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Yap (third left) shakes hands with VINFAST vice president Trinh Van Ngan to signify the partnership agreement between the two partners in Vietnam. — Bernama photo

BANGKOK: Malaysian-owned AAPICO Hitech Public Company Ltd is partnering VINFAST Trading and Production LLC to set up a press shop and assembly operations in VINFAST’s Supplier Park in Haiphong, Vietnam.

The joint venture is to supply Body-in-White (BIW) parts for the first two models of VINFAST vehicles – a sedan and a Sport Utility Vehicle to be produced by the third quarter of next year.

“This project has provided a truly significant stepping stone for AAPICO to enter Vietnam and we are confident that this is only the first step to greater things in the future for both our companies”, said AAPICO Hitech Plc President and Chief Executive Officer Yeap Swee Chuan in a statement.

He said the project would be a historic milestone for Vietnam when the first two vehicle models are launched in 2019.

AAPICO is one of Thailand’s leading auto parts manufacturer with a market capitalisation of about US$400 million.

The total investment for this joint venture would be about US$60 million with AAPICO and VINFAST holding 51 per cent and 49 per cent equity respectively, while the plant would be built over 9.1 hectares in the Supplier Park’s in Hai Phong.

The joint venture between AAPICO and VINFAST would not only be the largest project ever undertaken by the Malaysian-owned company in terms of scale but the second largest overseas investment following the US$100 million investment in Sakthi Automotive Group to acquire 25.1 per cent of its global operations in June 2017.

AAPICO presently has manufacturing operations in India, Europe, United States of America, Mexico, China and now Vietnam.

Meanwhile, VINGROUP Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Viet Quang was also quoted as saying that the joint venture with AAPICO was the first project in automotive parts and accessories manufacturing in Vietnam.

“With this partnership, we believe there will be more domestic and foreign companies joining Vietnam’s automotive supplier industry. This is an important step in creating a synchronous ecosystem for the Vietnamese automobile manufacturing industry”, he said.

The statement said VINFAST would invest US$20 million to build the plant and create the best possible conditions for the factory operation while AAPICO would be responsible for the overall management of the project including total technology and know-how, plant design layout, and equipment sizing.

VINFAST is a subsidiary of VINGROUP, one of the largest and most dynamic business conglomerates in Vietnam with a market capitalisation of over US$14 billion.

Last year, VINGROUP recorded a revenue of approximately US$3.9 billion. — Bernama

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