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Japanese firms interested in HCMC’s urban renovation

Hung Le
Monday,  Mar 5,2018,20:05 (GMT+7)
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Japanese firms interested in HCMC’s urban renovation

Hung Le

Representatives of Japanese and Vietnamese businesses talk on the sidelines of a workshop on HCMC’s urban renovation and development on Saturday - PHOTO: HUNG LE

HCMC – Urban renovation and development projects in HCMC like relocation of slums encroaching on canals and rebuilding of old tenements are drawing attention from Japanese enterprises, heard a workshop on urban renovation and development in HCMC last Saturday.

Keiji Kimura, president of the Japan Conference on Overseas Development of Eco-Cities (J-CODE), told the workshop that Vietnam is experiencing rapid urbanization, so there are challenges similar to what Japan has faced. Japan wants to cooperate with Vietnam to address issues like traffic congestion, population cramming, and environmental pollution.

According to Kimura, J-CODE’s 57 members are experienced in financial management and urban infrastructure construction. They are willing to partner with HCMC, sharing experience and solutions.

The Japanese side pledged to encourage private enterprises to develop modern and environmentally friendly urban infrastructure facilities in the city.

Le Hoang Chau, chairman of HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA), noted that Japanese investments have kept flowing into Vietnam’s property sector lately with the participation of many firms like Hankyu, Mitsubishi Corporation, Shimizu, Hitachi and Sumitomo Construction.

Therefore, Chau hoped that Vietnamese and Japanese firms will enhance cooperation in urban development and property projects. He also expressed confidence in Japanese enterprises’ experiences and resources to join urban embellishment and development projects of HCMC.

Le Tran Kien, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Construction, said that the city has moved some 36,000 houses encroaching on canals in the past 20 years. However, there are still more than 21,800 canal slums that need to be cleared.

Regarding construction of new tenements to replace old ones, the city’s goal towards 2020 is to renovate and reconstruct half of all condo buildings aged 50 years or so, Kien told the workshop, which was participated by more than 40 Japanese businesses and local property firms.

At a reception for Keiji Kimura last Friday, HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said he hoped that J-CODE with its experience will assist the city in urban development in a way that suits the city’s needs and follows modern development trends.

At a recent conference on investments in urban renovation projects, the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment revealed that the city needs to mobilize around VND23.24 trillion, or over US$1 billion, to relocate 21,850 houses along canals in the next three years. Due to budget constraints, attracting investments from local and foreign sources is essential to promote the city’s sustainable development.

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