Learning Objectives


1. To discover the relationship between cultural influences and the architectural development in South Vietnam

2. To have a deeper understanding of urban planning issues and the interplay of the matrices of determinants involving physical attributes, commercial feasibility, social fabrics as well as political factors in particular relating to Generation Z (Those born between the early 1990s and the early 2000s).

3. To be aware of the impact of rapid urbanization on the environment and the need for sustainable development in the urban planning process.

4. To gain an insight of Singapore’s strengths in urban planning and sustainable environmental management skill-sets

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 5 Reflection - Carisa Chan

On the 5th day, we visited the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park, Becamex and Eastern International University. At VSIP, we can see some similarities of the VSIP and Jurong Industrial Park such as the roads and also how the location of the factories are planned. However, a difference between the two industrial parks is that in VSIP, the factories are bigger and usually consists of only 1 or 2 levels since Vietnam has a lot more land, whereas in Singapore, there is a lack of land so factories have to build upwards.

Photo 1: A model of the VSIP 1

We also visited Becamex to learn more about the Binh Duong New City. There we saw a model of the Binh Duong New City and we saw how some parts of the new city, such as the Eastern International University, residential areas, the main town area and the high tech science area (similar to our Biopolis).

Photo 2: A model of the Binh Duong New City 

Photo 3: Model of Eastern Internation University in Binh Duong New City

We also visited the campus of the Eastern International University, but it was still in the process of completing and it will be opened next year. Over there, we saw some of the classroom blocks and there was also a briefing about the school. We learned that the EIU was different from SST in such a way that EIU builds its campus first before recruiting students while SST recruits its students before building its campus.

Photo 4: Eastern International University campus

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 5 reflections - Pei Shan

Eastern International University

A Picture of the trees at VSIP I

VSIP 1 and VSIP 2

VSIP stands for Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park.
At VSIP 1,
The trees, flowers, and roads really reminds me of Singapore's Changi Airport.
The roads had many many bumps, which is exactly like in Singapore.
I find it pretty good as the traffic in Vietnam is pretty dangerous so the bumps would slow the vehicles down. There were different lanes like in Singapore too. However, many of the citizens there do not really care about those lines so they would drive anyway they want. They also had a kennel.
There were many companies there. Like Yakult (only for the Vietnamese), Huggies, etc.

Why do companies set up their factories there?
-Cheap Labour
-Cheap Land

VSIP I covered a total area of 500 ha
VSIP II Covered a total area of 1000 ha. It is currently expanding as it has many empty spaces.
There is a university in the Binh Duong Province which is called the Eastern International University.
It is a new university, covering 26 hectares. It has only 3 schools so far. Nursing, Business, and engineering. It would have more schools in the future when there are more students.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 6 Reflections (27 May 2011) -- Jurvis Tan

Today we set off for retail marts, comparing those of the urbanized and the slightly less developed ones.

This is Viacom Center, it's shops here provide premium, high-class branded goods, it's pretty obvious this shopping mall is catered for the upper-class in Vietnam. Inside the mall, we realized there was a corner for kids to play with lego upstairs, from what i see, it seems that this mall has provided places for these kids to go while their parents go shopping.

After that, we headed to An Dong Market, this is fairly similar to Ben Thanh Market but prices are reasonable there because it's not really tourists-orientated. These market have stalls set up across the whole entire place with narrow, squeezey aisles and many shops eventually selling the same kind of stuff all over the place, totally different compared to Viacom Center.

After visiting An Dong, we went on to visit two hypermarts - Lotte Mart by the Koreans, and COOP Mart by the Vietnamese, both have shown significant difference in organisation of stuff, goods they carry so and so forth. In Lotte Mart, it is seen that all the goods come from various countries and are well categorized just like carrefour in Singapore. However COOP is a local startup and it is something like the Sheng Siong in Singapore, all the prices are lower, and there are brand mock ups, like for example, there's a "Gold Cow" for a "Red Bull" mock up there.

Day 5 Reflections (26 May 2011) -- Jurvis Tan

Today we visited VSIP (Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park) this industrial park is planned by Singapore and from what we noticed around the park, the Singapore style is localized into that industrial park's surroundings. From today I have also learned that building an urban city has to have provide all the following:
  1. Providing jobs/opportunities
  2. Living space/Housing Infrastructure
  3. Services, such as retail & entertainment 
  4. Supporting Amenities like education & healthcare
We visited Becamex - the company which is responsible for the construction of Binh Duong New City, and there we saw the whole planning model. I was initially unaware that Singapore was so involved in Vietnam, creating Industrial Parks, assisting Vietnam in planning some of their stuff. From what I've seen, it's pretty evident that Singapore is trying to extend it's reach from this island itself to many possibilities all over the world.

After that, we visited an International University which is currently building, this university is planned by Singaporean company ascendas and it has a Singapore flavor in it.
block of the university
Next, we went on to visit VSIP 2 another Industrial Park planned by Singapore, although it's not that developed yet, but we got a chance to see the model there. The planning of the VSIP dated as back as the SM Goh years, where he was then the Prime Minister who helped kick start this project together with Vietnam.

