Three of Thailand’s largest corporate groups have proposed retail and industrial projects in Vietnam that could increase the kingdom’s investment in the Asean nation by up to 500%.
According to the the VietnamNet website, top executives at PTT Plc, the Central Group and Amata Corp Plc have proposed to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung projects that, if completed, would increase Thailand’s investment in Vietnam four to five times over the current $7 billion level of registered capital.
The projects include expansion PTT’s $22 billion Nhom Hoi Economic Zone oil-refinery project in Binh Dinh province to the regional airport, Amata’s $5 billion urban project in Quang Ninh province, and Central’s expansion of its Robins Shopping Centre retail chain from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
As of Dec. 15, Thai investors had launched 374 projects in Vietnam worth about $6.7 billion, ranking Thailand tenth out of 101 countries and territories investing in the country, the website said. In 2014 alone, Thailand launched 35 new projects with total registered capital of $149 million. In addition, 13 projects increased capital by $55 million, the Foreign Investment Agency said.
Average capital for Thai-funded projects was approximately $17.9 million, above the average of $14.3 million. Statistics show Thailand’s investment in the form of joint venture accounts for $4.6 billion.
Thai investors have focused mainly on industrial processing and manufacturing with 179 projects and total registered capital of $5.7 billion, and the agro-forestry-fisheries sector with 28 projects and $475 million in capital. Other areas of interest included construction, wholesale and retail trade, accommodations and catering.
PTT, Amata and Central all announced large Vietnamese ventures last year and now appear set to build upon them.
Construction of PTT’s mega-refinery in the Nhom Hoi Economic Zone would likely begin in 2016 and the refinery would become operational in 2019. But the Vietnam News Agency said the PTT Group also is looking to invest in oil and gas lots in the continental shelf of Vietnam and upgrade Phu Cat Airport in Binh Dinh into an international airport to support and facilitate the refinery.
Amata said it would invest $5 billion in a new urban project in Quang Ninh province. The group also wants to invest in a major industrial park in Binh Dinh province and in August signed a cooperative agreement with the People’s Committee of Dong Nai to develop Amata City Long Thanh worth $530 million.
Dong Nai was the second most-popular region for Thai investment, with registered capital of $595 million that accounted for 8.8% of the total registered capital of Thai businesses in Vietnam, VietnamNet said.
“Amata has 25 years of experience of industrial estate development in Thailand and 20 years in Vietnam by operating Amata Bien Hua Industrial Estate in Dong Nai,” Amata chief executive Vikrom Kromadit said in August.
Central, meanwhile, launched its expansion of the Robinson department store chain to Hanoi in April and plans to expand not only to Ho Chi Minh City, but cooperate with Vietnamese enterprises operating in manufacturing and trading of agricultural and fisheries products.
Ho Chi Minh City has attracted the largest number of Thai investments, with 140 projects accounting for 37% of Thailand’s investments in Vietnam.
Source : Bangkok Post | January 5, 2015