Vietnam’s investors foray into African markets

August 25, 2011 | 21:07
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Vietnamese investors are pumping into African markets, which are offering many preferential policies to attract foreign investment flows.
African trainees attend a training course at a wood processing plant of the Truong Thanh Furniture Corporation

Furniture maker Truong Thanh has inked an agreement with South Africa to make strong investments in the African country.

The Vietnamese enterprise has finished the training course for 21 trainees from the African country.

“At the outset, we planned to hold the course in three months,” says Vo Truong Thanh, general director of Binh Duong Province-based firm.

“But then we gave those foreign trainees two more months as they would become the major staffs of our factories in South Africa.”

Under the agreement, Truong Thanh’s wood processing plants in South Africa will create 300-1,000 jobs, while the amount of Vietnamese labors will make out 10 per cent of the total workforce.

Truong Thanh will build a wood processing plant with an investment of $30 million, grow 10,000 hectares of forests for materials and open show rooms in the African country, Thanh says.

Software developer FPT has signed a deal with Nigeria’s 21st Century Technologies to provide broadband and digital services and telecommunication solutions.

Military-run telecom Viettel has been granted license to provide mobile phone services in Mozambique.

Figures from the Africa, West and South Asia Markets Department (AWSAM) indicate that 13 investment projects have been carried out in seven African countries and territories, with the total registered investment of more than $777 million.

Vietnamese investors have invested in various sectors, including oil refining, telecommunication and wood processing.


Local investors are pumping into African countries including South Africa, Mozambique, Central African Republic and Nigeria, which are offering preferential policies to attract foreign investments, according to AWSAM.

Preferential policies have encouraged Vietnam’s furniture maker Truong Thanh to opt for building a wood processing plant and growing forest in South Africa, says general director Thanh.

“South Africa’s government offered us low-cost loans, which amount to 50 per cent of the total investment,” he says.

“It also gave us 30 per cent of the costs of equipments and covered the expense of training local employees for the wood processing plant.”

Statistics from the Vietnam General Department of Customs show Vietnam’s export to around 10 African countries was worth $2.1 billion in the first seven months of the year, a significant year-on-year increase of 209 per cent.

Among the main exported products are rice, seafood, textile and furniture.


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