Investors should look at Vietnam as a gateway into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rather than just a market of 93 million consumers, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN 2017 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday, according to a government report.
Vietnam has signed 12 free trade agreements (FTA) and is in the process of negotiating four more deals.
Six of the signed FTAs have Vietnam as a signatory on behalf of ASEAN. They are the ASEAN Free Trade Area and five FTAs between ASEAN and China, South Korea, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Vietnam is working on improving its business climate to make it more conducive to both local and foreign companies, said the PM.
To prove his point, he cited several corporations that have been successful in Vietnam.
Saigon Co.op now stands among the 200 biggest retailers in Asia-Pacific, PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation is one of 2,000 biggest firms in the world and N.G Vietnam is now a leading global shrimp farming company.
The Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) is another example of successful foreign investment in Vietnam. Its two biggest shareholders are IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Attending the forum, WEF managing director Philipp Rosler described the Mekong area as an active market with a young population and suggested companies step in to create jobs for its young labor force.
WEF member companies said they highly appreciated Vietnam’s effortd to improve its investment environment and its support for foreign companies, while expressing their interest in making and expanding their businesses in Vietnam.