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Vietnam welcomes foreign investors and FIEs

Released at: 18:00, 30/09/2015

Vietnam welcomes foreign investors and FIEs

PM tells Vietnam Global Investment Forum the country continues to open up to foreign investors.

by Duy Cuong-Thu Hoang

Vietnam always welcomes foreign enterprises to invest long term in the country, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the Vietnam Global Investment Forum, which gathered together 700 foreign investors and enterprises from 32 countries and territories as well as the local business community on September 30.

Vietnam always attaches your success to our own success,” the PM said. “We want to have an open dialogue so that we can succeed together.”

He told the gathering that Vietnam recorded average GDP growth of about 6 per cent in the 2011-2015 period. GDP is now expected to exceed 6.5 per cent in 2015; the highest rate since 2011.

Vietnam is one of only a few countries to continuously maintain positive economic growth and is entering a new growth trajectory with macro-economic stability and low inflation.

In the 2016-2020 period, he said, the country’s economy is expected to grow at 6.5-7 per cent and trade turnover is to increase by 12-15 per cent, reaching $600 billion in 2020.

There are more than 19,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the country, with registered capital of $275 billion, with disbursement standing at $135 billion.

Many multinational corporations are investing effectively in Vietnam. The country is working with other members to create a successful ASEAN Economic Community with a GDP of $2.5 trillion.

Vietnam is also the first country to conclude negotiations and is expected to sign a free trade agreement with Europe at the end of the year.

These achievements, however, are still not commensurate with the country’s potential. “Vietnam’s business environment still needs to improve, with more specific measures required to overcome challenges, towards the goal of rapid and sustainable development,” the PM said.

Vietnam is perfecting the market mechanism and improving administrative procedures and infrastructure. Many laws have been amended and others enacted to promote the country’s business environment. Indicators for the business environment, such as taxation, customs and energy access, should improve to levels equal to countries in ASEAN 6 and ASEAN 4.

With the aim of promoting and perfecting the market economy, Vietnam is implementing reforms to public investment, which enables foreign investors to participate. It is updating and will soon announce investment projects in transport infrastructure and urban development under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The number of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) has fallen by about 90 per cent in the 20 years of implementing SOE restructuring. SOEs after equitization have recorded positive development in terms of scale and business performance.

More and more SOEs after equitization will be allowed to list their shares on the stock market. This is a good opportunity for foreign investors to seek investment opportunities and conduct merger and acquisition (M&A) deals, the PM added.

Regarding financial markets, as they are at a modest scale Vietnam continues to change and amend policies. It has relaxed restrictions on foreign investors in the stock market and purchasing government and corporate bonds.

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