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First sod turned at Vietnam’s ‘Silicon Valley’

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 14:21 GMT+7
First sod turned at Vietnam’s ‘Silicon Valley’
An aerial view of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City

Construction started on Tuesday on the Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Silicon City, a hi-tech complex modeled after Silicon Valley in the U.S.

The US$40 million ‘Vietnamese Silicon Valley’ is located inside the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in District 9, spanning a total of 52 hectares, according to the developer, Saigon Silicon City JSC.

The project will be rolled out in two phases and is expected to near completion in 2020.

Once completed, Saigon Silicon City will become a smart urban area with the infrastructure and amenities to attract both local and international hi-tech enterprises, Saigon Silicon City JSC chairman Nguyen Minh Hieu said.

The project developer particularly aims to lure businesses from Silicon Valley, California, home to many of the world's largest high-tech corporations and thousands of startup companies, to conduct research and development activities at Saigon Silicon City, he added.

Hieu, a Vietnamese-American entrepreneur, is confident he can find investors for Saigon Silicon City as he has relationships with many overseas Vietnamese investors.

Saigon Silicon City could be a place where Silicon Valley enterprises can transfer technology to Vietnamese businesses, resulting in a boost to the country’s hi-tech development, he said.

“We hope that Saigon Silicon City will attract hi-tech businesses and workforces to Ho Chi Minh City,” the city’s deputy chairman Tat Thanh Cang said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Le Hoai Quoc, head of the management board of the SHTP, expressed his hope that Saigon Silicon City would attract more than 20 hi-tech investors, with a total capital of $1.5 billion, within five years of its inauguration.

Located only 15 kilometers from downtown Ho Chi Minh City, the 900-hectare Saigon Hi-Tech Park is one of the most successful hi-tech parks in Vietnam and considered one of the city’s five economic projects to drive its development till 2025.

As of August 2015, the park had attracted capital investment from almost 100 multinational companies, exceeding $4.7 billion.

Key tenants at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park include Samsung, Intel, Nidec, Sanofi Aventis, Air Liquide, Datalogic, and leading Vietnamese companies such as FPT, Hutech, and Nanogen.

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