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|Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam visited the hi-tech booth at the WTA held in October in Binh Duong|
Founded in 1976, Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC) has created a chain for manufacturing and business co-operation, attracting further foreign direct investment (FDI) to the province which in turn has seen improvements in transport and industrial parks.
Among key infrastructure projects are the upgrading and expanding of National Highway 13, the Bau Bang-My Phuoc-Tan Van routes, and roads DT743 and DT744.
These routes have helped both transport and industrial development, connecting industrial parks (IPs) in Binh Duong with seaports in the southern key economic zone. At the same time, they have stimulated the economic restructuring of the southern parts of Binh Duong.
As of October 31, Binh Duong had a total of 3,420 foreign-invested projects with the total registered capital of $31.75 billion. With this, Binh Duong ranks third (after Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi) in FDI attraction. Meanwhile, Becamex’s IPs in Binh Duong have attracted 970 foreign-invested projects with the total registered capital of over $14 billion.
DECADES OF EXPERIENCE
Last month at the government conference on reviewing Vietnam’s 30-year FDI attraction held in Hanoi, ministries, local authorities, and investors shared their experiences and lessons on attracting FDI and the contribution of this source to the Vietnamese economy. Many of the lessons shared at the conference have been implemented by Becamex IDC for many years in Binh Duong, contributing to the province’s high rank in FDI attraction.
Becamex IDC co-operated with Sembcorp Group in Singapore to invest in the first Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in Binh Duong. VSIP has infrastructure facilities, such as transportation, electricity, water supply, power supply, and environmental treatment, which fully meet international standards.
Moreover, VSIP has established its own management board to support investors, especially dealing with issues with government and the local authorities.
The management board has supported foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) with fast and convenient services in preparing and processing investment in the park, and connecting with customs to ensure that the import and export goods of FIEs in the park can be cleared soon and reduce costs. The board helps connect with the tax authorities to timely solve any difficulties of tenants. These issues are often considered as a major barrier for FIEs to invest in Vietnam.
According to Kelvin Teo, co-chairman of VSIP’s Board of Directors, Becamex IDC has deep knowledge of local issues and therefore has been well placed to solve difficulties for foreign investors.
“This is the reason that apart from Binh Duong, VSIPs have spread to many other locations in Vietnam and have so far attracted over $9 billion in the total investment capital from more than 700 companies from 60 countries and territories,” said Teo.
In investment attraction, infrastructure development is considered a red carpet on which Binh Duong authorities and Becamex IDC are wooing their tenants.
One of the advantages of Binh Duong, according to provincial leaders, is the huge investment capital reserved for infrastructure development. This capital source is not allocated from the state budget, but comes mainly from the private sector. This makes Binh Duong different from other localities because thanks to this, many infrastructure projects have been built in a speedy manner and with good quality in just a short time.
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PARTNER TO MANY GLOBAL BRANDS
According to Nguyen Van Hung, chairman of Becamex IDC, the corporation has contributed to Dinh Duong’s success by connecting large-scale international groups with Vietnam.
For example, Tokyu Group from Japan has co-operated with Becamex IDC to set up a joint venture to invest in a range of projects with the registered capital of $1.2 billion. In addition to implementing infrastructure projects in Binh Duong New City, the Japanese group has implemented the Smart Bus Project, and many other plans are in the pipeline to confirm its long-term commitment to the southern province.
Recently, Becamex IDC has also been involved in two major collaborative projects. One was BW Industrial to develop intelligent logistics in Vietnam, made by a joint venture between Becamex IDC and Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm headquartered in the US. The other project was the co-operation in information technology and telecommunications with NTT Corporation from Japan.
Fukuyama Masafumi, chief representative of NTT Group, the fourth largest telecom corporation in the world, said, “The co-operation with Becamex IDC in this project is just the first step of NTT Group in Binh Duong. In the time to come, the two sides will co-operate on a range of projects, such as studying the feasibility to develop Binh Duong Smart City.”
Implementing the project to transform Binh Duong into a smart city, from 2015 Becamex IDC has co-operated with Dutch-based Brainport Group to build a model combining state, schools, and enterprises to convert Binh Duong into a high-tech and advanced manufacturing economy.
Recently, Becamex IDC entered into a comprehensive partnership with Industrial Technology Research Institute – the largest and most important scientific research institute in Taiwan to collaborate in the fields of technology and human resource exchange, and to strengthen and apply science and technology to industrial and smart city development.
At the moment, the total value of Becamex IDC’s assets amounts to hundreds of millions of US dollars, becoming one of the top companies in infrastructure development in Vietnam.
The company is also working with strategic partners to invest in a range of large scale projects. Among those is the scheme to build a smart logistics corridor with a modern railway network linking industrial zones in Binh Duong with seaports in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, the public transport project connecting Binh Duong with Ho Chi Minh City, and a science and technology complex with three components: scientific and technological IP, university village, and urban development universities.
Tran Thanh Liem, Chairman of the Binh Duong People’s Committee, said that Becamex IDC is a key investor in IP infrastructure in the province. The corporation’s overseas marketing and partnership programmes as well as achievements in infrastructure construction and social housing projects in the province have contributed to ensuring a better economy and improving the life of the people in the province.
Becamex chairman Hung added that with its tradition of continuous innovation, the group will continue to develop transport infrastructure in accordance with green, clean, and beautiful criteria, creating trust and inspiration for potential investors to attract them towards Binh Duong.
In the time to come, Becamex IDC will work with experts and partners to study the feasibility of sub-projects and connection ventures to realise the purpose of transforming Binh Duong into a smart city and help it become a first-class urban city before 2020.