Ensuring companies make the most of every dollar

22:11 | 13/07/2020
Ready to welcome a fresh wave of investment from restructuring global supply chains, Deep C industrial zones in Haiphong and Quang Ninh offer thousands of hectares of clean land with good infrastructure to welcome foreign investors. Deep C Industrial Zones’ general sales and marketing director Koen Soenens talked with VIR’s Nguyen Huong about the developer’s strategy for the future. 
1500p20 ensuring companies make the most of every dollar
Deep C Industrial Zones’ general sales and marketing director Koen Soenens

How do you assess Vietnam’s advantages amidst the trend of relocation after the global health crisis?

The pandemic is a global issue affecting everyone, mostly in a negative way. We have not seen many foreign visitors coming to our office, and we were unable to attend overseas events, which essentially prevented us from doing our work properly.

On the longer term, there is general agreement that Vietnam could well be one of the winners of this pandemic. The country does receive quite a lot of international recognition for the way it has handled the issue. It is one of the most successful countries in the world dealing with this enemy.

At the end of the day, business will continue. People will rethink their supply chains and management, but the investments in the pipeline will come through – if not in 2020, then in 2021. And when the big decision-makers look through their options, I am sure Vietnam will be on the top of their lists.

Then it will be up to us private companies and the local governments to make sure that overseas investors make the right decisions. Considerations like moving to the south or the north of Vietnam, going inland or near a seaport depend on the supply chain of the specific company in question.

Some companies will move out of China and the pandemic is only one reason for this. It is not only companies currently in China that will make the move but also companies elsewhere that are greatly influenced by China. The move is being delayed by the pandemic but is most definitely not stopped. Once the borders open again, I believe when we look out our window, we will see a long queue of customers in front of our office.

What are the most important factors for investors?

When an investor looks for investment opportunities, either at home or abroad, they are looking for a few very important things.

First of all is stability – political and otherwise – and legal transparency. Second is tax because at the end of the day, doing business is all about money. In a couple of weeks or months’ time, it will be announced whether the industrial zones (IZs) we operate in the northern province of Quang Ninh will be eligible for the economic zone tax exemption package, which will be a key factor for investors.

Third is location, not only from the aspect of companies needing to bring in their own materials, but also their need to export their finished products. Investors need real estate along with adequate infrastructure consisting of not only roads, but air and sea transport lines.

The prices at Deep C are not the most affordable. What advantages do your IZs offer to compete against others?

Our prices are not high, either. This is an economy driven business so when the demand is high, prices go up. It is not up to us to set the prices, and we just follow the market trends. Also, if I look at the prices in southern Vietnam, they are even higher than over here.

How we make a difference, you ask? When it comes through services to our customers, Deep C provides so much more than just a land selling company. Companies arrive with a business plan and money in their pockets, but many are new to this country. That is where we come into action, because we want to make sure that every dollar they spend is spent right.

We put in all our expertise regarding the legal and fiscal aspects of a project, the registration certification, and other administrative procedures. We make sure that a customer coming to Vietnam for the first time has a satisfying experience.

This approach creates trust and helps us all avoid headaches, because I can assure that if you are a project manager having $100 billion to spend in a new country, you have many sleepless nights – and a lot of it can be smoothed out with timely help from an experienced partner.

Selling lands is something anybody can do. We are selling a service in a total package. Our investors are here to stay for 30-40 years, so we have to make sure that they feel at home.

What are Deep C’s plans after the new IZs in Quang Ninh?

Deep C currently develops three IZs in Haiphong and two ones in Quang Ninh covering 3,400 hectares in total area. 2,000ha of this is available for new investors.

In the next few years, there will be a big expansion of warehousing and ready-built shops. We want to have these available on all of our sites to meet the huge demand.

We are looking for alternatives for Deep C Port locations and would definitely seize a chance to grow or expand our business inland. Both of these plans would yield more options for potential customers.

Additionally, we want to be the most sustainable IZ developer in the whole of Vietnam. This could be a real game-changer in this part of the world. The times when companies would come here and do whatever they want to do, having a huge impact on the environment and the people are luckily over for all of us.

By Nguyen Huong

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