Good Morning Vietnam: Investments Underway

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Global Trade

About a year ago, the media declared that Vietnam was the next big LCCS market after China. Intel helped found these rumours when establishing their largest overseas manufacturing operation with a one billion dollar investment near Ho Chi Minh City. But then things went rather quiet. One of the problems quickly realized by small- to medium-sized companies is that there is no component supply market infrastructure. Vietnam can offer some great Greenfield incentives, land, tax breaks, and low labour costs, but for the most part, you have to import your raw materials. This position is borne out by a quick review of projects started over the last year. They are all major corporations establishing manufacturing facilities where they will either feed off adjacent newly established producers or import the raw materials. As if there wasn’t enough investment in the steel mills in China, Thailand’s Tycoons and Taiwan’s E-United are jointly investing in phase one followed by a further $1.5 billion in phase two, with plans to build the world’s largest steel mill with a capacity of five million tons per annum. In addition, Posco, the Korean steel producer, has a $1.13 billion investment underway to build a 700,000 ton CR steel plant, possibly with the intention of feeding off of the slabs produced by Tycoon. Meanwhile, the European Commission is being inundated with claims for unfair dumping made by European producers against China. They haven’t seen anything yet. $1.83 billion

— Stuart Burns

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