Australian interest in Vietnam as an investment destination is growing, although this has not yet resulted in significant increases in the number or value of new Australian-related projects in Vietnam. According to official statistics, Australia ranks 18th in overall foreign direct investment in Vietnam, with 126 currently valid projects worth a total of US$405 million in disbursed capital since 1988.
In 2006, there were 13 newly approved Australian-invested projects in Vietnam, a number in keeping with previous years. Newly approved Australian investment in 2006 was in diverse areas including ship building, apartment construction, logistics, agribusiness, hospitality, fashion design, marketing and consulting.
More generally, over the past five years, the most significant Australian investments have involved expansions by established Australian companies, which continue to diversify their operations. Prominent examples include BlueScope Steel, ANZ Bank and QBE.
The majority of Australian investors in Vietnam operate in Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding rapidly developed provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Official figures indicate 74 of the 126 Australian invested projects in Vietnam are in this region.
Australia’s business presence in HCMC is concentrated in the services sector (ANZ, QBE, Commonwealth Bank, Allens Arthur Robinson (formerly Phillips Fox), Toll, Intrepid Travel, RMIT University). Jetstar commenced services between Sydney and HCMC on 30 November 2006.