Viet Nam emerges as attractive destination for Australian investors

Thursday, Aug 22, 2019 10:50

Leaders from Bac Ninh Province visited the Australia-invested Linfox warehouse during its opening ceremony earlier this year. — Photo

Viet Nam has emerged as an attractive destination for international investors including those from Australia, thanks to its cheap labour, young population, high education standards, and government policies which offer tax breaks and other incentives for foreign firms.

An article published in the Australian Financial Review said the Southeast Asian country, best known to Australians as a laid-back holiday destination, is now on the radar for big businesses, attracted by these advantages.

Wes Maas, a former South Sydney rugby league player who founded NSW-based construction materials, equipment and services company Maas Group, first saw the potential in Viet Nam several years ago, the article said.

From buying equipment from Viet Nam, he opened a plant, valued at A$315 million (US$220 million) in the country's south last month, recruiting 320 staff including 45 engineers.

Maas told the Australian Financial Review that the biggest attraction was finding a skilled workforce to pre-build, prepare and manufacture the underground mining equipment it exports out of Viet Nam around the world.

Another Australian firm – SunRice Group – also acquired a Vietnamese processing mill in the country's south last year and has established breeding programmes and works with local farmers to introduce more sustainable and advanced growing practices, according to the article.

The company said its 260,000 tonne mill in Viet Nam now plays a key role in the company's plans to increase global demand for its branded rice product.

Australian logistics giant Linfox also inaugurated a $23-million warehouse project earlier this year in the northern province of Bac Ninh after entering the market for 13 years.

Statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency showed that Australian businesses had pumped more than $124 million into Viet Nam in the first seven months of 2019. That helped Australia rank 15th among 99 countries and territories investing in the country.

As of July 2019, Viet Nam was home to 465 Australia-financed projects with capital totalling more than $1.89 billion.

According to ANZ, Viet Nam accounts for 0.1 per cent of total Australian investment abroad. — VNS

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