A majority of polled South Korean firms choose Vietnam as the best location for business expansion among many emerging foreign markets in 2015, according to the survey announced by Korea International Trade Association (KITA) on Thursday.
KITA said 537 Korean businesses were surveyed about the investment environment in 32 countries with an annual growth rate of more than 3 percent in the last 3 years.
Regarding the result of the survey, about 49 percent of them said to have plans to develop business in Vietnam market in 2015 following a number of free trade agreements (FTA) the Southeast Asian country have concluded with their foreign trade partners, including the FTA reached between Vietnam and Korea in December last year.
Indonesia and Thailand are 2nd and 3rd preferred markets for business expansion among polled South Korean firms with 37.4 percent and 30 percent, respectively, followed by Malaysia (28.5 percent) and Turkey (20.7 percent).
The survey results also showed that of the 15 top business locations for 2015, seven countries are in East Asia.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in 2014, the South Korean enterprises had new 505 new projects and 179 projects with additional capitals in Vietnam, bringing the total number of newly registered and increased capitals to US$7.32 billion, accounting for 36.2 percent of total value of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam.
South Korean-invested projects in 2014 focused mainly on the field of manufacturing and processing industry with 322 new projects and 151 expanded projects valued at a total $6.58 billion, making up about 90 percent of total value of Korean FDI in Vietnam.
Real estate sector followed with six new projects and 1 project with added capitals, totaling $363.2 million, accounting for 5 percent of the total investment. Accommodation and dining sector stood at the 3rd position with around 2.1 percent of total investment.
Some prominent projects of Korea in Vietnam in 2014 include the second phase of Samsung Electronics’ complex in the northern province of Thai Nguyen with total registered capital of $3 billion, the $1 billion plant of Samsung Display Co in the northern province of Bac Ninh, $117 million projects producing yarn and knitting fabric invested by Ilshin Co in the southern province of Tay Ninh, and the $117 million project in the field of manufacturing and assembly of printed circuit board of SI Flex Vietnam Co in the northern province of Bac Giang.
By the end of 2014, South Korea was the largest investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$36.71 billion and 4,063 operational projects, said FIA.
Korean FDI is an important component of the economy of Vietnam, using over 50,000 workers and contributes over 25 percent of the total export value of Vietnam in 2013, FIA added.