Many foreign high-tech enterprises, most of them from Silicon Valley in the U.S., have shown interest in investing in the Saigon Silicon City project being developed at Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in HCMC’s District 9.
Vietnamese-American Nguyen Minh Hieu, chairman of Saigon Silicon City Joint Stock Company (JSC), told the Daily about foreign investors’ interest at the groundbreaking ceremony of Saigon Silicon City Center. This is the first component of the project.
The project is worth around VND860 billion (US$38.5 million) and developed by the company based on the Silicon Valley model in the U.S. It will feature an operation center, a Techshop area for researchers, lecturers and university students to study and commercialize their ideas, a convention hall, and facilities for circuit board production and digitalseed assembly.
Saigon Silicon City will cover 52 hectares with about half of the area for infrastructure and the rest for greenery and internal roads.
Hieu said many firms have expressed interest in setting up shop there and that his company has selected 17 potential firms, with most of them operating in the Silicon Valley.
The project is expected to attract a combined investment of around US$1.5 billion. Once in place, it will attract local and foreign producers of high-tech and supporting industrial products.
The Government and HCMC have adopted policy incentives to develop SHTP which has wooed a number of overseas semiconductor producers.
Investors focus on product manufacturing and assembly rather than research and technology transfer to Vietnam.
Hieu said Vietnam now lacks an ecosystem consisting of clusters of high-tech engineering investors and the Saigon Silicon City is expected to help promote transfer of high technologies from companies in the Silicon Valley to Vietnam.
The project is not all about outsourcing technology products like other industrial parks in Vietnam as it will integrate research, development and application to turn out products, he said.
Serving as a research and development center of Saigon Silicon City, the Saigon Silicon City Center is one of the key components of the project and will go up on an area of 42,000 square meters with a total investment of over VND480 billion (US$21.6 million).
The center will be developed following a smart city model to attract enterprises of overseas Vietnamese and international corporations in high-tech and supporting industries, research, innovation and transfer applications.
Meeting Silicon Valley and global standards, the center will also serve as a venue for conferences and will incubate science and technology startup ideas.