The cities of Hanoi and Seoul signed an agreement last week for Koreans to help the Vietnamese capital develop the area along the Red River, revealed a source from the Hanoi People’s Committee.
Seoul will help Hanoi launch development projects on the other side of the Red River
In return, Korean businesses participating in the development of that area will receive preferential treatment.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-Bak and his Hanoi counterpart Nguyen Quoc Trieu in Seoul at the World Mayor Forum.
Under the MOU, Seoul will help in the planning stage of the project, share its experience of restoring Cheonggyecheon area, and pay 90 per cent of the expenses to establish plans for the project, which aims to achieve flood control and construct industrial, residential and international tourist complexes around the Red River.
The South Korean Herald newspaper reported that Seoul will establish an international cooperation fund of 20 billion won (VND300 billion) to support Hanoi.
At the forum, 27 mayors and just under 700 high-ranking officials related to urban development signed the “Seoul Announcement” to commit to stable renovation and urban development.
The participants of the forum agreed to set up an alliance of cities and a network to exchange information, experiences and staff to help urban development.
Hanoi has developed mostly on one side of the Red River. The city has been planning to develop the other side and improve living standards there, but few of these projects have come into fruition.
Many Korean investors are involved in urban development projects in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. According to the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) in Vietnam, both state-owned and private companies such as Daewoo, Daewon and Posco are currently operating in the Vietnamese market.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee recently approved the Korea National Housing Corporation’s project to build 60,000 apartments for low income residents.
A joint-venture between Daewon and Vietnam’s Hoan Cau will invest $29.7 million in a high-rise apartment building in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh district, while Daewon is also working with Thu Duc Housing Development to build a $20.5 million property project in District 2.
Meanwhile, a consortium of Korean construction investors are looking to develop a new urban centre on an area of 407 hectares in Hanoi, with an initial investment capital of more than $300 million. Korean construction projects are mainly hotels, shopping centres and construction services. The largest projects in this field are Daeha Business Centre in Hanoi and Daewoo Hanel Industrial Zone and Diamond Plaza in Ho Chi Minh City.