Largest Software Park Approves US$316.45 Million Worth of Projects
By Fan Feng
Jul. 9 – The country’s largest software park and high-tech industrial area, Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Industrial Zone, has approved the investment licenses of four projects worth a total of US$316.45 million.
Shipbuilder Vietnam Shipping Industrial Group invested US$85.6 million for the Vietnam Ship Research Institute to house its national research and design lab within the complex. The Vietnam Internet Center is funding a US$16.29 million internet center. The Financing and Promoting Technology Group is using US$154.1 million to build a software facility and information technology university – FPT University – within the compound. And a US$105.46 million post and telecom center is being built by the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group.
The Hoa Lac Hi-Tech IZ altogether occupies 500 hectare and is divided into four distinct zones for research and development, high-tech industry, software park, and education and training.
The biggest obstacle to developing the park is the lack of investment capital from developed countries like the United States and Japan. The park itself is a joint venture between Japan and Vietnam, a result of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Statement toward a Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia. The Japanese partners are responsible for the project’s planning scheme and calling businesses to invest in the park.
Earlier in the year, the Military Telecom Corporation invested US$50 million into a high-tech center project that seeks to establish a large modern data and digital center to satisfy international standards and potential customers. Even so, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Van Lang told Vietnam News that “investment projects in Hoa Lac Zone this year represent only one-third of the total projects in 2008, due to the decline of FDI capital in Vietnam and the effects of the global economic crisis.”
Hao Lac was built in 1998 to be the “Silicon Valley” of Vietnam, it struggled early on to attract investment but has since attracted a total of US$1 billion in investments.