The value of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in Vietnam has increased by five times over the past five years, reaching nearly 5 billion USD in 2012, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong.

At the Vietnam M&A Forum 2013 held in Ho Chi Minh City on August 8, the deputy minister said that the activity is not only a pure investment channel but also an important solution to boost the restructuring of investment, enterprises and the finance-banking system.

KPMG Vietnam Chairman John Ditty expressed his belief that after a year of difficulty in 2012, more M&A deals will be completed this year thanks to the Government’s strong commitments.

Despite worries on the macro economy, the activity will keep growing, he said.

Meanwhile, Vinaland Limited Managing Director David Blackhall said that ASEAN investors are seeking opportunities from low-evaluated Vietnamese enterprises, adding the real estate market will develop as of 2014 thanks to increasing foreign investment.

Matsataka Yoshida, Executive Director of Japanese corporation RECOF, highlighted factors that attract Japanese companies to Vietnam, including the time-honoured bilateral relations, political stabilisation, stable growth, young population, cultural similarities and domestic consumption boom.

This year’s forum, organised by the Vietnam Investment Review and AVM Vietnam, attracted 350 representatives from economic corporations and organisations and leading local and foreign experts.

It also saw the presence of leaders from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the State Bank of Vietnam and the International Monetary Fund.-VNA