11:43 | 20/04/2015 Economy
French firms are deepening roots in Vietnam in anticipation of the EU- Vietnam free trade agreement and growing economic ties.
Sanofi, a persified global healthcare provider, recently affirmed their commitment to developing its presence in Vietnam’s market after visiting as part of a French government delegation led by Minister of State Matthias Fekl who is responsible for foreign trade, tourism, and the rights of French nationals abroad.
Fekl was in Vietnam last week to attend the third annual high-level Vietnam-France Economic Dialogue.
Sanofi is a trailblazer in building pharmaceutical plants in Vietnam
Last March, the firm kicked off construction of a new drug manufacturing plant and a research and development centre in Ho Chi Minh City with US$75 million in the total investment capital, making it Sanofi’s largest investment project in Vietnam so far, according to Sanofi CEO Christopher A. Viehbacher.
“With a 50-year plus track record operating in Vietnam, Sanofi is enjoying its number-one position in one of most dynamic nations in the region. The new project will continue affirming its pole position in this emerging market,” said Viehbacher.
Other members of the French delegation, such as Alstorm, Airbus D&S, Thales and IMP Engineering all expressed interest into expanding their presence in Vietnam.
Alstom, a global leader in power generation, power transmission, and rail infrastructure is hoping to team-up with other partners in order to spur on sustainable development city models in Vietnam.
The group has already been involved in a string of large-scale projects in Vietnam such as the landmark Son La hydropower plant, and Hanoi’s metro line 3.
International electrics and systems group Thales voiced its intention to develop surveillance satellite systems in Vietnam, while IMP Engineering is keen to building hospitals. IPM has engaged in a proposal to build a 500-bed hospital in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. This project, if it gets the go-ahead, will be funded using French official development assistance.
The French investors’ proposals were all commended by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung who chaired dialogue.
“Current French investment in Vietnam is well below its potential. We want French businesses to realize there are plenty of opportunities in the country, especially as we’re about to wrap-up negotiations on the European Union free trade agreement and become part of the ASEAN Economic Community,” said Dung.
“Vietnam has a number of advantages in terms of its investment environment, reformed policies, coupled with low-cost labour and competitive infrastructure,” Dung said.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency’s figures revealed that France had 429 investment projects in Vietnam worth US$3.4 billion in the total committed capital, ranking 16 out of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam by the end of March.Source VOV News