Vietnam's overseas investments booming

Many Vietnamese businesses have recently had considerable success in investing in foreign countries after years of attempts.
Vietnam's overseas investments booming ảnh 1Under the expansion plan, FPT Corporation, one of the leaders in the local technology sector, sets up an office in Yangon, Myanmar in 2015. (Photo: FPT)

Hanoi (VNA) – Many Vietnamese businesses have recently had considerable success in investing in foreign countries after years of attempts.

The military-run Telecommunications Group (Viettel) recently released its financial report, showing total revenue of nearly 223 trillion VND (9.99 billion USD) in 2015, of which about 1.5 billion USD came from its business in foreign markets.

In the same year, Viettel expanded its business in Tanzania and Burundi, bringing its total operational market to 10 countries, including the United States and countries in Asia and Africa, supplying services to some 75 million customers.

Telecom firm FPT Corporation (FPT), one of the first Vietnamese enterprises to develop its business abroad in the technology sector, told it had made several special achievements in new markets such as Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2015.

In Myanmar, FPT was the first 100 percent foreign-owned firm to secure a licence to provide fixed telecom and Internet services in the country. Myanmar's communications and technology ministry granted FPT a 15-year licence, which would also allow the firm to provide online games, e-news, websites and e-commerce services, FPT said in a statement.

In 2015, FPT earned nearly 4.9 trillion VND (219.4 million USD) in revenue and 674 billion VND (30.2 million USD) in pre-tax profit from its business in foreign markets, marking a year-on-year increase of 41 percent and 17 percent compared with 2014, respectively.

With a target of 1 billion USD in revenue from foreign markets by 2020, FPT aims to increase both the capacity and quality of its services. The company will apply all-in or fixed-price contracts instead of the current periodic contracts.

In addition, FPT considers mergers and acquisitions to be an important new motivating factor to power its future growth. It will develop business operations following the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in several markets, such as Myanmar and Bangladesh. For example, an e-ticket system, which was successfully rolled out for Vietnam Railway, is expected to be applied in Myanmar.

In an interview with on February 14, Chairman of the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association Truong Gia Binh said the domestic IT businesses had been aggressively expanding into foreign markets in terms of both scale and growth rate. Viettel, VNPT and FPT, as well as other businesses with advanced technology, such as DolSoft and MK Group, were leading the charge.

Binh said Japan was one market that had been attracting IT businesses from Vietnam in recent years. Many major companies and small and medium enterprises had opened branches in Japan, including FPT Software, TMA, Luvina, Vietsoftware International and Tinh Van Outsourcing.

Binh said when Vietnam signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, many IT opportunities would open in the fields of export and import, logistics, transport, customs and tax procedures and e-payment.

"An important thing to note is the co-operation among Vietnamese IT businesses. To develop the business, these enterprises must associate and co-operate with each other – a situation we have never had," Binh said.

As Vietnam has been deeply and widely integrating into the world economy, many Vietnamese have joined the trend of spending billions of dollars abroad. Vietnamese dairy firm TH True Milk last year opened a 1 billion USD dairy farm in a Moscow suburb. The plant specialises in producing animal feed, breeding dairy cattle and producing milk.

Another major milk maker, Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk), has earned billions of dong from its investments abroad and from exports. In 2015, the company earned more than 40 trillion VND (1.79 billion USD) and after-tax profit of nearly 7.8 trillion VND (349.3 million USD). Of the former, revenue from foreign markets was 8 trillion VND (358.2 million USD), 39 percent higher than the previous year.

Vinamilk launched its strategy to invest abroad by co-operating with Miraka to build a milk processing plant in New Zealand. The plant became operational in August 2011 and reached full capacity for production in August 2012. Vinamilk's total investment in Miraka has risen to more than 13 million USD, and its stake there has increased from 19.3 percent to 22.8 percent. In 2014, it also poured money into a business in Cambodia to supply milk for that market.

In 2013, Vinamilk invested 23 million USD in a joint venture in Cambodia with Angkor Dairy Products and spent 7 million USD on a 70 percent stake in Driftwood Dairy Holding in California.

Taking the lead in overseas investment in mineral exploitation is Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or PetroVietnam (PVN).

At a press conference, held in the middle of last year, Director of PVN's Overseas Project Management Department Vu Van Nghiem said the company had invested in 17 overseas projects, mainly dealing with exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, at a total value of 2.6 billion USD. PVN had, at that point, exploited 5.4 million tonnes of oil and gas, earning a profit of 470 million USD.

Masan Group last year made a 1.1 billion USD landmark partnership deal with Thailand's Singha Group to better serve the 250 million consumers in the ASEAN with a broader portfolio of branded food and beverage products. As part of the agreement, Singha agreed to invest 1.05 billion USD in Masan Consumer Holdings for a 25 percent stake in the company and another 50 million USD in Masan Brewery for a 33.3 percent stake.

A number of banks, such as Vietinbank, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, have combined their efforts to expand their overseas branches, especially in the ASEAN.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency, Vietnamese businesses have invested nearly 20.5 billion USD in the fields of natural mineral exploitation, agriculture and telecommunications in foreign markets, including Laos, Cambodia, Africa and the United States.-VNA


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