Singapore becomes leading investor in Vietnam

Construction News Vietnam
Singaporean businesses have invested in many big projects, including Cai Mep – Thi Vai and Sai Gon Port./Viet Nam News
Singaporean businesses have invested in many big projects, including Cai Mep – Thi Vai and Sai Gon Port./Viet Nam News

Singapore has become Vietnam’s leading investment partner after investing more than US$36 billion in numerous local projects, including processing, technology, manufacturing, real estate, construction, transportation, and storage.

According to statistics provided by Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency, Singapore-based firms implemented 30 new projects and increased investment levels in six existing projects in the first two months of 2016. Total investment in newly-registered projects, and additional capitalisation of existing ones, reached $470 million.

To date, Singapore has invested in nearly 1,570 projects in Vietnam, ranking third out of 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

The average capital investment per Singaporean project in Vietnam is $23 million, which is much higher than the average foreign investment of $14 million per project.

In the processing and manufacturing sector, Singaporean firms have invested a total of $15.6 billion in 480 projects, accounting for 43 percent of Singapore’s total investment in Vietnam.

Singaporean capital is also invested in real estate ($11 billion), entertainment ($1.8 billion), construction ($1.7 billion) transportation and storage ($1.4 billion).

HCM City is an attractive destination for Singaporean investors, who funded nearly 780 projects there with $9.6 billion. These investments account for 50 per cent of the total projects in HCM City and 27 per cent of Singapore’s total investments in Vietnam.

About 74 per cent of total Singaporean investment in Vietnam is in the form of wholly foreign-owned projects. There are 1,163 such foreign-owned projects, worth a total of $23.4 billion. The rest of Singaporean investment in Vietnam exists in the form of joint ventures, such as joint stock companies and business cooperation contracts.

Co-operation in seaport industry

Singapore also expects to further co-operation with Vietnam in maritime services and sea ports, Singaporean Ambassador to Vietnam Ng Tech Hean said in a meeting with Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong in Ha Noi last week.

The ambassador has witnessed development co-operation between Vietnam and Singapore during his term of office. During his service in Vietnam, the ambassador has tracked privitisation of State-controlled businesses in Vietnam.

Singaporean businesses have invested in many big projects, including Cái Mép – Thi Vai and Sai Gon Port. Singaporean businesses expect to be given further information about the privitisation process of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), according to Hean.

Truong says that Singapore has a lot of experience in transportation management and seaport development, which Vietnam is eager to learn and study

Vietnamese State-controlled maritime businesses under the transport ministry, are already in the process of being privatised, according to the deputy minister. Vinalines has also submitted its privatisation plan to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval.

The PM had recently asked the transport ministry to build an overall plan for a seaport system. As soon as possible, the PM also wants to recoup all State capital investment in the nine seaports which are now to be privately owned, including including Khuyen Luang, Da Nang, Vinalines – Dinh Vu, and Cam Ranh, apart from Nam Can, NgheTinh, Can Tha and Cái Lân.

Truong said he hoped Singaporean businesses would invest in these ports. With the SP-PSA joint venture port, the dredged system can now handle vessels weighing 50,000 tonnes.

The ministry has also submitted the proposed new fee structure for seaport use. The proposed charges would apply to seaports in Cái Mép-Thi Vai area and HCM City, according to Truong.