than double to almost $1.08 billion year-on-year.

A 50,000DWT container vessel berths at Saigon Premier Container Terminal after navigating Ho Chi Minh City’s
newly-opened passage, Photo: Tuong Thuy

At the latest investment certificate granting ceremony, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan said the first-half performance showed foreign investors’ confidence in the southern economic hub’s business climate and their commitment to long-term business.

He added that the city would continue to take measures to ensure transparency in administrative procedures and security for investors, while providing them with further assistance through the availability of an adequate infrastructure system and proper human resources training.

During the first half of the year, the $1.08 billion went towards 169 new projects with the total registered capital of $967 million, and $110 million went into 53 existing projects.

Quan presented the five latest investment certificates to foreign-invested projects with $220 million in the combined capital. The investments were from Japan, Germany and Hong Kong. Among them was the $39 million German House project in District 1, designed to provide a collective home for all German institutions operating in the city and for interested German entrepreneurs. The current German Consulate General in District 3 will also be relocated to the building.

Another investment certificate went to Japanese leading retailer Aeon for construction of a $128.5 million shopping mall inside private Hoa Lam-Shangri-La Healthcare Park in Binh Tan District. This plans to be Aeon’s fourth largest mall in Vietnam. The first, Aeon Tan Phu Celadon, also located in Ho Chi Minh City, opened this January. The second aims to be inaugurated in adjoining Binh Duong province this November. Aeon is set to open the third, located in Hanoi, next year.

Aeon Vietnam also received an investment certificate to add $43.3 million to its total investment capital for Aeon Tan Phu, which now totals $235.7 million. The Japanese corporation, which is ramping up its investment in overseas expansion, has poured $512 million into Vietnam over the past four years, said Aeon Vietnam general director Yasuo Nishitohge.

The fourth investment certificate went to Hong Kong shoe and bag maker Freetrend Industrial A to put an additional $8 million into its already operating factory at the city’s Linh Trung Export Processing Zone, raising its total investment capital to $58.2 million. The company was affected by violent protests in mid-May due to China’s illegal stationing of an oil rig in Vietnamese territorial waters, but was not dissuaded from increasing its investment. 

Meanwhile, Japanese company Nikkenseimitsu was permitted to set up its Vietnam precision engineering arm with $711,000 in investment, located in the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone.

Nikkenseimitsu’s senior managing director Takashi Sakakibara said this investment was expected to increase in the next two years, direct towards mainly mechanics, machinery manufacturing, and automobile components. He added that his firm had decided to invest in Ho Chi Minh City, as it offered a good business investment climate with favourable policies and an abundant labour force.

Quan said the metropolis reported GDP growth of 8.2 per cent in the first half of 2014, higher than the 7.9 per cent seen in the same period last year. He added that the city had just inaugurated its second navigation channel for supramax 50,000DWT vessels to dock at the city’s Saigon Premier Container Terminal in Nha Be District. This is a new chapter for the city’s seaport operations, multimodal transport capability and logistics. The city also has plans to further dredge the channel to make it deep enough for container vessels up to 70,000 DWT to call on the port.

By By Tuong Thuy

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