Interview with Deep C Industrial ZonesJanuary 13, 2021
1. 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?
I wouldn’t consider the European Vietnam Free Trade Agreement as a new situation as Vietnam is among a few countries in the world that are participating in many Free Trade Agreements and opening borders to not only within Asian Pacific region but also overseas such as US and Europe.
There are two ways of benefits. First of all, for European companies who are looking to invest in Vietnam, it will become easier to settle down, start production and seek partnerships with local Vietnamese companies. That will benefit local industry as well because I believe the quality of Vietnamese companies can only grow when they build more partnership companies who apply higher standards in production and management overall.
On top of this, because the tax barriers will be brought down, exporting Vietnamese products back to Europe will be more beneficial than ever before.
This being said, DEEP C is noticing a growing interest from European companies to invest in Haiphong and Quang Ninh. But the fallout of Covid-19 situation being travel restriction have prevented interested investors to travel to Vietnam. Making big investment in this country requires a least a few visits, talk, discussion, not only with the industrial park developer but also the local authority.
From our local office in Europe, the feedback is promising. There is indeed a list of European companies that are eyeing Vietnam. And we are convinced that it is just the matter of a couple of years before we notice the real impact of EVFTA in DEEP C Industrial Zones.
Additionally, we are a strong believer that in order to attract more European investors, we really need to distinguish ourselves from many other industrial zones in Vietnam. The way to do is to develop ourselves into a sustainable industrial park. European companies are sensitive to the sustainability because they are also under the pressure of their shareholder to act as sustainable as possible, not only from an environmental point of view but also from a social and economical point of view. DEEP C is working hard to become the first eco-industrial park in Vietnam.
2. What do you think are the biggest challenges in your industry in the future with EVFTA?
We believe that European companies in their seek to settle down in Vietnam are looking for more than just an ordinary industrial park. In Vietnam, there are around 370 industrial parks but at the moment DEEP C is still the only European industrial park developer that serves the standards that meet the requirements of European companies, not only in terms of sustainability but also in terms of management and safety. In a few years from now, the methods and methodology used and applied by DEEP C could well become the standard among new industrial park developers in Vietnam.
3. 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?
DEEP C has been doing quite well in 2020 despite Covid-19 and very few overseas visitors coming to our offices in Quang Ninh and Haiphong. We have supported our tenants as much as possible by showing flexibility when it comes to payments. We have offered in different ways supporting packing not only financially but also all kinds of supports. And overall, at the end of 2020, we have seen a slight recovery in the outputs of the tenants. Therefore, we are hopeful that in 2021 the situation will have the tendency to move back to normal situation although the impacts of the pandemic will not disappear over a night. We are quite prepared for it and doing quite well compared to US and Europe. We hope with the strong support from the Vietnamese government, we will be able to keep Covid-19 outside of Vietnam as much as possible and at the same time can start some business deals with business people who will be allowed to enter Vietnam under some kind of special regime.
4. Please tell us a little about future plans of DEEP C
Our short-term plan will obviously remain developing our landbank in the province of Quang Ninh. We have around 1700 ha of land available for development. Additionally, enforcing our sustainable image by taking more initiatives in environmental protection and social equality. We are also investing heavily in necessary services such as reliable and stable power supply for our tenants, the same for water supply and state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant. We want to have a whole set of renewable energy sources deployed so that it can cover at least half of current power demand within our industrial zones. All these investments are part of our eco-industrial park initiatives.
On top of that, we continue to keep in touch with our tenants closely to understand their concerns. One of which is the search for qualified labor and we are striving to have an action plan to address their problems.
Thank you for your time and support!