|Part of the Binh Duong New City where the HORASIS Asia Meeting is to be held later this month (Photo: Le Toan)
The Binh Duong People’s Committee has classified a special area as “Binh Duong Smart Area”, covering a southern part of the province which will encompass urban, education and researching, and key industry areas.
Following the model of the Dutch city of Eindhoven, in 2016 Binh Duong announced its plan to develop Binh Duong Smart City.
The project is geared towards hi-tech manufacturing and services, green and smart urbanisation, meeting the demands of people and enterprises, establishing a knowledge economy and digital economy, and effectively adapting to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The purpose and general direction of Binh Duong Smart City was officially approved by the provincial People’s Committee in November 2016. It was divided into four main sectors: human resources, technology, enterprises, and foundation elements.
According to Tran Thanh Liem, Chairman of Binh Duong People’s Committee, it is different from other provinces where smart cities were defined as using advanced technologies to solve divisive issues such as transport, public facilities management, or e-government.
Binh Duong has a unique approach to the concept of a smart city, describing it as an active, innovative, and connective eco-system in which every element is constantly changed and used.
Smart cities also represent an ideal way of improving living standards among the population. The plan to build a smart city in Binh Duong intends to utilise three vital sectors to improve peoples’ lives: the state, businesses, and schools.
Bringing these three areas together is an international concept which adheres to the standards of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its centre, and has helped Binh Duong achieve outstanding success in socio-economic development in the last three years.
This led to Binh Duong becoming a member of the ICF in 2018, and paved the way for it to be chosen as one of the Smart 21 – a group of global cities following a similar development strategy.
Binh Duong becoming a member of the Smart 21 is significant in its goal to developing its socio-economy, and it raises the region into a more prominent position on the international stage.
It also brings about more opportunities for co-operation and sharing experiences with a network of more than 180 ICF-managed smart cities. It increases confidence for enterprises, encourages more foreign direct investment, and lays the foundations for service and hi-tech manufacturing development in the near future.
According to Frank-Jürgen Richter, chairman of HORASIS, there is a rising need for dialogue, particularly between emerging and established markets, and Vietnam could be the hub for such endeavours.
“The HORASIS Asia Meeting was set up as a medium to encourage and facilitate discussion and collaboration between entrepreneurs, businesses, and governments from Vietnam, Asia, and other parts of the world,” Richter said.
He added that Binh Duong is ideally located in Vietnam, close to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport. It is a smart region, attracting more and more investment, and a perfect place to hold the HORASIS Asia Meeting.
“I met with the leadership of Binh Duong Province as well as the chairman of Becamex IDC in 2016, and we jointly decided to embark on a profound co-operation,” said Richter. “I have to say that Binh Duong has been the ideal choice, as all the ingredients for sustainable growth initiatives as well as the necessary infrastructure are there. We were very happy to be invited to host the 2018 HORASIS Asia Meeting in Binh Duong,” he added.
According to Binh Duong’s leaders, HORASIS 2018 was a great success. At the forum, leading experts and global leaders shared visions and experiences.
The forum was also a new method of attracting more foreign direct investment into member countries, and forming a network to connect enterprises, institutes, educational units, and organisations.
The forum was praised for promoting Binh Duong on the world stage.
At the event many enterprises and organisations announced plans for future partnerships, and many of those projects have already come to fruition.
Richter also stressed that the most important message of HORASIS last year was that Binh Duong and Vietnam are ready for business development, and are ready to collaborate with other companies and partners in all sectors. “Vietnam is shifting to a market-oriented economy, and the government is maintaining its commitment to reforms to meet increasing demand,” he added.
Towards the future
After the success of the event in 2018, Binh Duong received a great deal of encouragement from people, organisations, and enterprises both domestic and overseas. Many HORASIS members expressed their interest in Vietnam, and Binh Duong in particular. Therefore the group has continued working with Binh Duong People’s Committee to host this year’s event on an even larger scale.
The committee is determined to show that it can pull off hosting big international events like HORASIS. Taking on the role is challenging, but it delivers an invaluable opportunity for the province to showcase its skills.
Richter said that HORASIS 2019 will be attended by CEOs and leading investors from Southeast Asia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India and many other parts of the world.
“All of them come to Binh Duong to look for projects and initiatives, and seek out business opportunities,” he said. “We will arrange roundtable discussions and private meetings among investors and the local authorities. We hope that many interesting agreements can be reached at HORASIS 2019.”
At the end of September, Becamex IDC received an approval letter from the World Trade Center Association, accepting Binh Duong as an official member. At HORASIS 2019, Binh Duong People’s Committee and Becamex IDC will co-announce the creation of a World Trade Center (WTC).
At the forum, Becamex IDC will also sign co-operation agreements with a range of international partners to determine the management and operation of the WTC when construction is completed.
Binh Duong People’s Committee Chairman Liem stressed that the future WTC will be developed as more than a simple building. Instead, it will be a multi-functional complex which can provide all services and international trade activities for the whole region.