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|Dairy factory Driftwood of Vinamilk in the US.|
Analysis by the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that overseas investment capital of Vietnamese enterprises has increased rapidly from US$350 million in 2017 to $432 million in 2018 and nearly $500 million in 2019. The total overseas investment of Vietnamese enterprises so far has exceeded $22 billion.
Last year alone, 148 new projects were granted licenses with total investment capital of nearly $400 million and 29 times that existing projects adjusted investment capital with additional capital of more than $100 million. Of which, wholesale, retail and repair of automobiles, motorbikes and engine-driven vehicles sector attracted most investment with $118.2 million, accounting for 25.8 percent of total investment. The rest mainly concentrated on sectors that Vietnam is having any advantages in global market, such as agro-forestry-aquatic sector with $65.6 million, accounting for 14.3 percent.
Real estate trading activities also accounted for a large proportion of investment capital with investment capital reaching $59.3 million, accounting for 12.9 percent when Vietnamese enterprises have started to spread to neighboring markets. Remarkably, although Vietnam has not been highly recognized for high-tech development, total investment capital in science and technology in foreign countries has reached $60 million, accounting for 13.1 percent.
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Regarding this matter, Ms. Bui Thi Huong, CEO of Vinamilk, shared that in 2013 the company bought 70 percent stake of the US plant, Driftwood. After that, it invested $10 million more and raised its ownership ratio in the plant to 100 percent. After five years, total revenue of Vinamilk from the Driftwood factory exceeded $116.2 million by 2018.
In addition, Vinamilk is holding 100 percent stake of Angkor dairy factory in Cambodia, 22.8 percent stake of Miraka dairy factory in New Zealand and has some subsidiaries in Poland. Currently, dairy products of Vinamilk have been exported to 50 countries with export turnover of nearly $2.5 billion.
The fact that Vietnamese enterprises invest abroad not only has helped to expand consumption market share but also offered opportunities to quickly change production technology and approach science and technology of developed countries in the world. On the other hand, investing abroad helps Vietnamese enterprises to improve competitiveness as they will avoid tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers that many countries have been putting up, especially amid the context that several countries have signed free trade agreements with each other. Especially, it will help Vietnamese enterprises to get the most out of the advantages to develop national specific products.
However, according to the representative of the Food and Foodstuff Association of Ho Chi Minh City, overseas investment activities of Vietnamese enterprises are considered to contain many risks and challenges because of the gap in culture, law and environment between Vietnam and other countries. These will possibly lead to trade and investment disputes, affecting the interests of Vietnamese enterprises./.