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Binh Duong attracts Danish shoe manufacturer

Released at: 16:58, 30/09/2019

Binh Duong attracts Danish shoe manufacturer

Photo: ECCO Group

Mr. Flemming Larsen, Senior Vice President of Global Shoe Production and Sourcing at Denmark's ECCO Group, a Danish shoe manufacturer and retailer, tells VET about Vietnam's investment environment and the new factory in Binh Duong.

by Minh Do

Mr. Flemming Larsen

Why did you choose to set up the new factory in Binh Duong province at this time?

ECCO has chosen to set up a new factory at the Bau Bang Industrial Park in southern Binh Duong province to ensure we control our operations as best as possible and ensure that our products are of the highest quality. It is also a continuation of the principle that ECCO owns and runs its factories worldwide. Over recent years, ECCO has augmented its production to increase capacity and diversify its production portfolio.

In 2015 a number of markets were researched and Vietnam became our favored location due to its welcoming pro-business culture, skilled and dexterous workforce, and the number of free trade agreements (FTAs) signed with trade blocs globally. Binh Duong province was chosen due to its proximity to the sea and airport infrastructure along with a skilled local workforce.

ECCO’s factory covers an area of 12ha with total investment in the first phase of $30 million and is expected to be operational in July 2020, employing more than 1,400 local workers and producing high-quality shoes. This is ECCO’s sixth factory globally.

How would you comment on Binh Duong’s investment environment?

There is a special department in the Binh Duong Industrial Zone Authority that helps companies investing in the province’s industrial zones. It acts as a “one-stop shop” for all regulatory procedures. This helps foreign companies navigate the often complex laws. ECCO has so far not faced any major legal hurdles to date, and all our queries have been handled quickly and professionally.

What do you think about the prospects for investment in Vietnam?

The prospects are very positive. Vietnam has a young population that is eager to learn and get ahead. Administrative procedures on a day-to-day level can be challenging, including labor regulations on local and foreign workers, customs regulations, and taxation strategies, but we also see a will to overcome those. We welcome simplification of procedures so both corporations and authorities can focus on value-adding activities. On a macro-level, we encourage Vietnam to focus on critical hard infrastructure to ensure sufficient road, port, and airport capacity.

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