The Consequences of Rapid Development

Today we visited Phu My Hung, a development company in Vietnam. We visited their headquarters in the Phu My Hung new city center, a district built and managed by the Phu My Hung company. The new city center is the first of several planned districts that Phu My Hung expects to build, filled with condominiums, villas, and business districts.

The entire Phu My Hung district is geared towards the upper class of Ho Chi Minh city. This is exemplified by the restaurant we ate at today, Tokyo Deli. It was a Japanese restaurant, complete with sushi, shrimp teriyaki, and miso soup. This meal was fantastic (Mark would not stop talking about it for the entire bus ride), but it stood in stark contrast to the majority of Ho Chi Minh. The rest of the Phu My Hung development follows this model for the most part, catering to the more well-off citizens of Ho Chi Minh city. Some of the more expensive villas in the development cost several million USD, and the cheapest condominiums cost over one hundred thousand USD.

As far as the process of buying a house in Vietnam, the Phu My Hung representative mentioned that the typical payment plan spans roughly two and a half years, which is much shorter than the typical American mortgage that can span up to several decades. This makes the condos of Phu My Hung even less attainable to the middle and lower class of Ho Chi Minh. The representative of Phu My Hung mentioned briefly that they focused on minimizing environmental impact, but did not go into specifics. This incredible level of growth, essentially building a city in less than two decades, must have some type of impact that is not mentioned much by the company or the government.

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