On May 15, 2020, Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) and the People’s Committee of Thai Nguyen Province organized an online meeting for assessing the project titled “Enhancing the Competitiveness of Thai Nguyen Province and the Role of Samsung.”
Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, head of the research project, and the assembled group of experts delivered the findings before the board responsible for accepting the project. The board includes several officials of Thai Nguyen Province led by Mr. Trinh Viet Hung, deputy chairman the provincial People’s Committee, as well as lecturers and experts from universities and research institutes in Hanoi and Thai Nguyen.
The project evaluated the competitiveness of Thai Nguyen province with special attention to how Samsung has contributed to the area’s long-term growth. On these grounds, FSPPM developed a set of recommendations for economic growth during the period 2021-2030 and the outlook towards 2035.
Thai Nguyen authorities commissioned the FSPPM Outreach team to conduct seeing that Samsung’s presence, established in Thai Nguyen in late 2013, profoundly changed the structure, growth, and outlook of the province’s economy. The province saw a 20-fold increase in its industrial manufacturing value, 12-fold increase in trade and eight-fold increase in tax revenue from export and import. The presence of the Korean giant also brought a large number of jobs and income opportunities for local residents.
These figures made Thai Nguyen one of the biggest contributors to the country’s export and import activities and improved the province’s status and self-perception.
But as a consequence, Thai Nguyen’s growth and development become inevitably tied to Samsung and related subsidiaries in the company’s supply chain. This poses high risks to the province, especially when there are no signs that Samsung is, or will, grow attached to the local economy, especially when taking into account the fierce competition in attracting Samsung coming from other provinces, but also from other countries.
Therefore, the research project’s main objective was to determine ways to retain and leverage Samsung’s positive influence on the province’s economic development, as well as set Samsung as an example of sustainable local development for other provinces across Vietnam.
The board spoke highly of the project, which is among few research studies quantifying added value from FDI projects to the local economy, analyzing positive and negative spillover effects of FDI projects on local residents as well as public administrative agencies in the area, and rarer still, clarify the complex web of relationships between FDI and private domestic firms, in this case with Samsung and its affiliates.
The project serves as a valuable reference for local leaders as they draft the 20th Party Document for Thai Nguyen Province (2021-2025).