Singapore tops list of foreign investors in Vietnam

06:00 | 18/11/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - Singapore became the largest foreign investor in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, with US$4.7 billion, accounting for 44.9 percent of all registered foreign direct investment (FDI) capital. The Republic of Korea (RoK) was second with almost US$3 billion and China was third with US$1.75 billion.

singapore tops list of foreign investors in vietnam

Industrial real estate

Do Nhat Hoang, Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, said Singaporean investment in Vietnam has increased mainly in the processing-manufacturing, trade and real estate sectors. Singapore is currently the third biggest foreign investor in Vietnam, accounting for about 14 percent of all FDI capital that the country has attracted so far. It is Vietnam’s 12th largest trade partner, with bilateral trade reaching more than US$7.3 billion in 2019.

Most Singaporean investment is focused in southern provinces and cities.

In the first nine months of this year, Singaporeans invested an additional US$813.5 million in Ho Chi Minh City, accounting for one fourth of all FDI capital the city attracted during the same period. Singapore has topped 106 foreign investors in Ho Chi Minh City, with 1,100 projects totaling US$10.73 billion in capital. Major investors include Kepple Land and Capital Land.

In another southern province, Binh Duong, Singapore has become the third largest foreign investor this year, with total registered capital of US$198 million, accounting for 16 percent of the province’s total.

There are more than 70 Singaporean projects with a total registered capital of about US$3.6 billion in Dong Nai, placing Singapore fourth among foreign investors in the province.

Singaporean Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Kho Ngee Seng Roy said his country’s investments in industrial real estate in Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai have yielded outstanding achievements. Many additional Singaporean businesses are researching the Vietnamese market, while those that already invested in Vietnam plan to expand operations and increase investment capital to take the opportunities associated with the shift of investment from other countries to Vietnam and free trade agreements (FTAs).

Key sectors

Industrial real estate and logistics are among the fastest growing sectors in Vietnam, giving an advantage to Singaporean investors who identified this trend some years ago and prepared large areas of land in the country.

In 1996, the Sembcorp Development Group entered a joint venture with Becamex IDC to establish the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP). There are three VSIP industrial parks in Binh Duong, with the 1,000ha, VND6.4-trillion VSIP III Industrial Park expected to have its infrastructure completed later this year. Meanwhile, Ascendas entered a joint venture with Protrade to develop and manage a 500ha Protrade international industrial park in Binh Duong Province. These join the 12ha Saigon OneHub project in the Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP).

Vietnam has attracted many Singaporean financial and technology investors. Finaxar, for example, works with Indovina Bank Vietnam to provide financial assistance solutions for small and medium sized enterprises.

Vietnam encourages Singaporean enterprises to invest in high technology, startups, research and development (R&D), industrial zone infrastructure, processing and manufacturing, support industry, and high quality service sectors.

Douglas Foo, President of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and Vice President of the Singapore Business Federation: Vietnam and Singapore have signed free trade agreements that strengthen bilateral cooperation and enable businesses from the two countries to participate in each other’s value chains.

Ngoc Thao