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|Reed Tradex’s Suttisak Wilanan believes in promoting regional connectivity|
Suttisak Wilanan, deputy managing director of Reed Tradex, one of Asia’s leading event organisers, delves into the event highlights and what visitors can expect at Metalex Vietnam 2018, slated to take place on October 11-13 in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Exhibitions and Convention Centre.
What is your outlook on the Vietnamese market and the investment environment?
Vietnam has recently made steady progress in improving its investment climate, as evidenced by higher scores as it went up five places since last year to rank 55th in the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index and ranked 68th in the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business rankings, up 31 places since 2014. Vietnam also reduced the corporate income tax rate from 32 per cent in 2003 to the current 20 per cent.
The country’s network of 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements is among the best that manufacturers can find in any country at this point on the value chain. These trade agreements have dramatically reduced tariffs, anchored difficult domestic reforms, and opened much of the economy to foreign investment. It is estimated that more than 10,000 foreign companies – including major global players like Samsung, Intel, and LG – operate in Vietnam today, mostly in export-oriented and labour-intensive manufacturing.
All these positive factors will lead to sustained economic growth in the country’s future. Hence, it is crucial for Vietnam to reorganise its industrial system, keep the momentum of rising foreign direct investment flows, and increase the localisation rate, while boosting the supporting industries to cover their respective value chains. Exhibitions then prove a key mechanism for manufacturers to discover technologies and solutions to meet their needs while exploring endless possibilities in the future.
As a leading exhibition organiser, how does Reed Tradex support Vietnamese industrialists and manufacturers to access new business opportunities?
This year, we will make the exhibition programme more competitive, not only demonstrating machineries, but also co-ordinating with organisations and experts in the industry as well as businesses who hold the technology to spur the transmission of knowledge resources, technology transfer, and the exchange of the ability to apply technology and machinery practically, with the highest financial efficiency for manufacturers in Vietnam.
We also seek to turn our exhibition into the centre of the industrialist community. The event will not only look to cater to domestic manufacturers, providing a platform to exchange and connect to win at the local market, but will also feature international participants from Japan, South Korea, and Europe.
At Metalex Vietnam 2018, industrialists will have the chance to experience the latest SMT, solutions, and technology for electronics manufacturing at NEPCON Vietnam 2018, which returns to Ho Chi Minh City this year.
What advice would you offer prospective businesspeople who are searching for the right opportunities?
Aside from the technologies on exhibit, this will be a great opportunity for overseas investors to network with local suppliers so that they can better manage their needs to import industrial parts. Reed Tradex also feels fortunate to receive such an excellent opportunity to co-operate with JETRO, ITPC, and CSID to co-organise the Supporting Industry Show 2018 exhibition at this year’s event. This alliance will facilitate the transfer of new technologies and the expansion of business networks between Vietnamese and global enterprises, which are vital to sharpen the competitive edges of the supporting industry. This will open up new opportunities to prepare local businesses for deeper regional connectivity.