Opportunity for Vietnam to Attract High Quality U.S. FDI

10:27:24 AM | 7/3/2023

American corporations have an interest in Vietnam because it has certain advantages and potential, such as political stability and sustainable economic growth. Vietnam is at the heart of the shift in capital flows by foreign giants.

The representatives of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council and U.S. businesses expressed their trust in Vietnam's economic growth prospects, undertaking to place long-term investment in the country while meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, March 2023

Leverage for Vietnam to attract foreign investment

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s data on foreign direct investment, in 2022, U.S. enterprises invested more than US$748 million in Vietnam, ranking 8th out of 108 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. As of the end of 2022, U.S. investors had more than 1,223 projects in Vietnam with a total capital of about US$11.4 billion, ranking 11th out of 142 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

In the first quarter of 2023, Vietnam attracted a total registered capital of US$54.63 million, an increase of 39.7% compared to the same period last year.

U.S. investors are investing in more than 20 sectors in Vietnam. Most of the largest U.S. corporations have been present in Vietnam, such as Exxon Mobil, Murphy Oil, Chevron, Boeing, Ford, Intel, Wal-Mart, Nike, Amazon, and P&G.

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Toan, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), attracting more U.S. FDI capital flows into Vietnam will improve the standard of living and the image of the country as a friendly investment destination.

In particular, the presence of long-standing U.S. investors in Vietnam will be a strong leverage to attract more companies and investors from the U.S. and other countries to Vietnam.

FDI capital from the U.S. has played an important role in the socio-economic development of Vietnam, contributing to strengthening Vietnam’s position in the global supply chain.

More interest in digital transformation and energy transitions

According to Mr. Ted Osius, President and CEO of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, there are two areas that Americans have an interest in and want to invest in Vietnam: the digital transition and the energy transition.

Mr. Ted Osius said that the digital transition will improve Vietnam’s position in the global digital competition. There are many U.S. companies in this field willing to become Vietnam’s partners. Meanwhile, Vietnam is becoming an active member of the global supply chain in such important areas as electronics.

Mr. Rafael Frankel, Director of Public Policy for South Asia and Southeast Asia at Meta Group, said that with a population of 100 million, Vietnam is a rapidly growing consumer market. This is a huge opportunity to develop the digital economy.

At present, Meta has supported 85,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam with digital tools to help them collect customer data and understand the market.

In terms of the energy transition, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam needs an investment of between US$8 billion and US$14 billion a year to develop new power plants. Meanwhile, there are currently trillions of dollars from U.S. investors waiting to flow into Vietnam’s green energy, logistics and infrastructure sectors.

Mr. John Rockhold, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham), said U.S. investors have a strong interest in Vietnam, especially in green growth areas.

However, U.S. investors wish that Vietnam will offer favorable conditions for U.S. investment projects in Vietnam, such as facilitating the licensing of renewable energy projects, the issuance of a new feed-in tariff (FIT), and the application of pilot mechanisms for direct power purchase agreements (DPPA). This will quickly have a positive impact on the competitiveness of Vietnam’s energy sector.

"Recently, AmCham held many working sessions with the State Bank and the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam to promote a mechanism to support U.S. enterprises investing in Vietnam in the area of green growth, particularly in terms of interest rates," Mr. John Rockhold said.

By Thu Huyen, Vietnam Business Forum