Following the dialogue held between Hanoi’s authorities and foreign businesses on October 19, experts shared with The Hanoi Times their views on what makes the country an attractive investment destination globally.
Hong Sun, Vice President of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KorCham) in Vietnam
|Photos: Duy Khanh|
A dialogue between Hanoi’s authorities and the foreign business community took place at the right timing and, therefore, is very much welcomed. I expected with such an initiative, more FDI would continue to come to Vietnam in general, and of Hanoi in particular.
As the fourth Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam has been contained, I consider this would open up a new wave of FDI into Vietnam, and Hanoi as the capital city would be at the very center.
From my perspective, the strong efforts of Hanoi leaders would send a positive message to foreign investors, and businesses that are looking to invest in Hanoi.
As Hanoi is among Vietnam’s epicenters in the fourth outbreak, we appreciated the city’s effective measures to fight off the pandemic. While we faced a difficult period due to the lockdown, these are the reason for us to return to this new normalcy.
On behalf of the South Korean business community in Vietnam, we remain confident in the country’s economic prospects. The Covid-19 pandemic is a global issue that the world, including Vietnam, is dealing with at the moment.
So far, Vietnam has successfully contained the fourth Covid-19 pandemic, and we hope the Government would continue its open policies in attracting FDI.
Given many similarities between Vietnam and South Korea in culture, lifestyle, or social values, in the past, present, and future, Vietnam would stay as one of the most preferred and ideal investment destinations for South Korean businesses.
One of the main difficulties at the moment is how Vietnam and South Korea reopen borders to each other. In 2019, nearly 4.3 million South Korean came to Vietnam, or 70 flights per day. But there are almost no commercial flights at the moment. In addition to safety measures, I expect Vietnam to allow the resumption of international air service as part of the economic recovery process, and also one of the most pressing needs for foreign enterprises.
Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Regional Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos
I have deeply applauded Vietnam’s efforts in reopening the economy. That the Hanoi’s authorities reached out to both local and foreign business communities right in the first week after the reopening, to see what can be done and to improve the business environment, to recreate job and rebuild better, is a highly constructive effort.
While the dialogue [between authorities and foreign businesses] first and foremost was only a meeting and discussion initiated by Hanoi’s authorities, but many countries do not do that.
However, for me, this is the most important step, which is to listen to each other’s concerns, priorities and to seek solutions. That’s what we have heard from the municipal Party Chairman and his colleagues.
While the pandemic was difficult for the local economy, the conditions that make Vietnam an attractive investment destination before the pandemic and today remain the same. I am still seeing plenty of opportunities for Vietnam in fields such as manufacturing, services, or agriculture. So, the challenge for Vietnam would be how to rebuild better, safely and reaffirm these strong commitments made by the leaders to achieve these goals.
I applaud the municipal Party chief’s view that the priority is how to improve the efficiency for businesses that are operating here through regulations and policy procedures, which shows the continuity in efforts made by the government to improve the business environment. That is the most important thing to go forward.
As of present, Hanoi is home to 6,625 valid foreign projects with registered capital of $48.7 billion.
The capital city stood atop nationwide in terms of FDI attraction in the 2018-2019 period with respective FDI of $7.5 billion and $8.67 billion. Last year, the city ranked third with $3.83 billion and nearly $1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2021.
FDI enterprises accounted for 10% of Hanoi’s State budget revenue, 12.6% of total investment capital, 30% of job creation, and 45% of exports.