Singaporean investment in Vietnam has kept on a steady growth momentum over the past years. Phan Huu Thang, former head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, discussed with VIR the movements in Singaporean investment and the future prospects ahead.
What main trends affected Singaporean investment in Vietnam over the past years?
Looking back on the 30-year foreign investment journey in Vietnam, Singapore has been among the largest foreign investors in Vietnam with a number of large-scale projects such as the Vietnam-Singapore shipping joint venture GEMATRANS, Hoang Gia Hotel, and others. At the time, they had an important role in luring other foreign-invested projects in industrial park development, real estate, and shipping in Vietnam. Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) is a prime example of the meaning and influence of these first projects. VSIP is now present in many cities and provinces, including Bac Ninh, and Haiphong.
Singaporean investment in Vietnam has continued to grow. In the first seven months of 2019, Singapore registred over $2.3 billion worth of capital, over $942 million of which came from 139 newly-licensed projects, over $386 million from 54 capital expansion projects, and over $1 billion from 325 stake acquisitions. As of July 20, 2019, Singapore invested an accumulated total registered capital of more than $45.3 billion in 2,287 projects, making it one of the top 10 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
Which are the most attractive sectors to Singaporean investors in Vietnam?
As of July 20, 2019, Singapore invested in 18 sectors in Vietnam. In terms of capital, processing and manufacturing attracted the most attention with accumulated total registered capital of over $21 billion and 592 projects, followed by real estate with accumulated total registered capital of more than $15.1 billion and 156 projects.
Regarding the number of projects, processing and manufacturing ranks the first. The runners-up are retail and wholesale; automobile and motorbike repairing with 436 projects; and sci-tech with 364 projects.
The figures show that the processing and manufacturing and property are the most attractive for powerful Singaporean firms in Vietnam. The others, having a large number of projects of smaller scale are popular among smaller Singaporean investors.
What do you think about the prospects of Vietnamese-Singaporean investment in the future?
Investment and trade co-operation prospects are very bright. Vietnam, with its much-improved and highly competitive business climate, is a potential market for Singaporean firms. The two economies have huge potential to supplement each other in commodities and high-quality services from Singapore. Another major point is that they have common benefits from building an ASEAN region of peace, stability, and prosperity.
By Bich Thuy
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