Covid-proof Vietnam launches showcase to attract Thai investors

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): Vietnam launched a push to attract Thai investors on Tuesday (Jan 27), touting its status as one of the few economies that grew in 2020.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok showcased a “Golden Opportunity for Thai Investors in Vietnam", hosted by the Thai-Vietnam Business Council and Vietnam’s Amata VN Plc.

Vietnam’s Ambassador to Thailand Phan Chi Thanh affirmed that his country’s economy had expanded 2.91 per cent last year in the teeth of Covid-19, thanks to its early control measures.

Vietnam's GDP growth from 2016-2020 averaged 5.9 per cent, among the highest growth in the world.

Its outlook for 2021 is also bright, with GDP of 6.5 to 7 per cent expected by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank.

"Factors contributing to large investment in Vietnam were high political stability, abundant labour, a big market size of up to 100 million people, and strategic connectivity to Asean, China and the world markets," said the ambassador.

These factors had made Vietnam a target destination for investors from more than 132 countries. Thailand currently ranks ninth for foreign direct investment in Vietnam with 603 FDI projects totalling about US$13 billion (Bt390 billion).

Tuesday’s showcase heard the investment climate in Vietnam for the next five years is expected to get even brighter as the country embarks on a new Social and Economic Development Strategy for 2021-2030 and Five Year Plan (2021-2025).

"Vietnam is still a destination for foreign investment, including Thailand, because it is a large and growing market," noted Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat.

However, he said the success of Thai investments in Vietnam over the next few years depended on continuation of the current investment policy and support by the Vietnamese government, as well as Vietnam's economic growth.

The ability of Thai businesses and investors in Vietnam to collaborate and unify with each other will be the key to future growth and survival, he added.

Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai-Vietnam Business Council, said the Vietnamese market has high purchasing power thanks to its large working-age population and low level of household debt.

Also, its export volume has grown rapidly.

Last year, Vietnam recorded $281.5 billion in exports with a positive trade balance of $19.1 billion thanks to its 17 trade agreements.

At the same time, Vietnam offers tax incentives and other benefits to ease business, promote investments, construct public infrastructures, he said.

Said Somhatai Panichewa, director and CEO of industrial estate developer Amata VN (AMATAV): “We believe in the growth of Vietnam, which is why we have been in Vietnam for more than 26 years [running] six projects totalling 2,500 hectares [15,625 rai] with investment capital of about $840 million or about Bt27.2 billion." - The Nation/Asia News Network

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