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US$40m Earmarked For Saigon’s Silicon Valley

Looking to capitalize on Vietnam’s growing tech industry, a group of investors has been granted a license to develop "Saigon Silicon City," a project modeled after the Bay Area’s Silicon Valley.

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Taking a page from the famous US technology incubator that’s home to some of the world’s largest high-tech companies, Viet R.E.M.A.X, Vector Fabrication Vietnam Co. Ltd., and an individual named Nguyen Trung Quang, have dedicated VND860 billion (US$40 million) to the project, reports Vietnam Plus.

The group’s representative, Nguyen Minh Hieu, said that the facilities would provide “adequate infrastructure, conveniences and services to attract overseas Vietnamese and foreign enterprises with investments in the high-tech area, as well as support industries,” according to the online newspaper. 

He added that the 42-hectare project would break ground next month and would have the capacity to attract around US$1.5 billion in investments if fully occupied. 

The HCMC People's Committee has pledged maximum incentives to accelerate investments and two dozen enterprises have already expressed interest in setting up shop in the hi-tech park, said Hieu. 

It’s unclear if this project is meant to compete with the World Bank and Ministry of Science and Technology-backed Vietnam Silicon Valley, project that “ takes a methodical approach to building a startup ecosystem—one that includes offering programs to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas and starting a business accelerator,” according to The Atlantic.

Either way, it seems like "Saigon Silicon City" is focused on attracting large, established companies rather than facilitating the growth of local startups. 

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