Vietnam, a destination with potential for Australian businesses, Vietnam Economic News, 25 July 2019. An interview with Triac Composites' General Manager, Phil Johns.
The interview has been reproduced below.
Triac Composites was established in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014 by its three Australian owners, two of whom were already living and working in Vietnam for many years.
There were two key reasons for choosing to invest in Vietnam. The first reason was the supportive foreign ownership laws which allow 100 percent foreign ownership. The second reason is the country’s youthful workforce which is quite well educated and, significantly, is eager to develop and learn. With the composites industry being relatively new to Vietnam, these attributes about the work force being keen to learn were particularly appealing.
Triac Composites is investing in technology to ensure that Triac and Vietnam are at the leading edge in composites. Accordingly, our equipment includes an industrial robot (KUKA), CNC machine, autoclave and clean room.
We manufacture (extremely light and extremely strong) high-tech products and components from carbon fiber / fiberglass / kevlar for multiple industries including marine (eg pleasure and commercial boats), transport (eg passenger interiors), construction and architecture (eg building facades) and the mining industry. Much of our product is manufactured for export but we are also seeing increased demand in Vietnam.
We believe that composite boats (pleasure, commercial and patrol) have a big future in Vietnam.
In anticipation of the growth and developing requirements of the tourism industry, we now offer a range of passenger power catamarans. These composite boats, built to international construction and safety standards, will enable tourism operators to unlock Vietnam’s long and scenic coastline, as well as its 40,000 kilometres of rivers.
Vietnam’s commitment to free trade and opening up further opportunities for business to increase the rate of employment is acknowledged and applauded. It is a founding member of CPTPP and has free trade agreements with ASEAN, China, the Republic of Korea and the European Union.
At Triac Composites, we are currently taking advantage of the free trade provisions under AANZFTA (ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement) for our first orders to Australia of carbon products for the mining industry.
For new foreign investors wishing to set up in this wonderful country, they will need to do their homework. They should think carefully about which ownership model suits their business model better - whether that be “going alone” in Vietnam by being 100 percent foreign-owned or finding a local joint venture partner.