Siemens Vietnam last week reported a successful year of operation with overall revenue of 241 million euros in 2010. Of that, the revenue in product business of the German firm increased by 20 per cent last year.
Siemens Vietnam’s CEO and general director Erdal Elver shares with VIR’s Lien Huong the company’s core businesses to be promoted in 2011 and his overview of Vietnam’s business environment this year.
Vietnam is seen as an increasingly important market for Siemens, particularly with hi-tech products and solutions. What are Siemens Vietnam’s business targets in 2011?
Our core areas are energy production, transmission and supporting infrastructure and healthcare development. We will keep following our strategies in those areas in Vietnam.
We have also planned to introduce a new production line in our busbar trunking system manufacturing plant in southern Binh Duong province, which is supplying products for huge construction and high building projects. The products are currently sold in the Vietnamese market and also exported to other overseas clients in Africa and the Middle East.
The plant is operating at its full capacity and we have already received orders for the future. We are very optimistic about the plant’s development.
Regarding the energy transmission industry, how do you view the potential in the Vietnamese market in the upcoming time?
Transmission is one of Siemens’ key activities. It is not only Vietnam but other countries, too, that are facing energy loss via transmission. Siemens has found many opportunities to participate in this area to introduce our products and solutions.
We are currently analysing the local market and the opportunities for investment. This year, we will elaborate on those opportunities and submit a proposal to our headquarters for investment in energy transmission and distribution.
Siemens is strong in medium-and-high voltage products and we will continue to exploit these advantages in the Vietnamese market.
Emerging countries like China and India are very big markets and will continue to be very important in Asia. Vietnam has been on Siemens’ shortlist for priority future investment, reflecting the high rank Vietnam holds in Siemens’ global consideration.
Vietnam will continue to develop coal-fired and hydro power plants as the major electricity supplies for the country in the following years. Do you see opportunities for Siemens to participate in the market with combined cycle power projects (CCPP)?
It is not 100 per cent true. There are power plants for combined cycle in O Mon 3 & 4. And you may have a Nhon Trach 3 project in the future. Regarding coal fired power plants, we do not say that we are not doing it. We do and we have products.
There are steam turbines which Vietnam can apply in its coal fired power plants.
We are also working with other companies doing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) to cooperate with them to bring our products into coal fired power plants.
In CCPP we are the number one. Coal fired power plants are mainly financed by countries like Japan and China. Their companies get preference to contribute.
We are trying to see how we can cooperate with them in those projects in the future.
How do you see the Vietnamese business environment improvements supporting Siemens’ operation this year?
With the GDP growth rate of 6.78 per cent in 2010 against 5.32 per cent in 2009, there is a very good signal that Vietnam’s economy has recovered from the regional and global crisis, and is gaining its momentum again.
I’ve been very impressed by those efforts made by the Vietnamese government to improve the business environment in general and to implement Project 30 in particular throughout 2010.
Foreign investors like Siemens are benefiting from a simpler, more efficient and more transparent administrative procedures and systems.
2011 will be an exciting year for Vietnam as it will embark on a new 10-year Development Strategy with a new government. If Vietnam can improve its management of fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies, as well as of foreign direct investment inflows, I’m positive that this year’s GDP growth rate will be much more impressive.
In order to remain attractive to foreign investors, it’s important that the government continues to provide a transparent and effective regulatory environment in which companies can compete on equal terms, regardless of being local or foreign, state-owned or private.