INTERVIEW TO VU THI THANH XUANJuly 14, 2020
Interview to Vu Thi Thanh Xuan, DEPUTY MANAGER of SILICONE HOSES VIETNAM (VINASIL)
13th July, 2020 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
1. Kindly tell us something about your work profile/business including yourself.
Answer: Silicone Hoses Vietnam (Vinasil) is the Asia-based factory of the Venair Group in the world besides the factory in Headquarter – Spain and the other in Rumania. Venair Group (https://www.venair.com/about/) was established in 1986 in Terrassa, Barcelona and has been managed since then by Mr. Miguel Fernandez Zamora – the President. I have been working for Vinasil for nearly 2 years now as Deputy Manager and it is an incredible experience! Having studied 2 years in Spain and worked with diverse Spanish people, those practices help me to understand the company and adapt quickly to the culture and the operation.
2. When did you first start your business in Vietnam and how has your professional career or your company’s career developed since then?
Answer: We came to Vietnam in 2010 and have already 10 years of producing and exporting activities here in the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, District 7, HCMC. In 2018, we established the commercial branch-Vinasil Biotech for the domestic sale in Vietnamese market. Our main products are high-quality hoses made from silicone applied for the automotive industry and food and pharmaceutical products production process. We can name some of our customers here in Vietnam such as Tetra Pak, Sabeco, Nestle, General Electric, ect. We are now developing another product category of silicone hoses used in Biotechnology which are promised to be the future trend. Efficiency in manufacturing is always our top concern and in the way to automate the production, the group has been investing in AI technology to build a modern factory.
3. How do you think EVFTA will benefit EU and Vietnam companies after this pandemic? Are there any new strategies that you’re adapting for this new situation?
Answer: EVFTA will ease the way in doing foreign trade between EU and Vietnam especially about the favourable tax rate toward which all the companies expected. Of course in this moment, because of the limitation of goods and people movement, we witness the decrease of demand in the market, however this is just the short-term. Hopefully by the beginning of next year 2021 when the vaccine is available or in a positive scenario by the end of this year, when the situation is recovered and the agreement gradually takes its full effect, EU and Vietnam companies will benefit a lot from this. As an Europe invested company, Vinasil already prepared beforehand all the essential steps for the changing to REX code and we now begin to apply it. We will benefit from a good tax rate. This adds a good value to our cost optimization.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges in your industry in the future with EVFTA?
Answer: All the FTAs have pros and cons. We have a good tax rate but the new process also shows some difficulties in export-import flow as the documents control is strict and this puts a pretty significant change to our internal procedures. We have to modify our system to adapt to this but that should be alright if we focus on the long-term benefits.
5. In relation with the current pandemic (CoVid-19) that the world is facing, how has your company been affected and what actions do you propose to better the situation?
Answer: We suffered quite a large decline of income in Q2 because our main markets are the EU and the USA. Necessary measures have been taken such as reducing working hours and labour, cutting cost, etc. and it was really unwanted but a-must for us. Dealing with our service and goods providers to get better support is also something that we have to work on. As a member of Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, we would like to seek help like raising the voices for us to the government regarding any policy or support that they can offer for european companies such as reducing corporate tax or a special permission for the entrance of european investors. We have Spanish residents working here and due to the restriction, issues like passport and visa expiration have to be managed from here. So if the embassy can coordinate with specific vietnamese government bodies to make a less complicated procedure, that would be a big encouragement for us in this moment.
6. Please tell us a little about future plans of Silicones Hoses.
Answer: We foresee the development of the Venair group and that’s the reason why the factory here in Vietnam is looking for a way of expanding the production. Vinasil has the project of buying a new bigger plant in the zone to meet the bigger production demand and has another research of implementing robots in the production process. We predict our future here for the next 15-20 years.
Thanks to Xuan for sharing her experience with us.