Housing is important!

Day 4 Reflections (25 May 2011)

Today we head for the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve to plant some mangrove trees but before that we had to go to a briefing in the Reserve's quarters.

Can Gio, being out of the mainland, we had to take a ferry over to the reserve. From there we have to head somewhere at the south where to reserve is located. From the trip to the reserve, it is evident that the Vietnamese are taking lots of measures to preserve their forests since post-world war 2 where the americans sprayed lots of herbicides and napalm on their forests just to cope the Vietnamese way of guerilla warfare.
The above two pictures shows the landscape of the Mangrove reserve in Can Gio. After exploring some of these plantations, we headed forth to plant some Mangrove trees!
Boots to wear in the muddy area
After planting the mangrove plants, we went to visit a house near the rivers in Can Gio where this man explained to us some of the hardships he faced managing this farm he has and some of them include:
  1. Deforestation and penalty from the authorities
  2. The remote area where he stays that requires him to spend a lot of money on oil to transport his kids from his house to the schools in town.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 6 Reflections (May 27) - Tam Wai Hang

Three things I have learnt today:

1) There is a very obvious difference between how the traditional markets and modern markets operate. Traditional markets are like wet markets found in Singapore, but not limited to selling food. The arrangements of the stalls are very tight, so the path in between each stall is very narrow. The shopkeepers also have more freedom and are more carefree when interacting with other people. Furthermore, tourists in traditional markets are able to bargain a cheaper price of an item they wish to buy, and this is very different from any modern markets. On the other hand, Modern markets have a neater arrangement and the technical aspect is also better. Most of the stalls are air conditioned and also equipped with high end technology such as computers as well as electronic directories located around the mall.

2) I have also learnt that Vietnamese people would rather purchase healthcare products from other countries such as USA even though the price is cheaper locally. This is because they think that the products being made locally does not make use of fresh ingredients and may contain other chemicals, so they choose to buy it from other countries.

3) Thirdly, I have realised that Vietnam specialises in producing traditional exports such as dried or crispy mango strips, gum, coffee as well as lotus seeds. Even though these products are sold cheaply in Vietnam due to being produced locally, many of the retailers may sell fake version of these products. However, even if the modern market sells genuine products, the variety available is very limited and can not be compared to those sold in traditional markets.

1) A stall found in a shopping mall, Vincom Centre that sells teddy bears as well as shirts bearing the Vietnam name and star.

A old shopkeeper in a traditional market named An Dong who sells traditional products found in Vietnam such as lotus seeds, dried mangos as well as other herbs and food.
A modern market located in Vietnam called Vincom Centre which sells high quality products such as converse, gucci, as well as apple retailers.

Day 6 Reflection — Grace, Guang Jun, Kimberly and Lincoln

Q1 ) How is the retail development in HCMC a reflection of the country’s development?

The retail development in HCMC gives tourists and locals the impression of Vietnam’s development, whether good or bad. This is due to the fact that if the country is developed, the retail development would be very advanced and would be similar to retail development in already developed countries, so it would reflect that the country is developed even if the tourists or locals are not sure if the country is truly developed.

Q2 ) How is media use in advertisements for traditional markets and modern markets?

Firstly, there is little or no media usage of advertisements for traditional markets. The organisation of the stalls are messy and packed closely together. Therefore, advertisement may not be the best way to display what the markets are selling since every single corner of the market cannot be spotted easily. Secondly, big posters are placed in front of the market, allowing consumers to see whether they need what they want in the market. Thirdly, media usage of advertisements are widely used and is very common in modern markets. They have huge LCD screens to play and show whatever the market itself offers the consumers. It allow anyone that can see the screen to know more and have a better introduction about the market through the displays. In terms of efficiency, the media usage in advertisement for modern market is much more better as compared to the media usage in advertisements for traditional market as it can target on a larger number of audience and it also bring the message across, visually.

Q3 ) How does the different managements in traditional markets and modern markets work?

In a traditional market, such as An Dong market, goods are pack in garbage bags and tight up using duct tape. Workers will transport the goods around the centre manually. The workers will leave or pick up the goods, depending whether they are for import or export. We assumed that the workers differentiate the different shops with the serial number on their sign board as the shops look roughly the same. The shops in a traditional markets often sell product with not fixed price. The shops are small and the alley are narrow. Often, it can be seen that owners of different store sitting around, eating their meals together.

On other hand, in a modern market, the shops are relatively big and spacious. The shopping mall wide passageway and spaces which allow exhibition and customers to rest. There is rarely any communication between each stores. There is also a reception that serves all the customers.

Q4 ) How does the range of products differ between the retail development in Singapore and Vietnam ?

In Singapore, there is a huge range of products sold, as compared to the retail in Vietnam, which has limited types of products, showing the great difference between the retail development found in Singapore and Vietnam. Example, in Vietnam, products sold were mostly targeted at people going overseas or on a trip, like beautiful shoes, sunglasses, and bags. This is due to the small range of products supplied into their retail stores, thus the kind of products found. In Singapore, however, tons and tons of products are being imported into Singapore from other countries, like China. In Singapore we can see a very very wide range of products, far from what the retail development in Vietnam would be able to show us.

