THOMAS O'Dore, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ha Noi, affirmed that the decision by the Intel Corporation of the US to invest in Vietnam sends a particularly strong message to the rest of the world that the country is the right place to be.
Talking with a Vietnam News Agency reporter, Thomas said that for a big American company like Intel to invest into Vietnam even before the country's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a significant positive statement for Vietnam.
"It's the result of the US-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement and it's the result of a lot of the reform and changes that the government of Vietnam is making to open up to foreign investment in the country," he said.
Asked about the reasons why Intel decided to invest into Vietnam, Thomas said "There is a stable government in Vietnam. It's a safe environment. Vietnam is an attractive investment location. It's got great skilled workers. It's preparing to enter the WTO which is going to create even more stable change for Vietnam."
He stressed that "Intel is a widely recognised name all around the world and people watch what the big investors are doing before they decide. So the project has not only an effect on American investors but this is going to have a positive effect for Europeans and other Asian companies that are looking for places to invest. It will get their attention and shine a light onto Vietnam."
"I think companies like Intel coming in here will attract other IT companies to look at Vietnam. It's very favourable to push Vietnam in the direction of technology. We know that software development is starting to become successful here. This will help further along investment in those kinds of industries," he added.
According to Thomas, the project will likely provide around 2000 jobs. "It also sends a message out to other investors that if Intel is looking here, then those companies that provide services to Intel need to invest here as well. And that will create even more foreign direct investment, more jobs, more tax dollars for Vietnam."
"It will also help Vietnam move from a low cost manufacturing society to high-tech. I think that's the next logical step for Vietnam, to go from manufacturing textiles and furniture and those kinds of products, to moving up to these more high-tech services," he said.
However, he underlined that whether Vietnam becomes a big market or not is up to the Vietnamese themselves. "The quality of the education system here really needs to improve, especially at the higher university level. But it's the people themselves and their education and their skill that will determine how much new investment comes here," Thomas elaborated.