CapitaLand Limited (CapitaLand) and its wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), celebrated 20 years of excellence in Vietnam yesterday with a gala dinner held at the new convention hall at GEM Center.
The event was graced by Her Excellency Leow Siu Lin, Singapore’s Consulate General for Vietnam and Mr Lim Ming Yan, CapitaLand’s President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Group. About 200 guests comprising business partners and residents attended the event.
Looking back, in 1994, CapitaLand was one of the first international developers to enter Vietnam with the development of Hanoi Tower and Sofitel Plaza in Hanoi. In addition, Ascott pioneered the first international standard serviced residence in Vietnam that year with the launch of Somerset West Lake Hanoi.
In 1996, Ascott’s second property, Somerset Chancellor Court Ho Chi Minh City was operational, followed by the opening of Somerset Ho Chi Minh City, Somerset Grand Hanoi and Hanoi Towers.
In 2006, CapitaLand opened its Head Office in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vista received overwhelming response from the Vietnamese when it was launched in October 2007. Notwithstanding the challenging market, the project was completed in September 2011 according to schedule.
The construction of Mulberry Lane commenced in September 2009 and conferred the Greenmark Award from the Building Control Authority of Singapore. In 2012, CapitaLand Vietnam launched PARCSpring, the first affordable residential project in Vietnam. This is testament to CapitaLand’s commitment to building good quality homes while meeting the essential needs and affordability of aspiring Vietnamese.
And this year, the launch of Vista Verde in September marked an important milestone for CapitaLand. Since its launch, Vista Verde is considered as the most attractive high-end project in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam.
Mr Chen Lian Pang, CEO, CapitaLand Vietnam, said: “After a couple of challenging years, the Vietnam economy is improving and we see positive signs in the property sector. CapitaLand has a reliable track record of 20 years in Vietnam and will continue to deliver its quality housing with new projects which will be launched progressively in the next three years.
“We remain positive over the long-term prospects of the real estate market in Vietnam and are committed to being a long-term real estate developer. We are well-positioned to ride on Vietnam’s potential strong growth of the residential market. With CapitaLand’s healthy balance sheet and financial flexibility, the current challenges will provide opportunities for us to secure good investment opportunities in Vietnam.”
Mr Mark Chan, Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam, said: “2014 marks our 20th year of operations in Vietnam. Since 1994, we have steadily grown to become Vietnam’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. To cap off this milestone year, we have recently signed the contract to manage the first premier Ascott-branded serviced residence in Vietnam, Ascott Waterfront Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City.
“With this signing, we have now more than 2,000 apartment units across 13 properties in the country, further establishing our leadership position in Vietnam. The gala dinner is to commemorate this milestone year and to thank all our customers and business partners for their unwavering support, and our staff for their commitment and dedication.”
As CapitaLand grows its business in Vietnam, the Group, through its philanthropic arm CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), is also committed to strengthen its social investment in the country. Since 2007, CHF has been supporting underprivileged children across Vietnam.
In 2011, CHF donated VND2.2 billion to build a new two-storey school building and a library as well as upgrade the existing school facilities in CapitaLand Nang Yen Primary Hope School. It provides 180 underprivileged children with a more conducive learning environment. And this year, CapitaLand started the building of the second Hope School in Long An province, Thuan Hoa District, for 135 students to enjoy a new school with a new library, extracurricular activities room and school yard.
Beyond donations, CapitaLand is committed to giving time and attention to schoolchildren through volunteer expeditions as well. And apart from building Hope Schools, various CSR initiatives including blood donation drives, first-aid training and festive activities for street children have also been organized.