Vietnam emerges as key beneficiary of trade war

Vietnamese companies are emerging as key winners of the trade war between the U.S. and China, according to a new survey of companies from the two nations.

Both American and Chinese companies participating in the survey, published on Monday by the Guangzhou-based American Chamber of Commerce in South China, said that as a result of the trade conflict, they have been losing market share, especially to companies from Vietnam.

Nevertheless, with the potential for more tariffs looming, most survey participants, which was conducted Sept. 21 to Oct. 10, said that they are looking at shifting production, assembly or sourcing of supplies to third countries, with Southeast Asia as the leading choice.

Some companies are already putting such plans into motion. Panasonic, for example, is moving production of car electronics from China to Thailand, Malaysia and Mexico. China’s GoerTek, which assembles wireless earphones for Apple, has notified suppliers that it intends to relocate some of its production to Vietnam. Chinese polyester producer Zhejiang Hailide New Material is investing $155 million in a factory in Vietnam with an eye toward U.S. exports.

The research, conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, said 72 percent of 219 firms questioned said they were considering moving out of China.

“It’s reasonable and practical for them to relocate factories to other countries which will have stable and normal trading relations in the near future,” Zhou Hao, a senior economist at Commerzbank in Singapore, told the South China Morning Post.


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