United States sets sights on Vietnamese investment

March 30, 2021 | 19:42
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US capital inflows to Vietnam are expected to grow this year following the high hopes set on vaccination and upcoming direct flights between both countries.
united states sets sights on vietnamese investment
Intel has added to its already-substantial $1 billion investment into manufacturing in Vietnam, photo Le Toan

In January, Intel Corporation announced a further $475 million in Intel Products Vietnam (IPV). This new investment comes in addition to Intel’s $1 billion investment to build a state-of-the-art chip assembly and test manufacturing facility in Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), that was first announced in 2006. This takes Intel’s total investment in its Vietnam facility to $1.5 billion.

“As of the end of 2020, Intel Products Vietnam has shipped more than two billion units to customers worldwide. We’re very proud of this milestone, which shows both how important IPV is to helping Intel meet the needs of its customers all around the world, and why we continue to invest in our facilities and team here in Vietnam,” said Kim Huat Ooi, vice president of manufacturing and operations and general manager of IPV.

Last year, despite the impact of the pandemic, IPV posted a record export turnover of $13.1 billion, accounting for 70 per cent of SHTP’s export value. The additional investment of $475 million helped enhance manufacturing of Intel’s 5G products, Intel® Core™ processors with Intel® Hybrid Technology and 10th Gen Intel Core processors.

“The implementation of new technologies aims to serve the production, assembly, and testing of Intel products, thereby expanding the portfolio of our made-in-Vietnam products,” Ooi said.

With a total capital of $1.5 billion, IPV is the largest assembly and test manufacturing facility in the Intel assembly and test network. It has more than 2,700 employees and serves customers around the world. IPV is one of 10 manufacturing sites that Intel has globally and remains the largest US high-tech investment in Vietnam.

According to a VIR source, Intel is likely to announce another investment this year within the framework of its activities to celebrate its 15th anniversary in Vietnam.

Commenting on the expansion of US investors, Mary Tarnowka, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (AmCham) said at a recent investment conference in Ho Chi Minh City that Vietnam is one of the only countries in the world that experienced positive growth in 2020, and where American companies like Intel and First Solar could operate continuously. AmCham members are immensely grateful and support through contributions of medical equipment, and fully-equipped ambulances.

“Now, we would like to ensure equitable access to vaccines for foreigners in Vietnam, while expediting travel procedures for foreign residents to travel and return with streamlined testing, renewal of visas, and residence cards; as well as facilitating entry of foreign investors, technical experts, and as vaccinations roll out,” Tarnowka said.

“We strongly recommend Vietnam to provide and facilitate a streamlined process, with shortened quarantine period for short-term business travellers to consider investment opportunities, conclude deals, and sign contracts.”

The prospects of US investments in Vietnam seem bright thanks to Vietnam Airlines’ latest plans to open a direct flight from Vietnam to the US this year, which will facilitate more American investors to grab new opportunities in the post-pandemic era.

According to the AmCham representative, US technology companies and startups are eager to invest in Vietnam, as well as partner with domestic companies, to drive the next generation of economic growth, including fintech, AI, and other technologies.

These companies are well-positioned to help build clean energy and smart city infrastructure facilities needed for sustainable growth, as well as expanding supply chains in Vietnam.

As of February, the US is Vietnam’s 11th-largest investor with the total investment capital of $9.53 billion across 1,083 projects, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Major US corporations such as Apple, Intel, Universal Alloy Corporation, Ford, and Key Tronic EMS have already ramped up production lines in Vietnam.

By Thanh Van

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