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China factories with Asean aspirations are lining up for a look at Vietnam

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China factories with Asean aspirations are lining up for a look at Vietnam, and industrial parks are cashing in

The just-concluded China-Asean Expo in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region shows how Chinese manufacturers are increasingly keen on diversifying supply chainsMoving production could save China’s exporters money and help avoid US sanctions, but some warn of increasingly strict rules of origin among Western importersChina tradeKinling Loin Nanning, GuangxiPublished: 7:00am, 20 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

The number of Chinese manufacturers waiting to inquire about moving their factories to Vietnam was like no other at a just-concluded annual expo of Southeast Asian businesses.

Nguyen Thi Nga, a sales executive for Vietnam’s Deep C Industrial Zones, still had more than a dozen potential Chinese clients waiting for her to take questions after an hour-long business-networking session attended by more than 300 people on Sunday.

“There has really been a lot more interest from Chinese businesses since last year,” Nguyen said in fluent Mandarin at the four-day China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Expo. “It has especially boomed this year, after the pandemic.”

Nguyen was representing one of Vietnam’s biggest industrial zone developers at the event, which ended on Tuesday in Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. More than 2,000 businesses from the 10-member Asean and China attended the annual forum, with many seeking to secure new business opportunities.

‘Innovation is everything’: what fast-growing Vietnam is learning from China

The sales executive said that half of around 30 Chinese clients – including chemical, electronic and solar panel manufacturers – in all of Deep C’s five zones, have only been on board since 2022.

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