A World of Networks: taking advantage of change in Vietnam

ANZ’s network of 32 markets – big and small, advanced and emerging - is really critical to who and what we are as a bank. It's a defining point of difference for ANZ.

In this new series, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott introduces some of the leaders in ANZ’s various markets to discuss the outlook for their region, opportunities for growth and what they love most about their job.

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The past few years have seen disruption across the Asia Pacific region of enormous scale. But disruption is not always negative and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and US-China geopolitical tensions have opened up growth opportunities for nations like Vietnam.

"Vietnam can be a challenging market given the regulatory environment. The team do a fantastic job helping customers navigate this regulation.” – Jodi West

I recently caught up with ANZ Country Head for Vietnam Jodi West to learn more about how the bank supports the rapidly expanding region and what sets us apart from other foreign banks.

A subsidiary of the ANZ Banking Group established in 1993, the Vietnam office supports institutional customers across a range of industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, technology, agriculture and more.

There are 160 staff spread across the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh offices and Jodi explains the Vietnam business has three major client segments – multinationals, local corporates and financial institutions.

“Some of our largest clients are other multinationals from Asia, the US and Europe,” she says. “Vietnam is one part of the puzzle but it's really valuable and plays an important role in the relationship we have with some of these big multinational players.”

Jodi says Vietnam has become the centre of the trend in supply chain relocation that has been underway for the past few years. Technology companies like Samsung are investing significant amounts of capital into plants in the region.

Although ANZ isn’t the only foreign bank in Vietnam, Jodi says our superior product and customer service offerings set the bank apart.

“From a capability perspective, we're well recognised in terms of trade… transaction banking and markets. Our markets franchise also punches well above its weight for our size.”

“Vietnam can be a challenging market given the regulatory environment. The team do a fantastic job helping customers navigate this regulation,” she says.

I've personally worked in and out of Vietnam for a long time and people have always been very optimistic about the opportunities it presents. It hasn’t always been the easiest place to do business but it presents great opportunities as an alternative manufacturing site to China.

Jodi says the focus on supply chain relocation has been underway for about a decade – with the catalyst being increasing costs in China.

“Geopolitical tensions have accelerated that process, so too has the COVID-19 pandemic which increased the risk awareness of many multinationals,” she says.

Jodi explains the Vietnamese government has negotiated multiple free trade agreements (FTAs) which will significantly increase the nation’s gross domestic product over the next decade.

“Vietnam has been a massive beneficiary in terms of FTAs and tax incentives they're giving international companies to move here,” she says. “Vietnam is also a long, thin country with good access to export ports and shipping lanes.”

Jodi says the simplification of ANZ’s international strategy – to focus on being in the right markets at the right time with the right customers – has placed the bank well to succeed in the future.

“We're well placed to support our customers as they come into Vietnam and either expand existing operations or starting fresh,” she says. “One of our great advantages is our unique regional network - we're able to support customers in markets across the region.”

You can listen to the whole conversation in the podcast above.

Shayne Elliott is CEO of ANZ

Click here to browse through the full “World of Networks” series

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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