Today was our last day of site visits. It seems like the two weeks has flown by. We started our day at Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) and then in the afternoon, we went to II-VI which is actually in VSIP. VSIP is an industrial park that companies can buy their land or lease their buildings to hold their companies. VSIP was initiated by both governments because both prime ministers got together and decided that they wanted to boost both of their economies. Vietnam and Singapore are both tiger economies and they thought their partnership could bring prosperity to both countries. So VSIP has locations in both their countries and they have 295 parks in total. Vietnam has a stronger need for businesses and development so most of the parks are located in their country. The Vietnamese government does give total control to the VSIP but they take 25% of VSIP’s profits.
As I said before, VSIP is home to many many companies of many industries such as II-VI. II-VI is an engineering materials company that focuses on optics and also creates a thermoelectric cooling system. One unique aspect of II-VI is that they are vertically integrated. By being vertically integrated, they can manufacture all the parts, and if something goes wrong, they are the same company that made each part and are able to identify the issue and resolve it. One of the biggest challenges they face is the workforce turnover. In the tech field, at the Vietnamese holiday Tet, employees typically take off a month which turns into 3/4 months which they live off all their savings during. Then, when they return, they have lost their old job, and find a new job in the tech field anyway. To stop this, II-VI is holding bonuses until after the holiday to encourage workers to come back to collect their bonuses and keep working. Also, Vietnamese typically get around a month of extra of salary at the end of the year. However, II-VI tops this by giving employees an extra two and a half months on top of that. They are headquartered in Pensylvania, but they opened a facility in Vietnam because it was cheaper labor costs, tax costs, and facility costs. II-XI produces many projects: fiber optics, lasers for military use, and photonics.
It’s very sad to see my time here coming to an end. Our last two site visits fit together perfectly. Tomorrow, we have a day of games and fun with the UEF students before we give our final presentations.
Goodbye for now!