Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vietnamese investors expand overseas activities

20:11' 10/02/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge - The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), which has got involved in building a 1.8 billion USD electric power project in Laos , has intended to launch a series of investment projects in the neighbouring country in the near future.

To this end, PetroVietnam has set up a representative office in Laos, planning to kick-start a number of projects on oil and gas exploration in Pakse and Vientiane, break ground for a petroleum depot and an entrepot in Laos’ southern region and some mining projects.

Many other companies, involved in farm produce and forest product processing, IT and telecoms, are also preparing for their investment projects abroad.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, overseas investment activities are bustling thanked to the government’s promotion policies, especially a decree on overseas investment, and simplified related procedures.

Last year, Vietnamese businesses had 64 investment projects licensed abroad with a total investment capital of almost 400 million USD, raising the country’s number of overseas investment projects to 249 and the total registered capital to nearly 1.4 billion USD since the country promulgated the Law on Foreign Investment in 1988.

Vietnamese businesses have invested in 35 foreign countries and territories with the largest number of 86 projects capitalised at 584 million USD going to Laos .

It was followed by Cambodia with 27 projects and a total capital of 88.4 million USD, and Russia with 12 projects and a total capital of 48.1 million USD.

Some East European, North African, Latin American, and Middle East countries are also attractive destinations to Vietnamese investors.

Vietnamese businesses have shifted from trading to producing competitive products, meeting the demands of local markets with increased market shares and expanded production areas.

Agricultural projects represent 36 percent of overseas projects and 40 percent of the total overseas investment capital; and industrial projects, 26 percent and 37.6 percent, respectively. The remainder of the overseas capital has been poured into services.

According to the Overseas Investment Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, this year, the total overseas investment by Vietnamese businesses is estimated to reach 500 million USD, a 20 percent increase over last year.

Overseas investment projects by Vietnamese businesses mainly focus on oil and gas, electricity, mineral exploitation, telecoms, transport and communications, import-export and retail sales.

Phan Huu Thang, head of the Overseas Investment Department, said that overseas investment projects by Vietnamese companies have gained initial good results, citing the oil and gas exploration and exploitation projects by PetroVietnam in Algeria and Malaysia, the 60 million USD rubber planting project in four Lao southern provinces by the Vietnam Rubber Corporation and the Dak Lak Rubber Company