Vietnam is taking every opportunity to grow its economy and improve the living standard. This is not a vain dream since Vietnam has young and plentiful work force. That is why multinational companies wish to come and set up company in Vietnam.
The year 2015 marked the 40 years since the war end and the 20 years of normalized the relationship between Vietnam and the US. Vietnam began the process of innovation since 1986 but not until 1995, foreign investment in Vietnam began to flow in when the Government established formal diplomatic relations with the United States and joined the National Association of the South East Asia (ASEAN).
In recent years, foreign investment in Vietnam has accelerated. The Korean company is particularly excited with this market. Samsung Electronics is operating and building three plants at three locations – Ho Chi Minh City, Thai Nguyen and Bac Ninh. In total, this giant electronic corporation has poured more than USD 10 billion in Vietnam.
Vietnam is also expected soon to welcome a “wave” of investment from the US. The Procter & Gamble (P&G) – a consumer goods manufacturer is building a factory in Binh Duong with the cost of 100 million USD. The plant will produce Gillette razors.
Since starting operations in Vietnam in 2008, Intel is also pouring money into this market. This semiconductor giant is planning to manufacture in Vietnam the most of advanced processor for personal computers in the future.
Moreover, other big names come from the US that are expanding operations in Vietnam are Starbucks and McDonald’s. They opened their first store here in December 2013 and February 2014.
There are a number of factors that make foreign investment in Vietnam explode. One of the most important reasons is the low labor cost. Labor cost hikes in China are the reason why many multinational manufacturers turned their attention to Vietnam where the cost is 50% cheaper. Besides, the purchasing power of Vietnam consumer is increasing, inflation has been curbed and many easing regulations to boost growth are also the reason why continuous investments are poured tin..
However, the biggest attraction for most foreign investors is the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) about free trade in which Vietnam is one of 12 countries that participate in negotiations. In mid of this year, General Secretary of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong will visit the United States. TPP agreement will be the main topic of the conversation with the US officials. If the two countries can reach an agreement, the US will become even more important partner of Vietnam’s economy in the future.
In a press conference in HCM city in January 2015, US Ambassador in Vietnam – Mr. Ted Osius was upbeat about the impact of the TPP to Vietnam economy and the US investment here. TPP agreement “will allow the US to become the number one investor and trading partner of Vietnam” he said.
In about 4.5 million Vietnamese living overseas, about 2 million are living in the US. In particular, many people have made a name in the business world. They are Mr. Henry Nguyen – who brought McDonald’s to Vietnam and Mr. David Thai – founder of Highlands coffee chain.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, approximately 180,000 companies in the United States are owned by Vietnamese, achieved a total revenue of 20 billion USD. Strengthening ties between the two countries could stimulate greater cash flow stream across the Pacific.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam is estimated to spend 500 billion USD in over 10 years to develop the infrastructure necessary for sustainable growth. However, Vietnam can only able to meet 40% of the above figure, through the Government budget, ODA and private capitals.
That is why the Government wants to attract FDI. The Vietnam Government has set a target to create an industrial economy by 2020. Six priority areas are agriculture, forestry and fisheries processing, agricultural machinery, electronics, shipbuilding, environmental and energy saving, automobile production.
The transition from growth based on FDI into industrial-based growth can be rather difficult. However, Vietnam has shown it is serious and is still on track.