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Vietnam at center of Citi's Asia-to-Asia flow strategy

Released at: 13:50, 27/11/2018 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Vietnam at center of Citi's Asia-to-Asia flow strategy

Photo: Citi

Vietnam a fantastic place to showcase Citi's Asia-to-Asia flow strategy, bank says.

by Doanh Doanh

With a young population and strong economic growth potential, Vietnam is a new destination for investment and market expansion for many Asian businesses, with Top Tier Corporations having continued to expand their operations and production in the country.

Many Citi clients are investing in Vietnam, according to its latest announcement. With its unprecedented global footprint and market-leading products and services, Citi is the best and most trusted partner to help Asian businesses develop and thrive in Vietnam.

Citi Asia Pacific is focused on an Asia-to-Asia flow business strategy and Vietnam sits at the center of that opportunity. Vietnam is exporting more and more manufactured goods to Asia and the rest of the world and is a fantastic place to showcase Citi’s Asia-to-Asia flow strategy.

For example, South Korea has long been ranked as the number one source of FDI in Vietnam. According to The Economist, of the $108 billion of FDI Vietnam has received since it joined the WTO in 2007, one-third originated in South Korea.

“We are capturing these opportunities and more through an intensified partnership across the Institutional Client Group (ICG), ensuring that clients are serviced across the full spectrum of Citi’s capabilities in institutional banking,” said Mr. Hai Huu Pham, Citi Vietnam’s Corporate Bank Head. “The Asia desk strategy is effective in successfully supporting the local needs of our multinational clients.”

Over recent years, Citi has invested in building a network of Asia desks across the world to support companies in the local markets in which they operate. The national desks have proved to be a strong foundation for Citi’s strategy of growing its business with Asian multinationals globally.

In the last two years, Citi set up a Japan Desk and a Korea Desk in Vietnam to serve Japanese and South Korean corporate clients, as part of Citi Asia Pacific’s strategy to better connect its global network to Asian clients and capture a greater share of Intra-Asia Flows.

Citi also plans to set up an institutional desk with Mandarin-speaking staff to serve Chinese and Taiwanese companies in Vietnam.

Ms. Natasha Ansell, Citi Country Officer for Vietnam outlined Citi’s Desk Strategy: “If we have South Korea as one of the largest investors in Vietnam, isn’t it logical that we bring some colleagues from South Korea to help the Vietnam team cover these clients? If you are one of the South Korean clients in Vietnam, wouldn’t you feel a lot better with a strong Vietnam franchise and team while also having people who speak your language and understand your culture?”

Asian desks are core to Citi’s strategy of increasing and growing its relationship with some of its most important and rapidly internationalizing clients in the region. Citi’s clients will be able to use the same platform and services in headquarters and subsidiaries. With Citi’s unparalleled global network and connectivity and its local expertise in markets, the bank is well-positioned to benefit from growing intra-Asian trade flows and supporting its clients.

“If we compete on the strong base of our regional network, it’s a different game. Local banks cannot compete with that power,” Ms. Ansell added.

Citi already banks 95 per cent of the Fortune 500 in the region across the ICG, including many of Asia’s corporate champions in over 50 countries and territories with more than 20 country desks supporting clients globally.

Amid an ongoing shift in trade flows towards Asia with rising trade tensions between China and the US, Citi has identified key trade corridors in the Asia-Pacific region. Revenues in the first quarter of 2018 increased 18 per cent overall in Asia-to-Asia corridors and 26 per cent in priority corridors.

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