Amata Vietnam CEO: "Super first" priority given to investors as the largest ever IP looms to develop

By Dang Hoa - Nov 11, 2017 | 08:05 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERThe largest ever industrial park (IP) in the central coastal province Quang Tri looms by the the joint partnership of Sembcorp, Amata and Sumitomo as investors of all fields are given the "super first" priority and privilege.

Amata Vietnam CEO: "Super first" priority given to investors as the largest ever IP looms to develop
Somhatai Panichewa, general director of Amata Vietnam Joint Stock Company (photo:

On October 17, Amata (Vietnam) Joint Stock Company, a leading Thailand-based developer, and manager of factory estates; Sumitomo Corporation Vietnam LLC, one of Japan's major integrated trading and investment business enterprises and VSIPJoint Stock Company announced their cooperation in the infrastructure project in the VSIP Quang Tri that is expected to be soon constructed. VSIP has developed eight projects nationwide. The next project in Quang Tri with the strong support from Vietnamese government and locality as well as strong collaboration between the three corporations is expected to soon implemented and produce the best outcome, making Quang Tri an ideal investment destination.

TheLEADER had a talk with Somhatai Panichewa, general director of Amata Vietnam Joint Stock Company on the potential of VSIP project in Quang Tri province.

Can you introduce briefly about the investment model of the VSIP project in Quang Tri province?

It is a great opportunity for three investment professors that have more than 20 years of experience in Vietnam to come together to support and assist to research the market and look into the long-term investment into Quang Tri province. That’s why we set up the advisory committee to find the potential development in the province. Then we will cover with site-selection plus the planning as an international standard, which is our objective. This is really the first time for us to work together and work under a new investment model. We have done the market surveys to define whether Quang Tri is a right location or not. After that, we will come back and talk together about the investment.

Why do Amata, VSIP and Sumitomo who are very strong and popular brands in Vietnam cooperate in the meeting today?

I think the Minister of PMI has a very strong support and would like to see something changed in Vietnam; then we come up with the model that we are willing to do as we are ready in Vietnam due to the benefit that we can gain. This is a way to return to the country as well in order to have the long-term collaboration between the four countries. I think this could be the best model which could not be found in other countries. So I believe that this could help our four countries to have stronger collaboration with the support of Vietnamese government; effectively accelerating the implementation of VSIP project in Quang Tri province.

After 2 years in Quang Tri, Amata is still at the stage of collaboration with the two other companies. We have already been there since last year. We did surveys and checked on the things to prepare for the industrial park project. Amata will never do anything out of the industrial park, so we would like to bring the model of the industrial park to help Quang Tri. Then we could bring the second layer of the investors to go there.

Are there any other action plans after introducing the model today?

We will continue to do market surveys that we need. And then we will do feasibility studies on location, population, land, etc.,... If it produces the positive outcome, then all of us will look through how we are going to do in the investment.

Does the model just focus in Quang Tri or nationwide?

At this time we just focus on Quang Tri as it is located in the Central Viet Nam and also the gateway of the east-west corridor, which is quite promising. But in the same time, also, a lot of challenges are along the way. So you have to combine the collaboration not only Vietnam and Laos but also including Thailand and Myanmar. These four countries have to see the same thing together. That is why the east-west corridor becomes more outstanding to the investment. So we believe that our three companies could help to bring the policy makers to come and discuss together.

How do you think that foreign investors can be convinced to come to Quang Tri?

This is a kind of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project as the first. We are thinking of Quang Tri in fact that we need to help them. Quang Tri actually is not our top priority to invest but as a big company, you need to be sharing as a charity as Quang Tri is one of the poorest localities in Vietnam and we cannot leave it behind. When you have experience, you have to pull the one that has no chance to come up. Therefore, we thought of CSR projects, assistance, and objectives.

If everything goes smoothly, when will you get the license and start the project?

We will operate the project as soon as possible. Everything has to follow the market. If the market responds strongly, we will immediately get in. Amata, Sumitomo, and VSIP are three strong corporations; therefore, I can see a very brilliant future. We also think that Korea should join with us. That would be a great motivation for both the province and investors to strongly grow and develop in the future.

Despite there has been no confirmation about the investment license and capital, everything is going very smoothly with the signing of MOU and the establishment of the very first advisory committee for the VSIP project in Quang Tri province in Vietnam.

What is your impression about Quang Tri province?

Firstly, the distance from the coastline to Laos and Thailand is 80km which offer high potential for connection. Also, it has abundant natural resources and strong support from locality and government. It is really a privilege for investors of all fields into Quang Tri as they are given the “super first” priority when investing there due to the two-way support between the government of Vietnam and the investors.

However, the government and locality should seek for measures to solve the key challenge related to logistics which has made investors hesitate when investing into Vietnam in general and Quang Tri in particular in order to make Quang Tri an ideal investment destination.

What is your opinion about the foreign investment attraction in Vietnam?

Vietnam is very attractive to foreign investors and it understands the market really well. However, ministries and agencies need to work more closely to pull not only short-term but also long-term FDI investments. Also, the expandable market in Vietnam in general and Quang Tri, in particular, would be a factor that promotes the development of foreign-invested projects, especially the VSIP Quang Tri province.

Thank you so much!