Hanoi Businesses Advance Cooperation with Singaporean Partners

8:57:18 AM | 3/24/2023

Businesses in Hanoi are strengthening connections to foster investment and trade cooperation with Singaporean partners through direct contacts to exchange information on potential, strengths, mechanisms and policies to attract foreign investment.

VCCI Vice President Nguyen Quang Vinh addresses the conference connecting Hanoi businesses with Singaporean partners 

Bolstering connection

According to Standing Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Nguyen Quang Vinh, Singapore is a key importing and exporting market of Hanoi. In 2022, Vietnamese exports to Singapore were US$615 million (accounting for 3.6% of Hanoi's total exports). Key exports included machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts (accounting for 46.7% of Hanoi's total exports to Singapore), timber and woodwork (3%); electronic components (2.5%); and computers and components (2.5%).

Despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam, including Hanoi, still saw many Singaporean companies invest in new projects and business expansion, he added. This has shown that Singaporean companies always favor the business environment of Vietnam and Hanoi.

Mr. Kho Choon Keng, President of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI), said that one of the main reasons why Singaporean companies have “accelerated” investment in Hanoi is that the Vietnamese economy has made an impressive recovery at the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, evidenced by its GDP growth of 8% in 2022. With this development momentum, Vietnam is expected to continue strong growth in the coming time.

Therefore, many Singaporean companies seek investment opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, education, tourism, finance and agriculture in Vietnam as well as in Hanoi. He emphasized that Singapore firms will expand cooperation in new areas, such as sustainable development, renewable energy and digital economy in the coming time.

Regarding solutions for business cooperation expansion, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen affirmed that Hanoi has been implementing many consistent mechanisms and policies on investment attraction like upgrading infrastructure in industrial zones to lure foreign investors. At the same time, the city has stepped up administrative reform towards greater simplicity and convenience for investors and accelerated information technology application to the settlement of administrative procedures with respect to business registration, investment registration, tax, insurance, and land. Additionally, Hanoi has publicly and transparently announced sectoral plans, zoning plans, and land-use plans in various forms for businesses to easily access investment information.

Participating in networking events, representatives of Singapore businesses suggested that Hanoi create favorable conditions for Singapore businesses to connect and cooperate with Vietnamese businesses in the coming time. Specifically, the city should complete the infrastructure of industrial zones and enhance administrative reform towards greater simplicity and convenience for foreign investors.

Representatives of Singapore businesses recommended Hanoi create more favorable conditions for Singapore businesses 

Facilitating business support

According to Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen, Hanoi will strengthen its support for investors to learn about investment laws, policies and procedures; inform, promote and introduce investment environment, policies, potential and networking to international businesses.

According to the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, many Hanoi-based businesses want to connect with Singapore partners in such areas as technology, equipment and technological application; developing new environmentally friendly, energy-efficient products; manufacturing and joining production, supply and distribution chains with Singaporean firms; expanding exports, joining the distribution system into the Singapore market, taking advantage of the CPTPP and RCEP agreements to which both Vietnam and Singapore are members.

Hanoi always tops the nation in terms of the investment climate. With its approach to sustainable foreign investment attraction, the city gives priority to high-quality projects as well as products with high added value and high competitiveness, focused on urban infrastructure development and smart city construction; technological advanced and environmentally friendly supporting industries; information technology; research and development; tourism and financial services; human resource training; high-tech organic agriculture and food. Target markets include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, the U.S. and the EU.

Foreign direct investment flows into Hanoi in recent years have kept rising. The city has accumulated US$61.4 billion of FDI funds since 1986. Being a strategic partner, Singapore is the second largest foreign investor in Hanoi after Japan. Singaporean investors focus on real estate business, construction, accommodation and catering services, science, technology and education. Typical projects of Singaporean investors in Hanoi include Apollo International English Center, Nam Thang Long Urban Area, Lotte Mall (South Korean fund invested through Singapore), Capital Tower at 29 Lieu Giai, and service and hotel projects in Tay Ho Tay Urban Area. In 2022 alone, the city drew US$1.77 billion of FDI (up 15% over 2021), ranking 6th in the country. Singapore took the lead with over US$615.9 million, accounting for 34.7% of the total, comprised of US$63.1 million from 41 new projects, US$101.3 million from 24 existing projects, and US$451.4 million from 58 equity deals.

By Huong Ly, Vietnam Business Forum