Cambodian PM Rejects VinGroup’s Vietnam Electric Taxi Plan

Fri Dec 22 2023
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HANOI, Vietnam: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet has declined a proposal by Vietnam’s VinGroup to establish an electric taxi business in Cambodia using VinFast electric vehicles (EVs). The rejection followed a meeting between VinGroup Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong and Prime Minister Hun Manet in Hanoi on December 12.

Contrary to media reports suggesting VinGroup’s plan to launch 2,500 electric taxi companies in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap, the Cambodian government clarified in an announcement on December 13, 2023, that there were no plans for the company to commence operations in Cambodia in 2024.

VinGroup had previously initiated a similar electric taxi service in Laos in October. In Vietnam, the Green and Smart Mobility Joint Stock Company, a subsidiary of VinGroup, introduced the electric taxi service in Hanoi in April.

VinFast, the EV arm of VinGroup, made history by becoming the first Vietnamese company to list on a U.S. stock exchange. Its debut on the Nasdaq in August, after merging with the special-purpose acquisition company Black Spade Acquisition, generated $30 million in proceeds. However, VinFast’s stock, initially trading at $37 with a market capitalization of $85 billion, has since experienced fluctuations and is currently trading just above $8.

Pham Nhat Vuong, controlling 99% of VinFast, saw a significant increase in his wealth following the company’s trading debut, ranking him among the top 30 wealthiest individuals globally, according to Forbes’ Real-time Billionaires list.

VinFast, established in 2017, began delivering its all-electric SUV, the VF8, to the U.S. from its Vietnamese factory in March. The company is also accepting orders for another SUV, the VF9. With nearly 19,000 vehicles delivered by the end of June, primarily within Vietnam, VinFast holds a notable position in Vietnam’s business sector.

The rejection of VinFast’s plan by the Cambodian Prime Minister may carry diplomatic and economic implications, given VinFast’s prominence in Vietnam’s business landscape. VinGroup was contacted for comment, but no response had been received at the time of publication.

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