Siam Cement Group (SCG) from Thailand considers Vietnam a key market in its strategy to expand investment in the Southeast Asian region.

SCG President and CEO Kan Trakulhoon said that Vietnam has always been an important market in the group’s business strategy in the ASEAN region since the group entered the country in 1992.

“We will continue our investment in this potential market, focusing on cement, building materials, paper and chemicals,” he stressed.

SCG currently has 19 affiliates in Vietnam which have total assets worth 615 million USD. The group’ posted 6.7 trillion VND (320 million USD) in sales revenue in the Vietnamese market in 2012, an 11 percent increase from a year earlier.

In the first half of this year, the figure saw a year-on-year surge of 43 percent to hit 4.9 trillion VND (230 million USD).

Last December, the Thai group paid 5.12 trillion VND (240 million USD) for 85 percent of Prime Group, a leading building material producer in Vietnam , a strategic step to consolidate its competitiveness in ASE AN.

Kan Trakulhoon noted significant changes in Vietnam ’s investment and business environment.

“ Vietnam is an emerging economy with a large and dynamic population and good business environment. Remarkably, we have seen its efforts in building an ASEAN Economic Community. In this context, Vietnam has many favourable factors for our upcoming plans,” he added.

SCG is also seeking other opportunities here. Last year, the group and Thai Plastics and Chemicals Public Company Limited (TPC) entered into a joint venture with QPI Vietnam (a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum International), the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Vietnam National Chemicals Group (VinaChem) to invest in a petroleum project in the country.

SCG and TPC own 28 and 18 percent of the project respectively. The remaining belongs to Vietnamese businesses. It is scheduled to become operational in the next few years.

Besides Vietnam , the Thai group is also eyeing other markets in the Southeast Asian region./.