Vietnam had huge potential as the government was seeking to replace traditional lights with eco-friendly and high-efficiency lights, said Alex Lee, managing director of Korean company Stavis Korea.
About 40 per cent of Vietnam’s entire electric power consumption is from lighting and the government has announced Vietnam would phase out incandescent lamps by 2016.
Lee said he knew foreign and domestic companies were cashing in on the trend. For example, Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical is making its first investments in Vietnam by establishing two production bases, one for the manufacture of silicone materials for high-brightness LED packaging and the other for the separation and refinement of rare earths used in the production of lighting products and household appliances for Shin-Etsu Magnetics Corp.
The former project, worth $38 million, is scheduled to start operations in March 2013 and the latter, a $26 million investment, in February 2013. The former is located in Thang Long Industrial Park in Hung Yen province near Hanoi, and the other in Dinh Vu Industrial Park in Haiphong City.
This is the first time that the Shin-Etsu Group is setting up production bases in Vietnam.
Another company, Degree Lighting Store from Thailand, is expanding its lifestyle lighting distribution business into Laos and Vietnam, after the opening of one outlet in Myanmar this December and four in Thailand this year.
Sirin Lertvorapreecha, managing director of the Thai firm, told Thai newspaper The Nation earlier this month that the expansion would cash in on the integration under the Asean Economic Community.
Lee, whose company Stavis Korea just organised the Lighting World Vietnam 2012 tradeshow in Ho Chi Minh City early December, said seeing Vietnam’s high potential in the industry, the firm launched Lighting World in Vietnam last year and planned to hold it in Malaysia next year.
One of the reasons Stavis selected Vietnam is the Vietnamese government has announced the urban lighting development objectives through 2025. Another reason is the advertising market is expanding strongly and advertising needs modern lighting. Meanwhile, the country’s Public Lighting Project is being implemented by the Ministry of Science and Technology between 2012 and 2016 with funding from the United Nations Development Programme and Global Network Facility (GEF), a major public funder of projects to improve the global environment.
Australian expatriate Peter Starr, a media consultant who used to live in Hong Kong and Japan for years, told VIR he currently saw Ho Chi Minh City as being like Hong Kong and Japan in that many LED signs and LED advertising boards were seen almost everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City.
Lee said many of lighting manufacturers and distributors in Vietnam were located in the city and nearby provinces. He added the country’s advertising industry was growing rapidly and preferring the LED/OLED technology, in such products as LED displays, car advertisement, SPIN TV and signs.
Lee added rapid urbanisation in Vietnam had created a huge market for street lighting, commercial and residential lighting. Meanwhile, traffic tunnels, highways and railways also contribute to Vietnam’s high demand for lighting.
Tian Ji An, deputy general director of Chinese-invested LED manufacturer Neo-Neon Vietnam, said the company set up the Vietnam arm in the northern province of Thai Binh in 2007 to pave the way for expansions to regional countries. It is operating four production facilities – the Vietnam one and three others in China, and has plans to expand the Thai Binh facility.
“We know the Prime Minister approved the 2012-2015 national programme on economical and effective use of energy this October. The programme aims to save 5-8 per cent the country’s total energy consumption, and Neo-Neon wants to cash in on this with our power-saving lighting products,” said Tian.
He added his group was the platinum sponsor at Lighting World 2012 Vietnam, where Vietnamese trade fair and advertising firm Vietfair is the local co-organiser.
Vietnamese company Quang Thang is another example of shifting to lighting. It was set up in 2001 as a garment exporter. In 2009, the southern Binh Duong province-based firm started to cooperate with Taiwanese LED manufacturers to import, assemble and distribute LED lights in Vietnam.
Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh from Quang Thang said her company already cashed in on public lighting, industrial lighting, decoration lighting and illumination in the garment sector and agriculture. It is introducing many other lighting products, including a LED light that absorbs carbon monoxide (CO), which is toxic to humans and animals, to convert to carbon dioxide (CO2), and absorbs smoke from smoking.
More than 90 exhibitors, both Vietnamese and foreign, joined Lighting World 2012 Vietnam at Tan Binh Exhibitions and Conventions Centre to show lighting devices, bulbs, components, parts and materials, as well as modern technologies.