VSIP Co-chairman: We are pioneer in what we do
Nguyen Van Hung is Chairman and CEO of Becamex IDC, a leading name in the development of industrial, residential, urban and transportation infrastructure in Vietnam. As Co-chairman of VSIP Group, a landmark joint venture with Singapore, Mr. Hung is a passionate believer in enhancing Vietnam’s industrial development and business competitiveness through foreign investment.
VSIP under Mr Hung’s management has made significant strides in transforming the economic landscape for provinces across Vietnam. The joint venture was formed to establish the first-of-its-kind industrial park in Vietnam, ushering in new businesses and sectors, and providing products and services at par with international standards.
Opening our conversation today, would you like to talk about VSIP’s journey over the past 20 years, as we’ve witnessed your remarkable achievements with the joint-venture?
The vision when VSIP was established was to channel foreign investment into Vietnam, and to create a robust foundation for this investment in the form of infrastructure offerings for businesses as they set up in the country. We recognize that this vision was ambitious in its breadth and scale as we combined land development and optimization, with world-class infrastructure offerings, a talented team and service framework, and community integration and welfare, and today can look back on the significant achievements made in delivering what we promised.
VSIP has pioneered organizational and operational management, being the first industrial park to have a dedicated management board, which works closely with investors to provide timely support, and helps them overcome their challenges.
VSIP has also successfully applied valuable experience from our Singapore partners towards planning and attracting international and domestic investment for industrial development. VSIP has also developed and implemented an international marketing strategy, while growing talent, to cater to the needs of investors from diverse countries. Today, VSIP has attracted investment from more than 30 nations.
We can see the significant contribution of VSIP into the development of provinces where you operate. But, how do you evaluate the potential for social-economic growth in Vietnam currently, and how does VSIP works to tap this potential?
Vietnam has a long way to go before matching neighbors such as Thailand in terms of urbanization, per capita income, and the size of the manufacturing base. 70% of Vietnam’s population still lives in rural areas with agriculture as a predominant profession, and we are slowly witnessing a growth of urbanization in line with the rise of Vietnam’s middle class and growing aspirations. Approximately 42 percent of Vietnam’s population is under the age of 25 with more and more youngsters willing to move to bigger cities.
We are also terms of foreign direct investment in year 2016, newcomers counted for over 70 percent of the total figure represented by the manufacturing sector, which shows strong indication that Vietnam is indeed being looked at as the new manufacturing hub for Asia.
VSIP has also been an enabler to transforming the economic potential of the provinces where we operate – across Binh Duong, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Nghe An and Quang Ngai.
Binh Duong is a great example to demonstrate how VSIP can contribute to the growth of Vietnam. We have been a key partner in Binh Duong’s transformation from predominantly agricultural land (the agriculture sector accounted for 97% of economic output) in 1996, to a thriving industrial province in Vietnam today. The economic structure of Binh Duong witnessed a spectacular reversal, with industrial and services sectors today playing a major role and accounting for 97% of the economic output of the province.
We are hopeful over the coming years is to replicate this growth across Vietnam by supporting industry, to contribute to rising overall development.
Moving forward, what about VSIP’s strategies to keep development momentum, while answering the trend of investment and the need of investors?
In addition to creating world-class developments, we also aim to build self-contained facilities to serve the needs of companies operating within them. VSIP is a customer-centric company. We serve the needs of our tenants. Today, companies expect more from their operating spaces, with advanced infrastructure and specialist workforce skills playing a bigger role.
In terms of maintaining our momentum towards attracting investment into Vietnam, we recognize that investor confidence towards doing business in Vietnam has improved, and we welcome this sentiment.
Ultimately, our focus is to redefine the existing supply chain model to help businesses fully capitalize from VSIP, including growing supporting industry sectors, improving logistic processes, and facilitating the exchange of goods and supply of raw materials. VSIP is therefore exploring innovation hubs for Vietnam. We believe that Vietnam can embrace greater sophistication that is expected from the industrial facilities for foreign investors, and look forward to the government’s support towards readying Vietnamese talent in terms of education and skills development.
You have showed your confidence in VSIP as a successful symbol of the Vietnam – Singapore partnership, but how do you supported by the two governments?
From the early days, VSIP has benefited from the firm support and deep interest from both the Vietnamese and Singapore governments. The ambition was to develop an industrial park model which met international standards, and was sustainable and community-based.
We are proud of the fact that VSIP symbolizes a strong bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Singapore, and our partnership over the past twenty years and is playing a role in strengthening this relationship further. Governments and businesses now understand the Vietnam market better, and we benefit from the invaluable knowledge-sharing from our Singapore partners.