‘Silicon Valley Vietnam’ Planned In Ho Chi Minh City
Jun 02, 2020

Ho Chi Minh City’s local government is planning to develop three eastern districts of the city into an “innovative urban area” that would resemble California’s Silicon Valley, local news outlet VnExpress International reported.

The 22,000-hectare area will see the integration of an existing hi-tech park in District 9, the university district of Thu Duc, as well as the upcoming urban and financial center in District 2 to form the first technology hub in the country.

The city’s home affairs department drew up the plan for the combined district – tentatively being called “Eastern Town” or “Saigon Silicon City” after the city’s former name – in the light of the country having developed into the third-largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia and the Vietnamese digital economy being estimated to hit $33 billion in value by 2025.

This success story is partly built upon a large number of tech companies setting up shop in Ho Chi Minh City, buoyed by the lower operational costs in Vietnam, as well as the ready supply of a lower-cost IT programmer and developer talent pool that has been growing in the country.

Facilities for a tech-oriented community

The area that Eastern Town is set to encompass already includes modern residential buildings, parts of the city’s central business and finance sector, as well as the resources of the local polytechnic university, which should appeal to the tech-oriented community and tech investors alike.

The proposed development got underway despite a number of disadvantages Vietnam has as a developing nation, namely the shortage in high-speed Internet infrastructure, as well as the lack of a venture capitalist scene that made San Francisco’s Silicon Valley into a hotbed of IT innovations and capital spending.

Another major difference is that Vietnam’s state government will have to invest significantly to incentivise development of the tech zone, including providing infrastructure with the necessary broadband Internet structure, as well as offering tax breaks to entrepreneurs.