Industrial Park Project in Vietnam
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Encountering Vietnam, a whole new world
In 1995, members of Sumitomo Corporation's Overseas Industrial Park Dept. were seeking a candidate site to build a new industrial park. At the time, an increasing number of Japanese companies were making inroads into foreign countries, given the high appreciation of the yen and domestic labor shortage. Sumitomo Corporation had just started to consider establishing a new industrial park, following the one in Indonesia which was completed in the early 1990s.
"We had several candidate countries in mind, and Vietnam was not the first one," reflects Akito Shiraishi, who now serves as the General Director of both TLIP and TLIP II. Since first setting foot in Vietnam in September 1995, Shiraishi has enjoyed a 15-year involvement with the Vietnamese industrial park business. "At that time, Vietnam was much less developed than today. Hanoi, in the northern part of Vietnam, especially lagged behind in its economic development compared with the southern region. But the Vietnamese government was keen to push industrialization and urbanization forward in Hanoi. The Japanese government was also intent on assisting Hanoi's urbanization through official development assistance (ODA) such as yen loans, and this encouraged us to make a final decision on establishing TLIP."
The rest is history—and the industrial park business in Hanoi, Vietnam was launched in 1996.
Thang Long Industrial Park
Thang Long Industrial Park II
Aiming for the best for the villagers
The location the Vietnamese government offered for Sumitomo's industrial park was ideal—16 kilometers from both the international airport and the center of Hanoi. It was a sign of the government’s enthusiasm toward the project. "The government provided us with permission to develop the site in an area covered by rice paddies. But that was it. It was left to us to negotiate with the farmers for their land. This was tremendously hard work," Shiraishi says.
To the farmers, Shiraishi and his team were a group of complete strangers; foreigners and city-bred Vietnamese whom they had never encountered. It goes without saying that the farmers were alarmed by the sudden approach, and reluctant to even come to the negotiating table. Given this situation, Shiraishi’s team hired a man from the villlage as the company negotiator. With cooperation of this individual, as well as the village office, the team pushed forward, persuading 800 farmer households to vacate over a period of 10 months.
The site was a vast area of rice paddies prior to development.
After agreements had been reached, the Sumitomo members personally made payments to the farmers for the land, using the village's community center over several days. Tomoyasu Shimizu, now an expatriate at TLIP, reminisces about the time they acquired land for TLIP II. “We prepared dong bills in a tin box ready to hand to the farmers. When we called each farmer by their name and village, they stepped forward one by one to receive their money. I recall handing money to an old lady who was a farmer. That was when I felt strongly obliged to lead the project to success. I knew that if the land the farmers had kindly given up for us were to become a barren waste, we would all be deeply ashamed.
"Giving something back to all these farmers and living up to our promise—this is the goal we have endlessly pursued during the course of the TLIP project."
Thang Long Industrial Park
Column:What is an industrial park?
Sumitomo Corporation undertakes industrial park business in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand
An industrial park is a zoned area where a number of plants built by a wide variety of manufacturers are concentrated to allow them to efficiently use the infrastructure their operations require, such as electricity, water supply, wastewater treatment, and waste disposal. Each industrial park offers distinct features, according to manufacturers' various needs.
Industrial parks are an all-encompassing community, as all kinds of facilities and environments needed by the companies and their employees are supplied, including communications and security systems and banks. In recent years, some parks have moved to establish universities and research institutes to promote collaboration between the industry and academia.
- Environment & Infrastructure
- Real Estate
- Business Unit
- Product or Service