Local newspapers these days continuously report about the new investment projects in Vietnam by Samsung, Lotte, E-Mart or CJ. However, they are just the “new comers.” Kumho Asiana, Posco, Hyundai, GS E&C, Doosan has “seniority over them in doing business in Vietnam.”
Kumho has Kumho Asiana Plaza, capitalized at $255 million in HCM City, Kumho Tires which makes tires at the $200 million factory in Binh Duong province, and plans to pour $100 million more into it this year. Kumho Asiana Airlines has been opening more air routes to Vietnam.
The group also has a Kumho Asiana Plaza in Hanoi, while considering building a power plant in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Doosan has been well known for Doosan Vina in Quang Ngai province which makes boilers for thermopower plants and some other equipment. T.H.T now moves ahead with the West West Lake urban area project.
C&N Vina plans to set up a 1,600 hectare “South Korea village” in Quang Nam province. The Tam Anh Industrial Zone project in the area has been licensed with the registered capital of $25 million.
Kim Jung In, Chair of Korcham in Vietnam, believes the decision by Vietnam to apply the same tax incentives for the expanded investment parts would encourage more South Korean investors to Vietnam.
He thinks that the presence of the big guys such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai or Lotte would help attract smaller investors to Vietnam.
A report of the Foreign Investment Agency showed that by August 20, 2013, Vietnam had licensed 3,400 South Korean invested projects with the total registered capital of roughly $26 billion.
However, South Korea just ranks the fourth among the biggest countries and territories which have FDI projects in Vietnam. The investments worth $4.5 billion by Samsung have not been counted as the FDI from South Korea, because Samsung has made investment in Vietnam through its subsidiary in Singapore.
If counting on the investments by Samsung, South Korea has invested over $30 billion in Vietnam so far, just second to Japan with $33 billion.
Analysts have noted that the third Korean investment wave has begun. However, the “taste” of Korean investors seems to be different now. Instead of pouring money into the real estate, finance sectors, and they now show interests in the entertainment and technology sectors.
In general, big South Korean conglomerates have been “making money hand over fist” in Vietnam.
Lotte now runs seven cinema complexes in Vietnam and earns big money from the entertainment services. However, this is just a small business branch of the conglomerate. The giant has been known as the developer of the 65 storey Lotte tower.
It bought a hotel in HCM City and renamed it as Lotte Legend Hotel. It also bought a hotel in Da Nang. The news about the construction of new shopping malls in Hanoi, HCM City, and other localities appear on local newspapers so regularly. The group also plans to pour money into the retail sector, where it would have to compete with other fellow countrymen, including E-Mart.