The oversubscribed Vietnam Investment Conference 2019 brought together over 250 business figures to hear business useful discussions on the opportunities and challenges of this fast-emerging market. 1-2-1 business match making meetings were arranged in the afternoon following the networking lunch providing a day of insight, networking and business development.
H.E. Dinh Tien Dung, Minister of Finance of Vietnam delivered the keynote address citing the importance of the UK-Vietnam economic partnership. The Minister led a delegation of close to a hundred Vietnamese government and business figures, keen to strengthen business ties with the UK.
In his keynote address, H.E. Dinh Tien Dung noted the many UK companies in Vietnam but said the potential for greater UK investment is significant. The Minister stressed to the packed room “Your success is our success” and highlighted his Ministry is focusing on applying modern corporate governance principles, shortening the time of customs clearance, reducing red tape and bureaucratic procedures and creating the right investment climate.
The equitization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is a key priority for the Ministry that is aiming to reduce state ownership significantly and list more SOEs on the stock exchange in the near future. The Minister is interested in London’s large financial market and is keen for investment managers to consider Vietnam.
Alderman William Russell, expected to be the next Lord Mayor of London, in his remarks highlighted the City of London’s expertise in Fintech, Green Finance and its large market said he hopes to lead a fintech delegation to Vietnam in 2020.
The Conference also heard from the UK’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward, who provided an overview of the strengthening UK-Vietnam relationship noting Vietnam’s commitment to global cooperation. UK-Vietnam trade is growing around 10% each year and there has been a record number of visas issued to visit the UK. Next year, Vietnam will Chair ASEAN 2020 and host F1 for the first time.
Ambassador Ward listed four areas to watch:
- Artificial intelligence and the data driven economy noting that Vietnam has the highest ratio of digital economy to GDP.
- Clean growth; Vietnam has fast growing demand for electricity and mentioned Dragon Capital’s investment in a solar plant and Vietnam’s clean growth plans.
- An ageing society and health care.
- Future mobility with a focus on electric vehicles especially electric scooters such as the Klara.
“Vietnam is an attractive place to invest not only in manufacturing but also in other sectors such as finance, energy and digital technology which are areas of UK strength” noted Rt. Hon Ed Vaizey, Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam in his address. He also said he looked forward to the next Joint Economic Trade and Economic Meeting that will take place in October in Hanoi.
The Conference also saw two panel discussions that featured senior Vietnamese figures including Tran Van Dung, the Chairman of the State Securities Commission and senior figures from the Insurance, Tax, Debt Management sectors of the Ministry of Finance as well as senior executives from PetroVietnam, VinaCapital and Prudential.
Dominic Scriven, Chairman of Dragon Capital moderated the first panel, switching between fluent Vietnamese and English, noted that this was a very senior group of Ministry of Finance officials on one panel and encouraged as many questions as possible.
The conference was co-hosted by DIT and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance, organised by the State Securities Commission of Vietnam and the UK-ASEAN Business Council and Supported by Aviva and Prudential. Thanks also goes to Chevening students from Vietnam who helped out on the day.
See photos of the Conference here.
In the News
Vietnam wants the UK to participate in restructuring state-owned enterprises by the BBC includes interview with H.E. Dinh Tien Dung, Minister of Finance
UK and Vietnam are ‘discussing FTA’ by the BBC featuring interview with Rt. Hon Ed Vaizey, Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam
A gateway for UK investors to the ASEAN op-ed by Ross Hunter, Executive Director, UK-ASEAN Business Council in Vietnam Investment Review
Bilateral UK relations set to soar ever higher op-ed by Ian Gibbons, DIT Director Vietnam and Consul General in HCMC, in Vietnam Investment Review
Vietnam looking at relaxing FX hedging curbs – official by Reuters
Vietnam Investment Conference held in London by Nhan Dan
Investment promotion conference held in London in Vietnam Plus