Major South Korean conglomerates interested in expanding investments in Vietnam

By VNA   July 2, 2024 | 11:34 pm PT
Major South Korean conglomerates interested in expanding investments in Vietnam
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met with Chang In-Hwa, CEO of POSCO Holdings, in Seoul on July 3, 2024. Photo by Nhat Bac
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met with leaders of several South Korean conglomerates in Seoul on Wednesday, with the latter all expressing their desire to expand investments in Vietnam.

In a meeting with Chairman of CJ Group Sohn Kyung Shik, Chinh learned about the company’s diverse multinational operations in food, biotechnology, retail, and culture. It entered the Vietnamese market in 1998 and currently operates 24 subsidiaries in the country with a 2023 revenue of US$1.4 billion.

Sohn said the group intends to continue channeling capital into Vietnam, particularly in food exports, logistics, and cultural industries.

PM Chinh encouraged the company to expand its investment in Vietnam and consider the country a strategic market, particularly in the areas of food processing, logistics, entertainment services, culture, and biotechnology. He also called on CJ Group to integrate more Vietnamese goods into its global supply chain.

He recommended the company increase its exchange of expertise and training programmes to assist Vietnamese farmers in livestock development, emphasising the need to establish quality standards and traceability systems for livestock products, and to facilitate the exchange of livestock experts between the two countries.

The PM assured that the Vietnamese government will support CJ Group in investing, building, and developing projects in Vietnam effectively and successfully, contributing to the country's goals of green growth and sustainable development.

Meeting the PM, CEO of POSCO Holdings Chang In-Hwa said the Korean firm, specialising in steel, energy, trade, and electric vehicle battery materials, has already established four steel branches in Vietnam with a total investment capital of $1.8 billion. POSCO is interested in converting its dedicated port in the Southeast Asian nation into a commercial one and hopes to receive the greenlight to invest in an LNG power plant in the country.

Highlighting Vietnam’s focus on high-value industries like semiconductors, AI, big data, and biotechnology, the PM said the Government welcomes the conglomerate’s investments that utilise modern technology, ensure environmental protection, and align with Vietnam's development plans and priorities.

At their meeting, Chairman & CEO of the Korea Development Bank (KDB) Kang Seog-Hoon told PM Chinh its plans to intensify investments in Vietnam in strategic sectors such as high-tech industries, innovation, infrastructure, and green growth. With a network in 25 countries, the Korean state-owned policy bank has supported Korean conglomerates investing in Vietnam and collaborated with the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance to assist the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) in developing its sustainable strategies.

The Government leader encouraged the KDB to continue supporting Korean enterprises’ operations in Vietnam and providing credit support for Vietnamese SMEs, particularly in green finance, infrastructure, and high technology.

At his reception for CEO of LG Display Jeong Cheol-dong, PM Chinh praised its effective operations and substantial investments in Vietnam, totaling over $5 billion so far.

He urged the LG to enhance the localisation of its products in the country, include more Vietnamese firms in its supply chain, and establish R&D centres in the country.

The Vietnamese Government is committed to providing stable electricity, quality manpower, and incentives for LG's projects, he stated.

Jeong told the leader that LG wants to step up its investment in Vietnam in both traditional and new areas.

Hosting a reception for Chairman of Daewoo E&C and Chairman of the Korea Housing Builders Association Jung Won Ju, PM Chinh highlighted investment in new urban areas will be a long-term strategy of Vietnam in the coming time, asking the corporation to engage in green urban development project in the country, join social welfare activities, and contribute to promoting the cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK.

Kim, for his part, said his enterprise established its representative office in Vietnam in June 1991, and the Daewoo E&C Vina in 2017 with a total investment of $1.3 billion.

The company has operated in the areas of investment and development of many projects in the country, with the Starlake new urban area in Hanoi being a standout, he said, adding Daewoo E&C Vina is planning to build its second urban area in Thai Binh province which illustrates its wish to bring Korean firms to Vietnam and attract investment to other Vietnamese localities.

At a working session with President and CEO at GS E&C Huh Yoon Hong, PM Chinh acknowledged the group’s contributions to as well as successful investment and business activities in Vietnam over the past time, and encouraged its plan to invest in Vietnamese high-tech startups.

Vietnam is completing a master plan for Ho Chi Minh City, and legal regulations related to site clearance, infrastructure investment and realty, which he said is a good condition for the group to roll out its projects there.

PM Chinh said the Vietnamese Government will accompany and support the group to effectively branch out its realty and infrastructure development projects, helping Vietnam concretise its green growth and sustainable development goals.

He also expressed his hope that it will join social welfare work in Vietnam, including poverty alleviation and removal of makeshift houses.

According to Huh, GS E&C, boasting 24 branches and representative offices in 18 countries, has run the key business areas of investment, construction of new urban areas, civil infrastructure, petrochemical refinery plants, hospitals and schools, and environmental pollution treatment.

Besides an array of projects being carried out in Vietnam such as Nha Be new urban area, Long Binh and Thu Thiem urban areas and Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro line, the group wants to engage in the others on developing smart urban area, with the key being an IT area for the semiconductor sector and high-tech startups.

The Vietnamese Government leader also had a working session with Vice Chairman and CEO of Celltrion Inc Kim Hi Hyoung, during which he spoke highly of the group’s effective business in the biopharmaceuticals in the RoK, as well as its contributions to COVID-19 treatment medicine production.

Pharmaceuticals is a priority for development in Vietnam which has been short of technology and high-quality human resources for the sector, he said, adding he welcomed Celltrion’s plan to cooperate and transfer technology to the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Corporation (Vinapharm).

The Vietnamese Government always supports and stands ready to create a favourable legal corridor for both domestic and foreign firms, including Celltrion, to carry out business in an effective, successful and sustainable manner in the country, he highlighted.

Kim said the Southeast Asian region has huge potential for the development of the biopharmaceuticals, and the corporation wants to establish a branch in Vietnam and is willing to support Vinapharm in technology transfer and production linkage while wishing to promote its products in Vietnam via the distribution system of Vinapharm.

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