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Hanoi’s new hi-tech hope

After two years’ delay, the Ministry of Science and Technology finally began the  construction on vital infrastructure facilities for the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi.

Vinaconex and Truong Son Construction Corporation, as well as Japan’s Taisei signed contracts with the  Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park Management Authority last week to take on the construction of roads, bridges, drainage systems, waste water treatment facilities, and power stations in the park.

The project is being funded by Japanese official development assistance (ODA). The first loan, worth 15.218 billion yen ($123.26 million) was approved in March 2012, while the second loan of 30 billion yen ($243 million) will be drawn down some time in 2016. 

Highlighting the importance of this project, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that “The construction of the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park’s infrastructure will help lure more and more hi-tech investors, and will turn the park into a smart urban area.”

The park’s infrastructure development project was approved by the government in 2010, with construction due to commence in 2013. However, as the plan is two years behind schedule as a result of site clearance difficulties and resettlement issues, the completion date of 2016 now looks extremely unlikely.

Located in the city’s Thach That and Quoc Oai districts, the park was established in 1998 with an aim to conducting research and development (R&D) in hi-tech applications and products.

Dung affirmed that only hi-tech investors would be allowed to invest at the park. “Any substandard project will be refused.”

As of May this year, nearly 70 investment projects worth VND56.8 trillion ($2.66 billion) were licensed to invest in the park. These projects are focused on software development, bio-technology, electronics, automation, healthcare, and telecoms. The hi-tech park also includes FPT University (with the capacity of 2,500 students), as well as Hanoi Science and Technology University funded with $210 million by the French government and the Asian Development Bank.

So far, 33 projects have been operational, ten are under construction, and 22 are in the final stages of their construction process. Over 10,000 people are currently studying and working at the park. Last year, the total export-import turnover of enterprises at the park reached $228 million, including $133 million from exports.

The future prospects for the park look bright with the Vietnam-Japan University already under construction, and the $35 million South Korean-funded Vietnam Science and Technology Institute also due to be built. Other hi-tech R&D projects include the National Aerospace Centre, Nissan Techno’s Hoa Lac auto technical centre, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s ICT Centre, and Viettel’s R&D Centre.

Source: By Thanh Tung (VIR)

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