The investment flow will be strong into Vietnam for setting up company, factory once the commitments in the TPP agreement takes effect.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will be signed on February 4th 2016 in New Zealand. In order to capture the opportunities that it will bring, many foreign companies have invested in Vietnam.
The parties have also agreed to a term of 2 years for national parliaments to ratify the agreement. Thus, the TPP can be effective in 2018.
12 members of TPP include: US, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, Peru and Singapore. The current country members of TPP accounted for 40% of the world GDP and 26% of global trade merchandise. The agreement will not be effective without the participation of both the US and Japan.
To this point, it is probably not debatable about the opportunities that the TPP brings to Vietnam, especially in trade development and investment attraction. When the trade is opened thanks to the commitment to eliminate tariff barriers between the 12 country members, it will impact to investment, not only in internal, but also from other investment markets.
Manufacturing Companies Set up Business in Vietnam
HanesBrands (NYSE: HBI), US’s leading textile corporation has recently announced raising total investment in Vietnam market to nearly 55 million USD, increase by more than 11 million USD compared to 2014. After 8 years of operation in Vietnam, they have 3 factories located in Hung Yen and Hue.
HanesBrands is not the only business that can see these opportunities in Vietnam when the TPP was signed. Many large enterprises of textile industry have decided to expand investment in Vietnam to capture the opportunities brought by the TPP.
And it is not only the textile industry, there are a lot of examples to prove that foreign investors are looking at Vietnam as a tremendous opportunity to invest in. The appearance of high-tech giants such as Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Jabil… with investment capital of up to tens of billions USD, of which only the capital of Samsung has reached over 14 billion USD is the clearest evidence. The presence and moreover the expansion of the foreign retail giants such as Aeon, Auchan, Metro Cash & Carry, Big C, Lotte… are also the typical examples. More than 290 billion USD of FDI capital has been committed to pour into Vietnam during the past years.
According to Nikkei news agency, Pou Chen Company, which is the world’s largest footwear manufacturer, specializing in providing goods for two famous brands that are Nike, Adidas and many other major brands, are planning to move their factories to Vietnam to take advantage of TPP.
By the end of September 2015, the number of footwear manufacturing by Pou Chen in Vietnam accounted for 42%, increase by 39% compared to the same period in 2014. The total annual production of Pou Chen (headquartered in Taiwan) is more than 300 million pairs of footwear, sales from footwear and garment accounted for 75% of total revenues of the company.
According to the representative of Pou Chen, the company has gradually shifted production bases to Vietnam since 2012 as the labor costs in China are rising rapidly in recent years. They see the long-term stability in Vietnam in both economic and politics.
Pou Chen is not the only company that moving production bases to Vietnam. Currently, many Taiwanese companies are actively investing in Vietnam, including competitor of Pou Chen that is Feng Tay (over 50% of Feng Tay’s production is concentrated in Vietnam).
Besides, Far Eastern New Century Company (FENC) has also planned to pour 307 million USD to a new factory in Vietnam in June 2015 and is expected to start production in the second half of 2016.
It is clear that footwear suppliers are actively moving their factories to Vietnam to capture the opportunities that the TPP will bring. Once the TPP is approved, the goods from the members in TPP export to the US market will enjoy preferential tariffs. As a result, the famous international brands like Nike and Adidas will prefer Vietnam as the location of their factory.
In this context, the TPP would be a “catalyst” for this capital flow to flow stronger. The catalyst is not just come from the opportunity of an open trade market, but also from the commitments of the TPP members relating to investment.
According to Mr. Hoang Manh Phuong, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs (Ministry of Planning and Investment) – the one who participating in the TPP’s negotiating session related to investment – said that there are a lot of commitments bringing big advantages for foreign investors in Vietnam. TPP allows investors to invest and do business in all sectors, except the one that is still in the reserved category.