Today, we visited both Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park and II-VI Vietnam.
Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park – VSIP – is, generally, a company that prepares industrial land. They provide an incredibly convenient option for companies who aim to establish themselves quickly in Vietnam, offering 50 year leases along with education, training, and residential areas to workers. The company’s partnership between Singapore and Vietnam allows for mutual benefits; Vietnam provides land and a populous workforce while Singapore extends existing business relationships into Vietnam (such as II-VI). The government of Vietnam has encouraged joint ventures such as this recently in hopes of furthering the development and growth of its economy, whether that be with China, Japan, Korea, or other nations. And, with VSIP, it is with good reason. The benefits alluring to their customers; relatively close proximity to Ho Chi Minh, no personal risk of land, location recognition, and on site customs, among other things, draw in the promising business that we have seen all trip.
And while VSIP incentivizes and facilitates growth, II-VI serves as a perfect example of globalization in Vietnam and all of Asia. Though headquartered in our home state of Pennsylvania, they expanded first to Singapore and China in search of the oh-so infamous cheap labor. This same quality drew them to Vietnam in 2004, along with the broadening markets. It’s now here that they develop their vast product mix of lasers, semiconductors, optical communication devices, etc., with a workforce made up of both entry and skilled levels. Of course, with production this complex, they will face equally complex challenges. For II-VI, these include competition on a global scale, protecting IP, and adjusting to business in Vietnam (Tet). They have been able to overcome what has been thrown at them, so far, however, with methods such as reimbursing transportation back after the holiday to decrease the turnover rate of workers.
Aside from the site visits, we had lunch in a mall nearby, where I spoke with a bookstore employee who seemed very excited about my American status. When we got back – after I stopped the entire bus to go to the bathroom – Hanna and I ventured down the block to the co-op to get some local snacks. Now Blaise, Peter, Clay, Hanna and I are listening to oldies and writing these blog posts. Hopefully now we’ll be well rested for tomorrow.