China Steel to Set up Vietnam Joint Venture

Goal is to gain access to ASEAN Free Trade Area market

China Steel, Taiwan's largest steel producer, said on August 22 it has agreed to invest $292.74 million in a joint venture in Vietnam. China Steel will take a 51% stake in the manufacturing facilities, which are expected to roll out 1.6 million metric tons of cold rolled steel products a year, a company spokesman said.

"The investment is aimed at taking Vietnam's geographic promixity to gain easier access to the ASEAN Free Trade Area market," he said. ASEAN refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China Steel's partners in the project, capitalized at $574 million, will include Sumitomo Metal Industries, Sumitomo Corp. and several Taiwanese companies.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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