Investors from Thailand are building textile, apparel and footwear plants in Vietnam, as they try to offset political instability and a currency crisis in their own country.

Among the most popular destinations in Vietnam are Ben Tre province, where Thai-owned plants are already set up to serve clients including Adidas, Nike and Puma.

Examples are textile accessories producer Tong Siang, which hopes to build textile and dye factories worth US$80m, and sportswear maker Eagle Speed Thailand, which plans to lease ten hectares to build a sportswear plant. Nan Yang and Amara are also looking to invest in the country.

It is thought that Thai companies see a good investment environment in the emerging Vietnamese market, where labour costs are approximately 20-30% lower than Thailand, according to Yotsaton Kijkusol, vice-chairman of Thai Garment Manufacturers' Association.

Up to the end of February this year, Vietnam had attracted 153 investment projects in all industries from Thailand, and the country is ranked 12th among 79 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

By Ngo Tuan.