Binh Duong: Top Choice of Singaporean Companies

1:06:16 PM | 6/5/2009

Despite a fluctuation in capital flows from ASEAN region into Vietnam in the past years, Singapore still maintains its leading position in most industries, especially service. Binh Duong is one of the most attractive localities to Singaporeans. To date, the province has housed more than 100 projects valued at US$714 million.
Mr Philip Yeo, Chairman of SPRING Singapore, the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector, said: “Vietnam is a potential destination for Singaporean enterprises. Binh Duong has emerged as the top choice because this province has the Vietnam - Singapore Industrial Park.”
In 1996, the Vietnam - Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) had its beginnings on 500 ha in Thuan An district. The total investment capital for the three-phase construction was nearly US$140 million. This is the unique industrial park in Vietnam set up under the goodwill agreement between the governments of Vietnam and Singapore, aiming to build a modern industrial park to boost economic development in Vietnam and heighten regional position in the world. On that basis, VSIP was formed by Vietnam’s Becamex IDC and Singapore’s SembCorp Industries (Singapore) together with other partners like Ascendas, United Overseas Land, Mitsubishi Corporation and KMP Group.
After more than 12 years of construction and development, VSIP has become one of most attractive industrial parks in Vietnam. To date, VSIP I houses 241 tenants which employ more than 60,000 workers.
Following the success of VSIP I, VSIP II was established in 2006 on an area of 345 ha in the Binh Duong industrial - service - urban complex. So far, this park has 134 investors, including 44 operational investors which are employing 8,000 workers.
From the successfulness of VSIP I and II, the VSIP II A was approved for construction by the Vietnamese Prime Minister. The US$136 million 1,000-ha park is underway. This zone together with VSIP I and VSIP II will play important roles in the industrialisation and modernisation of the country.
The success of VSIP has opened a new prospect and created agroundwork for Singaporean enterprises to invest in industrial infrastructure in the province. For example, Mapletree, a leading Singaporean firm operating in hi-tech infrastructure, forwarding service, finance, science and technology, has arrived in Binh Duong province. Its hi-tech project in Binh Duong industrial - service - urban complex requires an area of 75 ha and an investment of US$400 million. The objectives of the project are to transfer technologies and modern corporate processes and governance for Vietnamese people to contribute to the socioeconomic development of Vietnam in general and Binh Duong province in particular. Once completed, this project will serve hi-tech software development companies, offshore software producers and R&D companies.
Other noteworthy projects include the AP Singapore Tech Park in Ben Cat district - a joint venture between Binh Duong Production Import Export Company (Protrade) and Singapore’s Ascendas Group. This project covers an area of 500 hectares and costs around US$150 million. It is intended for food, drink, energy, electronic, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
Mr. Philip Yeo emphasises that, “In Singapore, Binh Duong province is of deep interest and of high appreciation for the business world. This locality has complete and modern industrial infrastructure, favourable and connected traffic system. These are top criteria for investors to do business.” Recently, many Singaporean businesses have studied land fund planning for industrial zones in Binh Duong province and investment opportunities in urban, housing, service, banking and finance sectors in Binh Duong province. At present, the province is giving priorities to urban and property development. These are good options for Singaporean enterprises.
On April 14, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew paid a courtesy visit to Vietnam - Singapore Industrial Park 2 (VSIP II) in Binh Duong province, which is developed by Singapore’s Sembcorp in a joint venture with Vietnam. Sembcorp Industrial Park Group pledged to push up infrastructure development in existing industrial and urban zones in Vietnam and seek new investment projects in electricity, wastewater treatment and environment.
Currently, Binh Duong province has 27 operating industrial parks covering 9,000 ha. They house 1,799 investment projects with a combined investment capital of US$10.824 billion from 40 countries and territories.
Thanh Thao