The Economic Development Strategies of Thai Nguyen Province and the Role of Samsung

As an open and fast-growing economy, over the past 30 years, foreign direct investment (FDI) is pivotal to the Vietnam economic growth. For slow-growing areas like Thai Nguyen, Samsung, with its USD 7 billion investment, has become a critical project determining the growth trajectory of the province.

However, 7 years after such investment, three paradoxes emerge. First, despite Samsung’s high value exports, the added value remains low. Second, Vietnamese firms in general and local firms in Thai Nguyen in particular, cannot participate in Samsung’s supply chains; hence, they do not benefit from the technological and knowledge spillover. Third, the presence of Samsung does not improve the business environment for the private sector in Thai Nguyen.

FSPPM’s research project, “Economic development strategies of Thai Nguyen Province and the role of Samsung,” evaluates the competitiveness of Thai Nguyen province and analyzes the contributing role of Samsung to the area’s long-term growth. On these grounds, FSPPM proposes different recommendations for economic growth during the period 2021-2015 and the outlook towards 2035.

The project serves as valuable sources for local leaders to refer to while drafting the 20th Party Document for Thai Nguyen Province (2021 – 2025). The project is the first research study quantifying added value of FDI projects to the local economy and analyzing (positive and negative) spillover effects of FDI projects on local residents, public administrative agencies in the area, and particularly the network of both FDI and any domestic private firms related to Samsung.