Taiwan Bullish On Vietnam Relationship

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Nov. 1 – Representatives from Vietnam and Taiwan recently met in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss trade opportunities in a variety of fields such as banking, food and real estate. The talks focused on the possibility of expanding trade and investment between the two countries as well as on bringing more Vietnamese workers to Taiwan.

Taiwan’s investment into Vietnam has slowed as of recently and both countries are eager to turn around this negative trend and see investment levels continue to increase.

According to Hoang Van Dung, first executive vice president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Taiwan is Vietnam’s third largest foreign investor. Bilateral trade between the two countries for 2012 was US$11 billion. Furthermore, in the past 20 years Taiwan’s total investment amount stands at US$30 billion invested into 2,260 projects (out of a total of US$300 billion in foreign investment into Vietnam).

Taiwan is the largest foreign employer of Vietnamese within Vietnam, with 1.4 million workers. Vietnam is also a major source of migrant labor for Taiwan, providing over 100,000 workers (22 percent of Vietnam’s total migrant workforce).

Taiwan is also pushing Vietnam to join the U.S. led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Taiwan believes that if Vietnam successfully becomes part of the TPP framework, then the country’s businesses that are planning to invest within Vietnam will be greatly helped.

According to Huang Chih-peng, Taiwan’s representative to Vietnam, there are more than 50,000 Taiwanese businesses with investments in Vietnam. These businesses are mainly operating within the manufacturing, breeding and aquaculture, textile and tea-planting industries.

Huang explained that Vietnam is an attractive place for investment because of its political stability, friendly people and rich resources. He also believes that as Vietnam’s property market begins to recover, the country’s steel industry should make a strong comeback.

Taiwanese textile manufacturers also expect to see strong growth in their industry once the TPP is ratified in Vietnam. With the approval of the TPP, textile manufacturers in Vietnam would be able to ship many of their products to the United States tariff free.

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