Dec 24, 2012

Vietnam - Big question mark over VIUT project

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Ambitious plan for a $3.5 billion Vietnamese International University Township or VIUT  in the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City has shown new signs of progress.

The giant project has been left on papers since it was licenced in 2008 largely due to site clearance obstacles.

Nguyen Van Thanh, chairman of the North-West Metropolitan Area Management Authority said it would timely issue necessary legal documents in relate to land rental and relocation compensation for local residents at the site so as to enable Berjaya Land Berhad, the Malaysian developer of the project to move ahead.

Thanh made the decision after a recent meeting between the authority and Berjaya Land Berhad.
But, he also said that the authority could not give a precise deadline for the issuance of such legal documents as calculating the rentals and compensation costs were complicated due to overlapping current land regulations.

In this context, ground-breaking could still be more several years ahead because of the completion of these calculations and the need for the local authorities and the developer to complete other necessary procedures to secure the site.

Delays in a discouraging economy might be shrugged off by some developers, but Berjaya Vietnam seems frustrated by the process.

Phuong Anh Phat, senior business development manager of Berjaya Vietnam, said the firm did not face financial difficulties and that the firm could construct the project immediately after the authority gave it the land.

According to the initial design, around 100ha land in the 925ha VIUT project would be used for higher education, expected to be most modern universities in South East Asia. After completion, the project would also comprise 20 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, apartments and townhouses; clubhouses and sport areas, and a 15ha medical care facility.

Phat said that around 300 hectares in the project was expected to construct new public universities replacing old ones in the centre of the city. This will change the main characteristic of the VIUT – a township for international schools, which make it harder for the firm to call for investments from international universities all over the world.

Previously, Berjaya Vietnam announced that the 55ha first phase, which provide around 2,000 apartments and 255 semi-detached houses, would be completed within three years.

“Our project is expected to provide a large number of apartments and semi-detached houses. In the current circumstance, it however would be difficult to sell all of those as the Ho Chi Minh City residential market is forecasted to be in danger of oversupply,” said Phat.

Thanh Thuy |

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