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July 20, 2006

MOL to Establish Wholly Owned Subsidiary in Vietnam

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in Vietnam after the acquisition of the government's approval. MOL expects this move to strengthen its sales and marketing base in the nation, which is enjoying rapid economic growth.

Profile

Company name Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. [MOL (Vietnam)]
Foundation Mid October, 2006 (plan)
Approval issued June 30, 2006
Representative Katsunori Moriya
Legal Capital US$1,000,000 (wholly owned by MOL)
Location Ho Chi Minh City
Business Sea Transport Agency Services and providing sea freight forwarding and other services for cargo transported.

MOL regards Vietnam as one of its most important strategic areas. In the containership business specifically the company's vessels serve routes linking Vietnam and Japan/Southeast Asia/Hong Kong. Yesterday MOL has also opened a joint service between Vietnam and Singapore with Vietnam's national shipping company. With this new route, the company's Vietnam routes total seven. The company also offers the fastest ocean transport service to North America with same-day connections at Hong Kong to North America routes. This supports Vietnam's rapidly growing, export-driven economy, which relies on top-quality ocean transport services.

In the future, the company will not only expand container transport services, but also develop maritime training and education programs through Vietnamese counterpart that started in March, to increase the number of Vietnamese seafarers. The company will also participate in an ongoing container terminal project, and tie up with the Vietnamese national shipyard. As the world's largest ocean shipping company, MOL contributes to the continued growth of Vietnam's economy and promotes stronger relations between Japan and Vietnam.

With the establishment of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (Vietnam), the agent contract with M.O.L (Vietnam ) Co., Ltd. (100% Vietnamese-owned agent), which is MOL's current agent in Vietnam, will be terminated, and their company's name will be cancelled for registration.

Background
Vietnam's current foreign investment law limits foreign investment in ocean shipping agent companies to 49%. However, Denmark-based Maersk A/S was able to establish the wholly owned subsidiary Maersk Vietnam in 2005, thanks to a November 2004 agreement between Denmark and Vietnam. The governments of Japan and Vietnam governments negotiated based on the most favored nation status recognized in the Japan-Vietnam investment agreement, and in December 2005, the Japanese government signed the basic agreement for Vietnam's WTO membership. At the same time, the Vietnam government permitted a single Japanese shipping company, that was MOL, to establish a wholly owned subsidiary. It is the second company following Maersk Vietnam.

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