Thai businesses upbeat on their future in Vietnam

06:00 | 13/07/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - Despite Covid-19 impacts, representatives of Thai businesses are confident of growth opportunities and the potential for succeeding in Vietnam.

thai businesses upbeat on their future in vietnam
Saranya Skontanarak

Saranya Skontanarak, General Director, the Siam Commercial Bank PCL - Ho Chi Minh City Branch

Vietnam has been experiencing highly stable and fast gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the global financial crisis. It has been a bright spot in terms of economic growth and stable political status, and this has been enhanced by government policies supporting business development. We have seen strong and substantial inflows of foreign direct investment, especially from Thai investors, during the last few years and we wish to promote trade and business between Vietnam and Thailand as well as among CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries.

The Siam Commercial Bank set foot in Vietnam 25 years ago via a joint venture with AgriBank and CP Group under the name of The Viet Thai Joint Venture Bank. After our 20-year license expired, we established our own presence as part of our CLMV international banking strategy. The Siam Commercial Bank - Ho Chi Minh City Branch officially launched operations on March 21, 2016.

Among CLMV markets, Vietnam is the top destination for Thai investors. A positive economic outlook, sizeable market and rising middle class are key factors that make Vietnam attractive for investors. Vietnam is now in the high priority list, considering increasing interest among Thai investors.

Furthermore, Vietnam has managed the COVID-19 situation very well. I think if the Vietnamese government maintains its control and comes out of the crisis fast, the economy will bounce back again.

That said, Vietnam relies a lot on exports and with the world still down with the pandemic, we must be careful and find new models for the country or business to survive the global downturn.

But I would also see Covid-19 as an opportunity for banks to streamline our processes while balancing business opportunities with risk management. Banks can thus become a more efficient, secure and high-tech oriented operation.

In the coming time, continuous support from the government and robust domestic demand will still be beneficial to businesses. Vietnam will still be an ideal place to invest in, but the world is changing and we need to act fast.

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thai businesses upbeat on their future in vietnam
Veerapong Sawatyanon

Veerapong Sawatyanon, Chairman & CEO, Siam Brothers Viet Nam Joint Stock Company

I have lived and worked in Vietnam since 1994. After living in Vietnam for a year, I foresaw the huge opportunities offered here and decided to found my own company, the Siam Brothers Viet Nam Limited Company, in 1995, with 100 percent capital investment from Thailand. When it was established, we had the ambition to be the first Thai enterprise in Vietnam to be listed on the stock exchange.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of our establishment. And Siam Brothers Vietnam Limited Company now is the Siam Brothers Viet Nam Joint Stock Company.

Our company now is the top Thai manufacturer of rope and nets used for fishing, maritime transportation, industrial and agricultural sectors.

We not only have a large distribution system in Vietnam, but also in Southeast Asia and beyond, including Japan, Norway, Australia and the US. In reaching where we are now and sustaining our growth, Siam Brothers has experienced the vicissitudes of business life.

The 26 years that I have spent here have been a precious experience. I learnt that to conquer the market, you have to get deep insights into the local business culture and also be flexible because every market is different from the others. Besides this, skillful and professional manpower has been key to our success.

I have witnessed the improvement of the business and investment climate in Vietnam over more than two decades. Vietnam now is considered a business hub in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region that attracts more and more Thai investors. I have also advised many Thai businesses who have the intention of coming to Vietnam. And I believe that there will be more Thai giant companies coming here to grab new chances.

Siam Brothers Vietnam has put its roots down in the country for 25 years already, and we will continue to increase our investment here, in keeping with our long-term commitment to this country. We will do this with the aim of becoming the number-one provider of supplies for the fisheries industry in Vietnam, in particular, and Southeast Asia in general.

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thai businesses upbeat on their future in vietnam
Bubpachart Meecharoen

Bubpachart Meecharoen, Vietnam Director, Banpu Group

Banpu is a leading integrated energy solutions company operating in 10 countries: Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, Laos, Mongolia, Singapore, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. The company is focused on moving forward, creating continuous growth and strengthening the Banpu Group’s business ecosystems with its Greener & Smarter strategy. This has elevated the operational efficiency of Banpu’s three core groups of business - energy resources (coal and gas including related operations such as marketing, trading, logistics, fuel procurement and transmission); energy generation (thermal and renewable power plants); and energy technology (total solar energy solutions, energy storage system and energy technology system).

In Vietnam, Banpu has invested in the Soc Trang Wind Power Project which has seven turbines and a capacity of 29.4MW. The project is located in Vinh Phuoc Ward, Vinh Chau Town, Soc Trang Province. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we at Banpu are trying our best to ensure the project’s progress as scheduled. Currently, we are carrying out leveling work for the wind farm area.

My opinion is that the energy policy in Vietnam promotes diverse energy sources, which aligns with Banpu’s Greener & Smarter strategy as well as the energy sustainability principles comprising reliability, affordability and eco-friendliness. For Vietnam, we hope to be a unit fulfilling the government’s renewable energy target. Committed to conducting our business professionally and ethically, we embrace environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. Currently, we are focusing on the wind power plant project to achieve the targeted COD and in the long term, we will contribute to the energy market growth in Vietnam as allowed government policies.

In our energy generation business group operated by the Banpu Power Public Company Limited or BPP, we aim to reach the target capacity of 5,300 MWe including 800MW of renewable energy by 2025. Hence, the company will consider further investment opportunities in Vietnam in thermal and renewable power-generation businesses, including both wind and solar energy, using our strengths in project development and power business operations in Asia.

Looking forward, we are well-positioned for sustained business growth post Covid-19, by exploring new business opportunities and modifying existing businesses to align with the ‘New Normal’. We foresee rising energy consumption in the consumer sector as more people work remotely. Our strategy here in Vietnam is to nurture sustainable growth.

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