Update: Investments in Southern Binh Duong Province
In May 2013, a new South Korean company, KyungBang Viet Nam Ltd, opened in the zone with a $140-million plant, considered to be the biggest textile plant in the region. According to Lee Kap Soo, general director of KyungBang Viet Nam Ltd, the plant will be built in three phases. The first phase has been completed and put into operation "About 90 per cent of the plant's products will be sold to Vietnamese garment companies. Others will be exported to markets such as Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia," he added. The plant operates with many advanced technologies, and its raw materials are imported from Brazil, the US and Australia.
Following our previous article "Warm Hospitality Drives Thai Businesses to Binh Duong", Binh Duong province proved again recently to be a friendly host for foreign investors - in May 2013 the Customs Department of Binh Duong held dialogue with nearly 100 Japanese businesses in the area and coordinated with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), to discuss issues relating to customs procedures, tariff policies and certificates of origin. According to Vietnam News, most of their queries were cleared up by officials from the Customs Department and VCCI during the dialogue.
Mr. Yamamoto, a Japanese business representative said that it was good that such a large number of Japanese businesses are involved in the dialogue. In the future, there will be more businesses from Japan to invest in Binh Duong since its infrastructure satisfies their demands, reported the paper.
Japan is one of the biggest investor in the province with 170 valid projects worth more than $3.2 billion.
Japan’s Tokyu Corp. also sold its first Binh Duong residences at Sora Gardens, in "Binh Duong New City" - the city that would become the province’s new administration hub. This is just a part of the Tokyo Corp. $1.2 billion investment, which was the biggest foreign-invested project licensed Binh Duong in 2012 (Becamex Tokyu is 65% owned by Tokyu and 35% by Becamex). Mr. Hoshino explained to the paper that the development of Binh Duong New City, about 30 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, is set for completion by 2020. By that year, Binh Duong New City would become a city under the central government’s management, like Ho Chi Minh City now.
Some investors commented that the reason they chose Binh Duong over other locations was because there are still more land to choose from in the area designated for development, unlike in Dong Nai that has developed to such an extent that it is now difficult to find suitable sites.
For example, the additional land has been recently cleared for investment projects in Bau Bang, a new residential and industrial zone in Binh Duong. "The zone was built in the northern part of the province with the main aim of reducing pressure at industrial zones in the southern part," said Nguyen Van Hung, chairman and CEO of Becamex IDC. Becamex has been the zones investors in Binh Duong and successfully cleared the land and compensated the people who used to live in those pieces of land. "All of the land in the zone has been cleared and we are ready for investors," Mr. Hung told Viet Nam News. Covering an area of more than 2,000ha, the investor used half of the zone's area for industrial development and the other 1,000 ha for services and urban residential development. He said that investors' top concerns were human resource, infrastructure inside and outside the zone, and that administrative procedures were now less important to them. Thus, his company would focus on developing civil infrastructure to attract more investors and assist local residents.
Thailand: Besides reaching out to Japan and South Korean investors, Binh Duong continues to welcome Thai investors as it has been doing for the past 5 years. The most recent trip was productive as Thai businesses are facing increased minimum wage and strong appreciation of the Baht, the Thai currency - these developments are forcing them to make quicker decisions to invest in neighboring countries, such as in Vietnam.
Picture left: Becamex delegation met with Mr. Patanasak Hoontrakul of Federation of Thai Industries Association (FTI) Board and Executive Director of Small and medium-sized industry (SMI) - second from left, in April 2013.
Becamex IDC, a conglomerate patterned on Singapore's Temasek Holdings, is based in Binh-Duong, and is one of the largest real estate developers in Vietnam and the largest industrial parks investor. It has representatives in many countries in Asia, Europe and the US to help promote the Binh Duong New City (Becamex's mega-project) and their industrial parks.
Binh Duong became more better known when the plan for Binh Duong New City was announced about three years ago. The project covers around 1,000 hectares and is in the process (much of the infrastructure is already complete) of becoming the economic-political-social center of Binh Duong, with utilities and services for some 125,000 residents and 400,000 people coming for work. Binh Duong is one of the few localities with the fastest and the most synchronous infrastructure development. Well-developed infrastructure will create a motivation for the property market. This is true not only in the new city as multiple infrastructure projects connecting Binh Duong with nearby localities are also under construction, such as National Highway 13, HCMC-Chon Thanh Expressway, Belt Road No. 3 and 4.
Above all, Binh Duong province is progressive, friendly to investors and the provinces leadership are consistently judged by independent groups to be the best in management and in supporting new investors in Vietnam.
The USA: For the US, after Becamex's bold move as a "Platinum Sponsor" at the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii in 2012 along side with Microsoft, FedEx, Google, Eli Lilly, Boeing, etc. (read our article"APEC The Future: Redefined" Is Happening in Binh Duong Province". the company continues to reach out to American investors to introduce Binh Duong province and the city's potentials. (pictures of US recent trips) The recent trip was to meet companies at their factories and hold seminars in big cities - covered states and cities included New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Dallas, Seattle and Portland.