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Tata Group seeks more business in Vietnam news
Our Corporate Bureau
15 October 2007
Tata Group executive director Alan Rosling is in Vietnam on a three-day trip scouting for business in this rapidly growing South-East Asian country. Viet Nam, whose economy is growing at over 8 per cent a year, is one of the most important markets in Asia in Tata''s strategy of global expansion.

On 10 October, Rosling and team met Vietnamese deputy PM Pham Gia Khiem, ministers and representatives of state-owned and private companies to discuss possible Tata investments in Vietnam. The Tata delegation indicated that besides steel (where the Indian group has already signed an agreement), the Tata Group would be interested in investing in the chemical, energy, telecommunications and other industries in Vietnam.

According to Vietnamese media, the group has proposed building a luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. This city''s 10 existing five-star hotels have high occupancy rates, and the demand is set to rise steeply. City chairman Le Hoang Quan informed the Tata delegation that the city administration has selected 11 locations for new luxury hotels till 2020 to meet the growing demand.

Earlier this year, Tata Steel, the Indian group''s biggest company, signed an agreement with Vietnam Steel Corporation to build a 4.5-million tonne steel mill in the central province of Ha Tinh. Tata Steel will hold 65 per cent of the equity of this venture and VSC the rest. Under this agreement, Tata Steel will also get a 30 per cent equity stake in Vietnam''s Thach Khe Iron Ore project.

While industry observers say that, given the new steel capacities coming up in Vietnam (including India''s Essar Steel''s 2-million tonne hot rolled coil mill in partnership with VSC and Vietnam Rubber Industry Group) there may be a glut there in about a decade or so, after all the planned facilities come up. But Rosling believes that the Tata Group will not only cater to Vietnam''s domestic market, it will make Viet Nam a manufacturing base for export of group products to international markets.

There have been reports in the past about the Tata Group investing in an instant coffee making venture in Vietnam. But nothing has come of it so far.

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Tata Group seeks more business in Vietnam