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Singapore and Vietnam promote investment ties

The trading and investment relationship between Vietnamese and Singaporean businesses has much room to develop, which will be addressed in the coming time.

 

“Singapore has the edge in capital and technology, while Vietnam has natural and human resources, which is a heaven-sent match to improve trading and investment between our/the two countries,” said Dang Xuan Quang, deputy director of the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment at the Vietnam – Singapore Business Forum 2016 (VSBF) in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

More than 200 business leaders, government representatives, and experts met at the forum to discuss ways to strengthen trade and investment, especially in light of the two countries joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

“Vietnam is now an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). In the first half of this year, the country saw the total newly registered and expanded capital of $11.3 billion, an increase of 105.4 per cent compared to the same period of last year,” Quang said.

The first half of the year also saw more than $7.25 billion in FDI being disbursed in the country. This figure is expected to reach $15 billion by the end of this year, a record-high in Vietnam so far.

“Vietnam is given priority in the fields of high tech and environmental protection. We have also issued a separate decree to regulate private-public partnerships, to encourage the private sector to invest in infrastructure development,” Quang told the forum’s participants.

According to VCCI’s Deputy Chairman Doan Duy Khuong, VSBF is a practical platform for businesses to promote international economic integration, since both countries have become members of the TPP and AEC.

Business lines found exciting by enterprises from the two countries were also discussed, such as financial services, manufacturing and processing, real estate development as well as tourism, and hotel development.

Leow Siu Lin, Singaporean consul in Ho Chi Minh City, said that Vietnam remained one of the top investment destinations for Singaporean companies.

“Singaporean businesses take a long-term approach when making foreign investments and acknowledge Vietnam’s strong foundations, which include a demographic advantage, given its young, skilled, and growing labour force and rich endowment of arable land, mineral wealth, and oil and gas resources,” Lin added.

Koh Chong Yu, director of International Enterprise Singapore in Ho Chi Minh City, added that not only Singaporean enterprises focus on the Vietnamese market, but international groups headquartered in Singapore were also looking for investment opportunities in the region, including Vietnam.

“Singaporean enterprises are willing to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in different sectors, such as services, oil and gas, and tourism—all of which contain incredible potential. They [Singapore enterprises] are also keen to support Vietnamese enterprises in integrating into the global supply chain, especially now that the two countries joined the TPP,” Yu confirmed.

As of April 2016, Singapore was the third largest investor in Vietnam, after South Korea and Japan, with a cumulative investment volume of $36.3 billion disbursed in more than 1,600 projects.

The key investment areas are services (ports, logistics, and healthcare), manufacturing, industry, and real estate.

“Many of our companies, such as Sembcorp, Mapletree, Keppel Land, Ascendas, and CapitaLand, to name but a few, have longstanding investments in Vietnam and continue to look for opportunities to expand their operations,“ said Lin.

By Bich Ngoc

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