July 7 – Work has begun on what will be Vietnam's largest steel plant, part of a US$7.9 billion complex that will include a deep-sea port, Thanh Nien reported Monday.
The complex, located in central Ha Tinh province and run by Taiwan-based Formosa Heavy Industries Corp., will be Vietnam’s largest steel production facility when it is completed, with an expected annual capacity of 7.5 million tons.
The plant is expected to take four years to complete and cost an estimated US$7.87 billion. The project is the largest foreign direct investment Vietnam has seen and when completed, will employ around 10,000 locals.
HCMC, April 14 – Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) leaders met with Ho Chi Minh City businesses last week to evaluate economic opportunities and express their strong desire to help the French invest in Vietnam, as well as to boost bilateral trade between France and Vietnam.
Acknowledging that France already had a strong business presence in Vietnam, Christian Pepineau, the VP of CCIP, stated that Vietnam had some of the best long-term prospects for medium-sized French companies, offering low-priced but high quality human and natural resources, and a large market of over 80 million people.
Mar. 28 – Vietnam’s General Statistics Office (GSO) just reported a first quarter total industrial output of US$10.2 billion for the first quarter of 2008.
The figure represents a 16.3 percent increase over the first quarter of 2007. Vietnam’s private sector enjoyed the greatest gains, jumping 22.5 percent to US$3.5 billion –worth of production value.
The foreign-invested segment saw a 17 percent gain, while the State-owned sector managed 6.7 percent of growth. Processing and energy production, related industries, climbed a healthy 18 percent.
Officials from both Ha Tinh’s People’s Committee and the Vung Ang Economic Area Board met with businessmen in Ho Chi Minh City last Saturday to attract investment.
Two breakthroughs are expected to lure heavy investment to the area: an administrative resolution that will grant certificates five days after investors apply for projects there, and the ability to receive 150,000-ton ships in its deepwater seaport.
Mar. 19 – Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Danh Vinh has revealed a move to expand foreign business trade and distribution rights.
The expansion would be granted through an amendment to a circular regulating foreign business and investment in Vietnam. Currently, the circular permits foreign companies and importers only one national distributor for any merchandise in a given category of products. The restriction has drawn criticism from the European Commission.
Vietnam has exceeded China to become the most attractive destination for investment in production while the United Arab Emirates surpasses India to become an ideal place for investment in services, according new survey of emerging markets by Price Waterhouse Coopers.
According to The Sunday Times, the index assesses 20 prominent emerging-market locations on the basis of “reward” factors, including production costs, size of market, taxes, transport costs and tariffs, and “risk” factors, largely defined by bond-market risk premiums.