Today, we visited two companies instead of having class at UEF. We first visited the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park, located an hour outside of the city. The industrial park leases land and buildings for companies, along with providing many other benefits. Renting property from VSIP has many pros, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Renting at VSIP is more expensive than other industrial parks in Vietnam, and the location is far away from the city. However, since the company works with the government, their clients receive tax incentives and have an onsite customs office. Although renting at VSIP is expensive, the benefits outweigh the price.
Singapore, a country with a population of only five million, is a great partner for Vietnam. Singapore has no room for industrial parks, but they have a large population of expatriates and provide financial and marketing help for Vietnam. Vietnam has the land available for industrial parks, and VSIP owns around 7000 hectares of land.
II-VI Vietnam is housed in VSIP. The company produces materials in the US in order to protect their intellectual property, however they produce low-cost, high volume products in other countries. Two of the main focuses of the company, photonics and thermoelectrics, are produced in Vietnam. Since labor costs in Vietnam are low, the company imports materials from the US and China and produces them in Vietnam. However, Vietnam offers no college classes in optical engineering, so all employees must be trained on the job. Depending on the job, workers spend around six to eight months training. They start out working on the beginning of the process, so that if something gets messed up they don’t waste as much time and materials. II-VI stays ahead of their competitors by predicting market trends and getting a head start on other manufacturing companies. Currently, the “megatrends” they have identified are the Internet of Things, electric cars, big data, 5G, and more. II-VI is involved in many markets, from medical devices, to optics, to lasers.
Besides the site visits, we went up to the 50th floor of the Bitexco Tower and got a great view of the city. I also had my first street food of the trip, and it was amazing!