Mr. Toyoaki Funakoshi, Corporate Officer at Sumitomo Corporation and Chairman & General Director of the Sumitomo Corporation Vietnam LLC, discusses the corporation's activities in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s economy is growing rapidly. Living conditions in major cities, especially Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are becoming better and better together with higher requirements on product quality. Recognizing this, the Sumitomo Corporation is now focusing on consumption, with the initial step being the construction of a flour mill in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province, which began in June.
Vietnam is now facing severe competition not only from ASEAN countries but also from India and Bangladesh. Ten years ago Vietnam was a very attractive investment destination for foreign investors, especially Japanese investors. However, as Japanese investors look at long-term investments in Vietnam, stable and transparent government policies and regulations are especially important. I believe the Vietnamese Government has made major efforts at improving the regulatory system and it has become increasingly stable. Still, many regulations are vague and there is inconsistent interpretation by government officials. Clear and transparent policies and regulations that create favorable and secure conditions for foreign investors are expected.
The Thang Long Industrial Park and the Thang Long Industrial Park II were the first among a wide range of projects of the Sumitomo Corporation in Vietnam and have created more than 60,000 jobs. Following the success of these two projects we decided to develop a new industrial park, the Thang Long Industrial Park III, in Vinh Phuc province, in the hope that we could partially meet the demand for a modern and high quality-service industrial park among foreign investors, especially Japanese investors.
We are also focusing on power plant projects, in both construction and operation, such as the Phu My 2-2 Power Plant in Ba Ria Vung Tau province and the Van Phong Coal-Fired Power Plant in south-central Khanh Hoa province. Infrastructure projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit system in Ho Chi Minh City are also key projects for us in Vietnam.