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Jan 19, 2024 / 12:44

Vietnam: Leading destination for sustainable investment

Vietnam promised to balance the interests of the government, the general public, and businesses while sharing risks to ensure the legitimate rights of investors.

Dozens of multinational corporations and economists discussed and concluded that Vietnam has created a safe and sustainable destination for investors, making it one of the most attractive investment hubs with more influence in the global supply chain.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh greats investors at the "Vietnam – ASEAN’s leading destination for sustainable investment” seminar in Davos on January 17. Photos: Nhat Bac/VGP

The view was shared at a seminar titled “Vietnam – ASEAN’s leading destination for sustainable investment” held on January 17 in Davos, Switzerland, during the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Briefing on Vietnam’s economy in 2023, Don Lam, CEO of VinaCapital – a leading investment management firm headquartered in Vietnam, said the country’s GDP growth of 5.05% was impressive amid global turmoil with subdued inflation, flexible fiscal policy, increasing investment in infrastructure, and rising foreign direct investment (FDI).

The country welcomed the official visits paid by presidents of major countries such as China and the US.

“The Government of Vietnam has created a safe and sustainable investment environment, making it a highly sought-after destination not just in the region but globally, playing a significant role in the global supply chain,” Don Lam said at the event, chaired by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Moderated by Philipp Rösler, former Vice-Chancellor of Germany and honorary Consul of Vietnam in Switzerland, the seminar was attended by a number of Vietnamese ministers, the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, and dozens of investors from the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) – an American-based global leadership community of chief executives with more than 34,000 global members in nearly 150 countries.

YPO members generate US$9,000 billion in revenue with a staff network of 25 million worldwide, according to YPO’s former Chairman Pascal Gerken.

Thomas Serva, Co-founder and CEO of France-based Baracoda Group revealed the plan to build innovation centers and develop artificial intelligence (AI) in Vietnam as the country is among the most attractive destinations with abundant and well-trained manpower, in addition to good relations with France.

Led by Dr. Philipp Rösler, representatives from YPO and investors discussed and evaluated Vietnam’s investment climate. They engaged in an open and candid conversation in which they jointly identified opportunities, developed fresh initiatives to further cooperation, and shared future plans.

Among other things, delegates discuss the country’s priorities in the energy transition, monetary policy, exchange rate management, and import and export laws and policies, as well as how to draw in investment, build infrastructure, foster innovation, and develop artificial intelligence.

 Dr. Philipp Rösler (C), former Vice-Chancellor of Germany and honorary Consul of Vietnam in Switzerland; YPO’s former Chairman Pascal Gerken (L); Don Lam, CEO of VinaCapital (R). 

Promises from Vietnam

After the investors' open exchange, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh spoke about Vietnam’s experiences gained over the past decades for economic development, which include independence; the people who make history; national unity and international solidarity; combining internal and external strengths; and making full use of its cultural values.

By pursuing its independent foreign policy while promoting multilateralism and international integration, Vietnam is becoming a reliable member and friend of the international community. Diplomacy has a strong impact on its economic regulations, creating a safe and trustworthy place for investors.

So far, Vietnam has diplomatic relations with more than 190 countries, and has elevated relations to strategic partnership and comprehensive strategic partnership with the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US, as well as many G20 countries. So far, it has signed 16 free trade agreements (FTA) with more than 60 countries.

The Prime Minister said Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy for 2021-2030 states that it’s necessary to mobilize all resources with a focus on science, technology, innovation, and digital transformation to make Vietnam a developing country with modern technologies and middle income by 2030.

 Vietnamese senior officials and investors at the event.

Answering investors’ questions are Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung; Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien; Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat; Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son; Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son; Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Hong; and Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Phan Van Mai.

They talked about policies, regulations, and mechanisms in different sectors to provide an overview of the investment climate, incentives, and planning for specific industries, noting that Vietnam has preferential policies for priority areas such as digital transformation, science and technology, AI, and green transition.  

Notably, the flexible monetary policy makes the Vietnamese dong stable. In 2023, Vietnam’s total customer deposits hit VND13.5 quadrillion (US$548.4 billion), the highest ever recorded, indicating better incomes and increased confidence among locals.

Chinh said the country will continue promoting three pillars, including infrastructure to lower logistics and input costs while raising competitiveness; well-trained manpower; and refining the regulatory framework to minimize time and costs for businesses and individuals.

“Smart management, seamless infrastructure, and transparent policies are essential. Despite the current global turmoil, we continue to implement these policies to balance the interests of the government, the general public, businesses, investors, and risk sharing,” Chinh said.

Senior e Vietnamese officials, especially the government leader expected investors to bring money, technology, and expertise to help Vietnam refine regulations, improve manpower, and better governance.

They reiterated that the government stands ready to listen and dialogue, to share and negotiate in order to fulfill their commitments and ensure the legitimate rights of investors.  

 Nhat Tan Bridge in Hanoi connects Noi Bai International Airport and the city's center. Photo: Cong Hung/The Hanoi Times