Ongoing New York conference on investment in Vietnam hears of country's positive economic growth and accompanying opportunities.
More than a hundred international investors attended a conference to promote US investment in Vietnam chaired by Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung in New York on July 1. The Vietnamese Government’s messages about efforts to improve the investment environment with the aim of attracting foreign investors made a good impression on US investors.
Speaking at the conference, Minister of Finance Dung affirmed that the government is consistently developing the country’s market economy and promoting modern governance through intensive reforms of administrative procedures, technological applications in management, and promoting international integration.
Vietnam has already signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with many countries and regions, such as the US, the EU, Japan, and South Korea, and will soon sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which promises to open up huge opportunities for its economy and investors interested in the country, he said.
Regarding State-owned enterprise (SOE) reform, the minister said that this year Vietnam will continue to equitize 289 SOEs and make divestments in 300 others. Many are large-scale enterprises. It has been estimated that the total value of equitized SOEs is $25 billion with the number of shares offered reaching 3.75 billion.
“The ministry has also released a particularly important policy, Decree No. 60/2015 /ND-CP, regarding increases to foreign ownership limits in listed companies, except for some sensitive areas,” he said. “The government hopes that foreign investors, including US investors, will be interested in investment opportunities in Vietnam, especially the opportunities presented by the equitization process and stock market investments.”
Vietnam’s messages received much positive feedback from US investors at the conference.
US billionaire Ross L. Wibur, who has assets of over $3 billion and is ranked 200 in the US and 600 worldwide in terms of wealth, recognized that Vietnam is an attractive destination for foreign investors, especially in the stock market and equitized SOEs.
Mr. Wibur said his first visit to Vietnam was in 2001. At that time, families mainly moved around by bicycle. “But recently I have visited Vietnam again and found that many families own a car, even a very large hotel,” he said. “Obviously Vietnam has made impressive steps in economic growth and in my opinion it is a safe country.”
He added that the two points US investors greatly appreciate about Vietnam’s investment environment are efforts to reform the economy, including the reform of tax policy, and loosening limits placed on foreign investors.
Mr. Philip A Falcone, Chairman of the Harbinger Fund, said that eight years ago he had chosen Vietnam for a large tourism resort project, in Vung Tau. “Many investors asked me why I choose Vietnam, a distant country with differences in economic and business culture compared with the US,” he recalled. “I chose Vietnam because I believe in the development of an economy with nearly 90 million people, mainly young people, who are enthusiastic and work hard to overcome difficulties.”
A number of large Vietnamese enterprises were also at the conference, such as the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), the Bank for Investment and Development Vietnam (BIDV), and the Vietnam National Coal, Mineral Industries Holding Corporation (Vinacomin), who shared their desire to seek strategic foreign investors with the aim of contributing to boosting Vietnam - US investment and trade ties, for common prosperity.