Thai investors focus on sustainability in Vietnam

By Tam An   January 19, 2021 | 06:30 pm PT
In addition to impressive growth in the number of projects and registered capital, many Thai investors place sustainability as their top concern when investing in Vietnam.

Data from the Ministry of Planning and Investment shows that, in 2020, Thailand has 40 new registered projects, 23 registered capital adjustment projects and 100 capital contribution and share purchases in Vietnam with total registered capital of nearly $1.8 billion. This number is double that of 2019 and nearly seven times that for the period 2015-2020.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1976, the economic relationship between Thailand and Vietnam has developed endlessly. Direct investment flows from Thailand into Vietnam have continuously increased by an average 13 percent per annum over the past 10 years.

Currently, Thailand is one of the nine biggest investors in Vietnam with a total accumulated investment capital of $12.8 billion by the end of 2020, equivalent to 603 projects. Thai investors are interested in a variety of fields in Vietnam, mainly processing and manufacturing, clean energy and real estate.

With strong potential, investment capital flows from the Golden Temple country have contributed to an important source of capital for domestic development investment, which contributes to GDP growth and state budget revenues, increases the proportion of exports, technology advancements through technology transfer and labor productivity growth.

Besides, with a similar culture, Thai businesses boast a friendly and sociable working environment, which is highly appreciated by many Vietnamese employees.


Long Son Petrochemical Complex is one of Thailand projects in Vietnam. Photo by SCG.

In addition, a number of large corporations from Thailand are also concerned about the sustainability of their investment in Vietnam. SCG is ranked No.1 sustainable business in the world in Building Materials Field according to Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for 2020.

In Vietnam, SCG is one of three enterprises, together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam, to sign an agreement to establish Public Private Collaboration (PPC) towards Circular Economy in plastic waste management in February. This cooperation aims to share knowledge, transfer technology, raise public awareness and promote innovation and creativity to solve the problem of plastic waste on a national scale.

"Collaboration of all sectors is a crucial element to make the circular economy a reality. In order to achieve the circular economy, government-driven infrastructure development, stringent regulations, and strict waste management will not be enough to enact change," said Thanapat Kaweetraiphop, commercial director, Long Son Petrochemicals, a subsidiary of SCG.

Accordingly, one of the programs under PPC implemented by LSP in Vietnam is waste-segregation at source, piloted for the first time at Long Son primary schools 1 and 2.

Representatives of SCG, DOW and Unilever sign an MOU with the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment. Photo by SCG.

Representatives of SCG, DOW and Unilever sign an MOU with the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment. Photo by SCG.

In addition, SCG also ensures its subsidiaries always follow the corporate’s philosophy. Recently, SCG Concrete Roof (Vietnam), a subsidiary of SCG in Vietnam, received the Top 100 Sustainable Companies in Vietnam by CSI (Corporate Sustainability Index) Award, a reputable ranking system by Vietnam Business Council for Sustainability (VBCSD) in 2020.

"In order to obtain this award, CRVC had made continuous investments in product innovations and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, in tandem with on-going improvement in operations to help preserve the environment as well as provide better working conditions to employees, and the lives of surrounding communities," a SCG representative said.

"With sustainable direction, Thai investors are companions who go along with Vietnam in a long journey of future development," he stressed.

Another business unit representative for sustainable development from Thailand may include Super Energy Corporation Company, which invested $457 million in four solar power projects in Binh Phuoc Province.

By the end of 2019, the group had made an agreement to invest or buy assets in six wind power projects in Vietnam with a total capacity of 600 MW and total investment value of $58.4 million.

Most recently, Banpu Group - a Thai integrated energy solutions company officially signed an agreement to purchase the Mui Dinh wind power plant project, worth about $66 million.

In addition to the goal of contributing 6,100MW of clean electricity to the national grid system by 2025, the group also committed to reducing CO2 emissions of nearly 700,000 tons per year, equivalent to more than 40 million planted trees.

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