VietNamNet Bridge – If noting that some foreign telecom groups have to leave
Vietnam after a period of staying here, one would think that Vietnam is not a
promising land for foreign telcos. However, more and more foreign telcos still
plan to enter the market.
Dien dan Doanh Nghiep newspaper reported that South East Asia Managing Director
of British Telecom–Paul G Migliorini, had a meeting with Deputy Minister of
Information and Communication–Le Nam Thang, discussing the opportunities and
the challenges in the Vietnamese market.
This means that the British telco has officially expressed its willingness to
enter the market. The British company said at the meeting that Vietnam is now
considered one of its important markets, and that it is trying to learn more
about the investment policies set up by the government of Vietnam to draw up its
Especially, the British company is most interested in the regulations on the
ceiling foreign ownership ratio in the joint ventures with the Vietnamese
Thang replied that foreign investors can cooperate with Vietnamese telecom
groups, such as VNPT and Viettel through the mode of direct investment, or they
can contribute capital to joint ventures or buy stakes of Vietnamese telcos.
Thang believes that Vietnam would see a strong wave of the foreign direct
investment in the Vietnamese telecom industry in one or two years.
The news about the British telecom group’s plan to enter the Vietnamese market
has raised a question – what opportunities foreign investors can find in
It’s obvious that Vietnam’s telecom market has been growing very strongly in
recent years, which might be the reason why British Telecom has been eyeing
Vietnam. However, they also might have heard that some foreign big guys have to
leave the Vietnamese market after tasting failures.
It’s still unclear what exactly British Telecom targets when entering Vietnam.
However, according to Dau tu, this is not for the first time the telecom group
shows its interest in Vietnam. The company has been running a representative
office in Vietnam since 2003.
And British Telecom is not the only foreign group which eyes the Vietnamese
market. Local newspapers have recently named a completely new name – True
Corporation from Thailand.
After the leave of Russian VimpelCom in 2012, which led to the disappearance of
Beeline brand in Vietnam, Hutchison Telecommunications from Hong Kong remains
the only foreign investor in the country.
In the gold age, Vietnam received a lot of ambitious foreign investors,
including Swedish Comvik, South Korean SK Telecom, VimpelCom, Hutchison
Telecommunications. However, most of them have given up the games.
Of these, Comvik seems to be the best known foreign investor. It had to leave
Vietnam in 2005 after the 10-year BCC (business cooperation contract) finished,
and after it made great efforts to help build up MobiFone into one of the
leading telecom networks in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, SK Telecom and VimpelCom had to leave in 2010 and 2012, quietly,
after they took loss with S-Fone and Beeline networks.
Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecommunications is the only foreign telecom investor
staying in Vietnam. The group repeatedly affirms its long term plan to make
investment in Vietnam. However, no one says that Hutchison has been doing
business well with its Vietnamobile network as it expected.
In related news, the government of Vietnam has been urged to equitize MobiFone,
one of the three biggest mobile networks in Vietnam. Five or six foreign names
have expressed their willingness to become the strategic partners of the telecom
Compiled by C. V