Our Corporate Communications staff spend time getting to know Sumitomo Corporation's different business sites around the world, reporting on how the people at those sites work. We will keep you up to date with the world of Sumitomo Corporation, which extends to every corner of the globe.
Mass Media Relations Team, Corporate Communications Department
He was assigned to the Corporate Communications Department in 2006, after working in sales in the Wood Resources Business Department. He is currently in charge of communications for the Financial & Logistics Business Unit, the Kansai Regional Business Unit and the Global Strategy & Research Department. His weight-losing efforts are proving to be successful.
Thang Long Industrial Park (Thang Long I)
This 274-hectare industrial park was established in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1997 by Sumitomo Corporation. As of March 2008, 82 companies have taken up occupancy (mainly Japanese firms in areas including precision instruments, electric, automotive and motorcycle parts and components). The word "thang long" means "rising dragon" in English.
Thang Long Industrial Park II (Thang Long II)
This industrial park in Hung Yen province situated in the north of the country is under development by Sumitomo Corporation. It is located near the national highway from Hanoi to Hai Phong port. Sales of properties within Thang Long II, which spans 220 hectares, began in August 2008.
Dragon Logistics Co., Ltd.
Dragon Logistics is a logistics company based in Vietnam, in which Sumitomo Corporation holds a stake. The company owns bonded warehouses within Thang Long Industrial Park, and engages in import/export customs clearing, storage and delivery of components and products. It also strives to expand road transportation services between Thailand and China.
The Japan-Vietnam Joint Initiative
The Japan-Vietnam Joint Initiative aims for the improvement of the investment environment in Vietnam. The Initiative was launched in 2003 under an agreement between then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan and Prime Minister Phan Van Khai of Vietnam. A joint conference for the third phase of the Initiative was held in November 2008, at which an action plan comprising of 37 items was adopted.
Vietnam has been attracting wide attention as the next promising emerging market following China and India. However, some say that amid the unprecedented global recession, there is a sign of a slowdown in growth even in this country. Will the Vietnamese economy continue to sag? This is a first-hand report on the daily lives of the people in Vietnam, and its economy, based on what I witnessed and felt.
Zillions of motorcycles run throughout the streets of Hanoi.
On entering the city of Hanoi from the airport, I was first astounded by the vast number of motorcycles. As soon as the traffic signal turns red, several motorcycles form a horizontal row. The rows keep on increasing to five, six ... each lining up behind the former. One could mistake the scene for a starting line of an auto race! Perhaps it's because the penetration rate of air conditioners in Vietnam is only at the single digit level, and people want to cool off by feeling the wind on a motorcycle. But, the throngs of motorbikes show no sign of the slowing economy or the trace of the damage from the flood that hit Hanoi in autumn 2008. In addition, Vietnam, with a population of 86.5 million (as of July 2008), is an astonishingly "young" country: the average age of the citizens is mid 20s. This youth suggests that there are infinite possibilities for Vietnam in the future.
Internship program for Vietnamese students in Japan.
Japan is Vietnam's second largest export counterpart, and the fourth largest import partner. Japan also ranks fourth on an approval basis in direct foreign investment to Vietnam, and first on an implemented basis, so the two countries have extremely close ties.
Factors that have led to concentrated investment in Vietnam include geographical advantages, political stability and promising domestic markets. Another major drawcard is Vietnam's nationality which is similar to that of Japan in terms of ethical and religious values, intelligence and diligence. The Vietnamese people also possess a kind of toughness in the good sense, and a politeness reminiscent of Japanese people in the good old days.
In the summer of 2008, Sumitomo Corporation offered an internship program in Tokyo to Vietnamese students studying in Japan. I had the opportunity to serve as an instructor, and on the day immediately following my lecture, I received polite thank-you e-mails from several Vietnamese students. I wonder what the response from Japanese students would have been if they were in a similar situation.
Morning commuters to Thang Long Industrial Park.
The Thang Long Industrial Park developed by Sumitomo Corporation is located about 30 minutes by car from the center of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. When the development was launched in the 1990s, most Japanese firms made inroads into the southern part of the country, thus we faced some difficulty attracting companies to the Thang Long Industrial Park which is situated in the north. From 2000 and onwards, however, the northern region started to become valued for its closeness to China. Investment in the north overwhelmed that in the South, and more than 80 Japanese companies took up occupancy in the Thang Long Industrial Park. The properties of the Industrial Park have sold, and approximately 40,000 people work in this estate. There is little doubt the Thang Long Industrial Park is contributing to the creation of local employment.
Landing and loading at Dragon Logistics.
One major characteristic of Sumitomo Corporation is that it operates its logistics business in tandem with its industrial park business. Our strength comes from the fact that the industrial park business is managed by the business unit at Sumitomo in charge of logistics. Logistics is critical for companies making inroads into a foreign country, since it entails procurement of raw materials and parts as well as shipment of products. How well a company manages logistics could impact operating revenue. It only becomes possible to operate a business with a high level of customer satisfaction by combining advanced logistics services with the sale of industrial park properties.
At Thang Long Industrial Park, too, Dragon Logistics Co., Ltd., a logistics firm under the Sumitomo Corporation umbrella is offering logistics services mainly to companies occupying the Industrial Park. Dragon Logistics is recently making efforts to expand transportation by road between China and Vietnam as well as Thailand and Vietnam, which is faster than transport by sea, and cheaper than freight handling.
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