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July 31, 2007

Thai investors flock to Vietnam
Thailand's investment into Vietnam surged quickly in the recent past, making investment a successful cooperative area in the two countries' ties, said the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Thailand, with 153 investment projects and a combined registered capital of US$1.54 billion, currently ranks 12th in the list 79 countries and territories or third among ASEAN countries to directly invest in Vietnam.

They include 83 operational projects employing 12,000 workers, and also indirectly generating jobs for many workers in the areas of construction and services.

Almost all Thai investment projects focus on such areas as building infrastructure for industrial zones, new urban centers with hotels, and facilities for tourism and industry, concentrating on Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The Foreign Investment Department also reported that nearly 67% of Thailand's projects in Vietnam are wholly-foreign invested projects, holding nearly 56% of the total registered capital; and 27.6% of projects are by joint venture companies, holding with 43% of the total capital.

Among Thai projects operating profitably in Vietnam is the CP Vietnam animal feeds company in Dong Nai province. With a capital of US$328 million, it turns out feeds for cattle and breeding poultry. In 2006, the company fetched a revenue of US$300 million, generating jobs for more than 5,000 locals.

Another successful Thai investor is Siam Cement, a 100-year-old economic group of Thailand. Siem Cement has invested in five chemical and building materials projects in industrial parks in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces.

After 10 years' operation in Vietnam, it decided to invest US$220 million to build a high-grade wrapping paper factory in My Phuoc industrial park, southern Binh Duong province. The factory with a capacity of 220,000 tonnes of product per year will be the biggest of its kind in Vietnam. Construction of the project will begin in the third quarter of this year and the factory is expected to be operational in 2009.

Vice President of Siam Cement Group Roongrote Rangsiyopash, said that Vietnam's potential in natural resources, labour force in addition to stable political situation are the main factors to attract Thai investors to the country.

The Thai Chemical Group, which has operated many investment projects in Vietnam, also plans to enter a joint venture with the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation to launch a petrochemical complex in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province with a total investment of over US$1.5 billion.

Thailand-based cement companies are also carrying out a plan to increase their investment into Vietnam to US$3 billion this year and to US$6 billion in the next several years.

Speaking on the occasion of the Vietnam visit by more than 100 Thai businesses last Mach, former Thai Foreign Minister Arsa Sarasin praised Vietnam's high economic growth rate and affirmed that Thai businesses would continue boosting investment into Vietnam.

For Vietnam, Thailand is one of important addresses for its promotion activities to lure foreign direct investment.

Phan Huu Thang, Director of the Foreign Investment Department, said that Vietnamese localities and businesses will increase efforts to attract Thai investment into the production of export goods, processing industry, service industry and agricultural and rural economic development, IT applications, biotechnology and electronics. VNA


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