HA NOI — Thai investments in Viet Nam now total a combined US$5.8 billion in 250 projects, moving Thailand into the ranks of the top ten sources of foreign investment in the country.
"Following the colossal floods in Thailand a few months ago, Thai investors are now looking for destinations to move their factories," said the chairman of the People's Committee of the southern provnice of Dong Nai, Dinh Quoc Thai, in an interview with the newspaper Lao Dong (Labour).
A large number of Thai companies were conducting market surveys in Viet Nam and considering establishing operations here, Thai said, predicting a substantial injection of investment from Thailand in the near future.
Some major Thai companies that have already invested in Viet Nam include the Charoen Pokphand Group, SCG Group and Amata Corporation. They operate in such sectors as agricultural products, pet food, retail, paper, plastics, chemicals and industrial zone construction and development.
The head of the management board of Binh Duong Industrial Zone, Tran Van Lieu, said that such factors as Viet Nam's cheap and abundant workforce, strong economic growth and large market have attracted many Thai investors, even as floods and rising costs in Thailand have cost them dearly.
In August 2011, the Royal Foods Co invested VND420 billion (US$20 million) into its second project to can food in the central province of Nghe An, following its first facility in the southern province of Tien Giang.
Last November, the Rayong Refinery Co and STFE put forward a proposal to build an oil refinery and thermoelectric power plant in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in the central province of Binh Dinh.
Other Thai companies making a move towards Viet Nam include Skhon Kaen, which specialises in manufacturing canned foods and sausages. Berli Jucker also has plans to build two plants in Viet Nam in the first half of this year to manufacture glass bottles and cans for the beverage industry.
At a recent event on economic promotion between the two nations, commercial counsellor Nguyen Thanh Hung introduced Viet Nam's investment policies and described some of the advantages of investing in the country. Hung said bilateral trade had strongly developed in recent years, totalling $9.3 billion last year.
Tourism was a particularly strong area, with significant numbers of visitors travelling between both countries, he said. — VNS