February 01, 2016.
Thanks to improvements in Vietnam’s investment environment US firms are planning to implement more major investment projects.
According to the 2016 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey conducted by the Amcham Singapore and the US Chamber of Commerce over 500 senior business executives representing US firms in the ASEAN markets, 84% expected to make profits in Vietnam in 2016. Vietnam was also voted second most attractive market for future investment as voted by 37% of the respondents, after Indonesia (41%). According to the survey 76% of respondents said Vietnam was more favourable for investment than other Asian nations and 50% said it was more favourable than western nations. A large percentage of those surveyed also stated that they had a regional strategy based on the ASEAN Economic Community.
According to Bower Group Asia and the Vietnam Investment Review (January 25th 2016), several US firms are seeking investment in the IT and consumer goods sectors, with expected investment capital of over US$ 1 billion. According to Bower Group Asia1 Coca Cola is planning a further US$ 300 million of investment, in addition to its existing US$ 700 million, Jabil, the world’s third largest electronic equipment maker is planning a US$ 500 million expansion of its US$ 200 million facility.
According to the US Department of State2 “Vietnam’s attractiveness, as a foreign direct investment destination, has grown as the country has made key legal and business reforms”. “Other draws include Vietnam’s stable political system, its strategic location, near global supply chains and an abundant labour force that is significantly cheaper than China.
Whilst Bower Group Asia reported that the potential investors have been waiting for the leadership changes to be determined I do not expect that the changes that have been announced will have any significant impact on investment plans.
As these are my last insights before Tet (Lunar New Year) I would like to acknowledge and thank our new U.S. content partner, VietnamAdvisors for their cooperation and publishing Grant Thornton Vietnam articles to the American investment audience. I wish everyone a Happy and prosperous Year of the Monkey – Chuc Mung Nam Moi.