Foreign investors rush to invest in smart city projects

June 19, 2018 | 17:05
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Anticipating the growing demand, international companies are rushing to invest in smart city projects in Vietnamese cities.
foreign investors rush to invest in smart city projects
Chairman Chung worked with the leader of Sumitomo Corporation

Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, has worked with the leader of Sumitomo Corporation—the investor of the $4.1 billion smart city project in Dong Anh district—on the sidelines of the Hanoi 2018-Investment and Development Cooperation conference, which opened on June 17.

Sumitomo Corporation is one of the corporations from Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands, among others, who made strong moves to cash in on Vietnamese cities' ambitious smart city development plans. Bosch Vietnam has invested $450,000 in a new centre to study new solutions to build smart cities and Industry 4.0-ready equipment.

"We plan to develop Ho Chi Minh City into one of the centres to supply Internet of Thing (IoT) solutions for Bosch in Southeast Asia in the long term," said Guru Mallikarjuna, general director of Bosch Vietnam.

In similar moves, Dutch firms are working on specific smart city plans for the southern province of Binh Duong. In particular, Philips will install smart lightening equipment. Some others, including FabMax and NXP, are planning to build front-end chip plants in Ho Chi Minh City and back-end chip plants in Binh Duong.

Since the end of 2016, when the southern province of Binh Duong began its smart city development scheme, many other leading domestic and foreign firms have joined, including Cisco, NIT, VNPT, Viettel, and FPT.

Seeing the huge potential, ABB, Volvo Buses, Roxtec, and Axis Communications recently participated in forums in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang to seek business opportunities in smart transport projects in the three cities.

With the ambitious plans to develop into smart cities with smart transport systems as a vital part, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang are now on the radars of not only Swedish firms, but also those from Japan, South Korea, the US, and EU countries, who have recently shown strong interest in co-operating with Vietnam to develop smart transport projects related to urban planning as well as transport infrastructure and equipment, software applications, and urban management.

Hanoi is a prime example for the huge business potential. In the master plan on road transport vehicle management in 2017-2020, with a vision towards 2030, the development of the public transport system and technology applications for smart city development are among the main solutions.

"In addition to the two metro lines currently under construction, the city is preparing to develop four more. Thus, it wants to co-operate with international firms that have expertise in this field to provide solutions and to co-operate in carrying out the development plans," said Nguyen Doan Toan, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee.

By Bich Thuy

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