Vietnamese interest peaking in United States

April 25, 2022 | 10:00
Vietnamese outbound investments in the United States are expected to blossom in the months to come on the back of an economic reopening.
Vietnamese interest peaking in United States
In just a short time, Vingroup’s automobile arm, VinFast, is already making waves in the United States, Le Toan

The US Mission to Vietnam is expected to lead a delegation of local investors to Washington, D.C. in June for the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit, hoping to bring opportunities to connect with investment promotion organisations and investment service providers in more than 45 states and territories throughout the US.

The event is the number one business investment event in the US and will serve as a forum for Vietnamese businesses to learn about the American investment environment, policies, trends, and incentives.

On April 14, more than 75 Vietnamese investors participated in the “Invest in the USA” seminar in Ho Chi Minh City to learn about the opportunities and benefits of investing in the US. The seminar provided Vietnamese businesses with guidance on US legal, tax, and visa considerations for foreign investors as well as Vietnam’s legal requirements for outbound investments.

US consul general Marie Damour said, “We are proud that the US remains a top destination for foreign investment. For Vietnamese investors considering the US, there is no better place to connect this year than this summit in June, which is the United States’ marquee event dedicated to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).”

Vietnam sent the largest delegation of 35 investors from the ASEAN region in 2019 and, this year, the number may be higher thanks to the reopening of economies following a restrictive past couple of years.

The US is one of the most appealing destinations for Vietnamese investors in recent years, and more opportunities are heading to the states of Michigan, North Carolina, and Utah.

The $4 billion investment by private conglomerate Vingroup in establishing a facility in the US to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries is one of the outstanding examples of Vietnamese outbound investment, and an example of the current US economic strategy at work.

VinFast, which began operations in 2019, is betting big on the US market, where it hopes to compete with legacy automakers and startups with two all-electric sport utility vehicles and a battery leasing model that will reduce the purchase price.

The company has said it plans to begin construction of the plant as soon as permits are granted with a goal of starting production by 2024.

The US remained the world’s largest recipient of FDI last year thanks to its large consumer base, a predictable and transparent justice system, a productive workforce, highly developed infrastructure, and a business environment that fosters innovation.

As shown in statistics from Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, Laos remains the largest recipient of Vietnam’s outbound investment capital among a total of 78 countries and territories receiving Vietnam’s investment. The US comes next, followed by China, South Korea, and Japan.

In the first quarter of 2022, Vietnam’s outbound investment rose by 28.5 per cent on-year. Laos received the largest share of Vietnam’s investment with $64.3 million, accounting for 30.4 per cent of the total, followed by the US with $34.5 million making up 16.3 per cent.

As of March 20, Vietnam had invested an accumulated over $1.06 billion in 208 projects in the US. They focus on sci-tech, real estate, retail, automobiles, and processing and manufacturing.

In Vietnam, US groups are increasing investment. Marisa Lago, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, said that capital from the US is expected to flow more strongly into the digital economy, green energy, and healthcare. “We are working on a plan to bring American businesses in the medical field to Vietnam. We are also ready to introduce leading US corporations into the energy sector.”

The US has nearly 1,150 operating projects in Vietnam with the total registered capital of more than $10.3 billion, ranking 11th out of 141 economies investing in Vietnam. Many other US firms are also performing well in Vietnam, such as AES, GE, Cargill, Coca-Cola, and Intel, with billions of US dollars already invested. For example, Intel poured an additional $475 million into the country. Other major US investments in Vietnam include $1 billion from First Solar, and Hayward Quartz Technology’s $110 million for a high-tech park in the central city of Danang.

By Bich Thuy

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