Japanese property firm pledges to invest in Vietnam for long

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A model of the US$1.2-billion Tokyu Binh Duong Garden City urban zone in the southern province of Binh Duong

Japan's Tokyu Corporation reconfirmed its commitment to a real estate project in Binh Duong Province, despite the stagnant Vietnamese real estate market, VnExpress reported November 15.

Tokyu guaranteed it will follow through on plans to develop the Tokyu Binh Duong Garden City project in 15 years, Toshiyuki Hoshino, CEO of Becamex Tokyu Co. ltd. said, without saying exactly how much funding the firm invested in the urban zone project.

It is the first time the Japanese property and transportation firm has funded a real estate project in Vietnam.

It holds 65 percent stake in Becamex Tokyu, a joint venture with Binh Duong-based industrial investment and development company Becamex IDC.

Tokyu is not pessimistic, the CEO said regarding the state of Vietnam's real estate market, which has seen many other investors fled in the past years.

"We're not here just for a short while," Hoshino said, adding that he believed Vietnam's property sector would recover due to the country's rate of population growth and general trend toward urbanization.

He said he will encourage more Japanese investors to take part in the project, which broke ground March. 

The US$1.2-billion Tokyu Binh Duong Garden City is part of the province's new administrative center.

The urban zone, including will include 7,500 apartments, houses, shopping malls, offices and entertainment centers, is expected to house 125,000 residents and be the place for 400,000 people coming to work.

One of the first parts of the project, the construction of apartment complexes was scheduled to start on November 21, according to VnExpress. They comprise mid- to high-end units expected to be completed in 2014.  

The two firms are also working together on a transport project in Binh Duong.     

VnEconomy reported in late September that an estimate of 70,000 housing units in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi remain unsold.  

Despite many local investors fleeing Vietnamese market, property sector in the country this year through October has still attracted foreign investment of $1.84 billion spread out over 12 projects, according to the Foreign Investment Agency.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) poured into the country's property sector was ranked second to that of the manufacturing industry this year as of October 20, the agency said.

Japan continued to be the biggest investor in Vietnam with a total investment of $4.92 billion over the first ten months of this year, accounting for 47 percent of total FDI.

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