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Vietnam-S'pore venture turns 20, maps growth

MOU inked to potentially add 1,500 ha in 2 provinces to VSIP's 6,660 ha
Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 05:50
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Aerial view of VSIP Binh Duong, which is located near Ho Chi Minh City. Spanning seven sites in Vietnam, VSIP is a joint venture between Vietnam state-owned enterprise Becamex IDC Corporation and a Singapore consortium led by Sembcorp Development.

Singapore

A BLUEPRINT has been mapped out to expand the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) as it celebrated its 20th anniversary on Wednesday.

Memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed to explore two new expansions in the provinces of Binh Duong, near Ho Chi Minh City, and Bac Ninh, near Hanoi, which could potentially add 1,500 hectares to its 6,660 hectares already occupied.

The signing of the MOUs were witnessed by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Hoa Binh in an event in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

Since the first VSIP project in Binh Duong province's Thuan An district in 1996 under a landmark agreement between the prime ministers of Vietnam and Singapore, VSIP has become "a symbol of the close ties between Vietnam and Singapore", Sembcorp Development said in a release.

Spanning across seven sites in Vietnam, VSIP is a joint venture between Vietnam state-owned enterprise Becamex IDC Corporation and a Singapore consortium led by Sembcorp Development.

Sembcorp holds 92.9 per cent shareholding in the Singapore consortium.

"(The signings) show our confidence . . . in wanting to participate in Vietnam, and we want to continue to bring more industry, more employment to Vietnam," Kelvin Teo, Sembcorp Development chief executive and VSIP co-chairman, said in a recent interview.

Over the past two decades, VSIP has drawn more than US$9 billion (S$12.3 billion) in investments from more than 630 multinational companies; some 174,000 jobs have been created in the industrial services sector as well.

"The success of Binh Duong has been a key feather in our cap and encourages us to extend this transformation further in Vietnam," Nguyen Van Hung, chairman of Becamex IDC Corporation and VSIP co-chairman, said.

Binh Duong province, where the first and second VSIP projects are located, has been transformed from an agricultural province to an industrial powerhouse. As at late 2015, industries and services accounted for 97 per cent of total provincial economic output, cementing Binh Duong's position as one of the top provinces in Vietnam today.

But Mr Teo noted that "a lot more" can be done.

"I call the 10-year anniversary a boy," he said. "Now, having crossed 20 years, (VSIP) is a teenager . . Yes, we crossed a milestone, but more importantly, what's next? That's what we are working with the Vietnamese government to (figure out)."

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