Global Cases

Our hot-dip galvanized steel sheet business supporting economic growth of emerging countries

Malaysia / Vietnam / Cambodia / Pakistan

Galvanizing, a process for overcoming the weakness of steel

Iron is used in a wide range of industry and everyday life. Its greatest drawback is its tendency to rust. Hot-dip galvanized steel sheet combats rusting by applying a protective zinc coating to sheet iron.

Sumitomo Corporation’s  hot-dip galvanized steel sheet business began in 1993, when we established Eastern Steel Industry Corporation (ESIC) in Cambodia. In April 2002, we took over the steel trading arm of Nomura Trading, thereby succeeding to a galvanized steel sheet business dating back to the 1960s.

Nomura Trading had produced hot-dip galvanized steel sheets since 1960, when it jointly established FIW Steel (FIW) in Malaysia with a local partner. In partnership with FIW, we established a firm base for its galvanized steel sheet business in Vietnam in 1995, ahead of any other Japanese trading company, by establishing Southern Steel Sheet Corporation (SSSC) in the country’s largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City.


The wide-ranging applications of hot-dip galvanized steel sheets include roofs, walls, pillars and other residential and industrial building components, luxury building materials, two-wheel vehicles, and domestic appliances.

Deeply rooted in Vietnam

Back in 1995 there was no hot-dip galvanized steel sheet market in Vietnam, where economic growth had only just begun. SSSC established a firm foothold in Vietnam by focusing on demand creation, production, and building a sales network.

By succeeding to Nomura Trading’s steel business in 2002, Sumitomo Corporation acquired FIW in Malaysia and SSSC in Vietnam as a result. This substantially fortified our hot-dip galvanized steel sheet business , together with our own company  ESIC in Cambodia. The business achieved significant growth after 2015, when a second SSSC plant was built to expand production capacity 2.5-fold to 240,000 tons.

As the new shareholder of the operating companies, Sumitomo Corporation inherits the ethos of its predecessors. we continue to work closely with local stakeholders to actively create employment in Southeast Asia while producing and marketing hot-dip galvanized steel sheets used in day-to-day applications.

SSSC Vietnam employs more than 300 local people.

Adopting a locally self-contained business model at site

Demand for hot-dip galvanized steel sheets is especially high in emerging countries at relatively early stages of growth. The Sumitomo Corporation Group is looking to establish further production bases and sales networks in these young economies where population growth is projected.

In addition to Southeast Asian countries, another promising growth economy in this regard is Pakistan, where the population has reached 200 million. In 2012, Sumitomo Corporation invested in Pakistani hot-dip galvanized steel sheet manufacturer International Steels, dispatching staff from Malaysia’s FIW to offer operational support. International Steels continues to achieve solid business performance as the country’s largest hot-dip galvanized steel sheet producer.

Sumitomo Corporation’s hot-dip galvanized steel sheet business is based on a locally self-contained model, where all processes from production to distribution take place within domestic markets in the respective countries. As an integrated trading company, Sumitomo Corporation brings to new countries its market development, production, sales, and plant management know-how’s honed in various other countries. Our hot-dip galvanized steel business embodies the frontier spirit that is fundamental to a trading company in that it carves out a market from zero in partnership with local people building a burgeoning economy.

Exterior view of an FIW plant in Malaysia

Sharing future dreams with local people

The world still has many untapped markets for hot-dip galvanized steel sheets. Sumitomo Corporation’s hot-dip galvanized steel sheet arm hopes to approach such needs ahead of others, and in cooperation with trusted local partners, serving to support the local economic growth while at the same time achieving our own growth.

The Sumitomo Corporation Group is determined to carry on and expand our hot-dip galvanized steel sheet business to more countries. In doing so, we will ensure that business is always based on a firm local foothold, on accurate needs assessments, and on proposals that enrich the country. We will also serve the establishment of an extensive supply network in the country, so as to enable the value created by the business to reach all corners of the nation. Above all, we will share future dreams with local people though its operations.

Exterior view of an ESIC plant in Cambodia. Population and economic growth are expected to keep demand for hot-dip galvanized steel sheets rising significantly in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

April 2018


  • Metal Products Business
  • Asia and Oceania
  • Middle East, Africa
  • Metal Products

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