Q5 ) What are the difference between the retail development in Singapore and Vietnam, the comparison between a developed country and a developing country ?

In Singapore, retail outlets are well presented, mostly air-conditioned and goods have fixed prices and are of better quality. In Vietnam’s road stalls, the stalls are usually not air-conditioned, the store is usually messy and some prices can be bargained for. This is usually because some goods were stolen or imitated and given high prices to be sold to tourists and locals. In addition, stalls in Vietnam are not professionally presented even compared to Bugis in Singapore.

Q6 ) What are the environment the Vietnamese trade in?

The Vietnamese trade in a overcrowded environment whereby everything is closely packed together. At the same time, there are people who trade in a comfortable environment whereby every shop itself is organised in a way which allow to use its space to the maximum. This are the traditional and modern environments. Traditional environments are like wet market, family run stores and bazaar stores while modern environment are supermarket, convenience chain stores and online stores. There are 60.6 million consumers and 27.9% of them are people who are from 20 to 29 years old. They spend more and save less.

Overall Learning:

From a day of comparing retail outlets and visiting different types of markets, our group has learnt more about the difference between luxurious retail areas for richer people like tourists and pockets of richer locals ( Lotte Mart ), and wholesale markets with cheaper prices for poorer locals ( An Dong Market ). This allows us to empathize with the poorer locals and realise that nearly all retail outlets in Singapore are like the pockets of luxurious retail areas in Vietnam, which shows how developed Singapore is and how fortunate Singaporeans are.

Day 6 Reflections (May 28) — Si Yuan, Stacey, Davina & Niklaus

Level 1 of An Dong retail market

Multistory Lotte Mart

Vietnamese modern retail outlet, Sieu Thi Co-opmart

EQ 1: Observing the changes in the 2 different retail outlets; traditional and modernized

After visiting 3 of the many malls in Vietnam,  a common amenity that can be found is a game centre. All 3 old and new malls has a game centre. The older malls has a game centre at the top most level of the mall but the newer malls have a game centre at the basement of the mall. This was something I found most interesting because I didn't expect Vietnam malls to have game centres, because of the perception that Vietnam has not been developed to the point at which they can spend on recreational activities. Basically, some of the differences that can be observed easily is the width of the aisle, the number of people in the malls, and the smell of it. The newer ones are wider than the older ones because of area constraints. If the old malls are to be expanded, prices will definitely have to rise and that the consumers will decrease, and because of that, a chain reaction will take place. The weird smell in the older malls are caused by the lack of air-condition. The main issue now is the in-balance of consumers between the different shopping malls. Finally, the last difference between the older malls and the newer ones was that the prices are a bit more flexible in the older malls and that they are cheaper too. Hence, I can conclude that there are definitely a difference between the different classes of shopping centres. 

EQ 2: The transitions of the retail outlets in HCMC from the traditional to the modern retail outlets

The Vietnamese government is improving the quality of life in Vietnam by providing more jobs, living spaces, schools, hospitals, services. Included in services are retail and entertainment—where the retail market comes in. The government demolishes or moves traditional retail outlets to make way for more modernized ones. The shopping malls have to meet the demand of the people’s higher quality of living and thus more modern retail outlets selling higher quality items are slowly springing up in many areas of Ho Chi Minh City. Some reasons why consumers may not go to traditional retail outlets could be the difficulty of organization. The disorganized and overcrowding of shops pose many problems such as the smaller aisles that are usually filled with bags, thus making movability around the shops harder and with the combination of flexible prices, it could create a lot of problems for the shoppers. 

EQ 3: How is the retail development in HCMC a reflection of the country's development

Modern retail outlets, as compared to traditional outlets, provides comfortable, enjoyable, quality and simple shopping inside a single shopping center. The trade off is higher the command of price that is require for the purchase of products or services. As such Newer shops would be built to cater to the growing middle class locals and the tourist coming to the country. They include modern technology like lifts, touch screen navigation to shops, air-conditioned shopping environment and more contributes to make the experience more enjoyable at the retail centers. All these modern technology present in modern retail outlets are the effects of retail development. This comes at a time when Vietnam’s economy is currently growing at a very fast pace. It is one of the fastest growing country in Asia with Inflation growth per year at 8% in Vietnam, while average countries have an increase of 3% per year, Vietnam’s GDP also have a tremendous growth of 6.7% per year. At the rate at which Vietnam’s economy is developing, naturally the spending power of its citizens will increase due to the higher job opportunities available to the citizens. Higher spending power will result in higher demand of quality services and products in the country. Thus the retail development in HCMC is reflected in the country's development as higher spending power will cause citizens to want to shop in better developed retail outlets as there are  better experience and quality. 

EQ 4: The Comparison of singapore and vietnam modern retail outlet

During the visit of the various modern retail outlets in vietnam, we noticed many different characteristics between the modern retail outlets in both countries. The modern retail outlet can be categorized into two different category of spending power. There are higher end retail outlets that sells branded items like Channel and there are retail outlets that either have shops that sells items suited to the middle class or shops that sell items for the middle class and higher class.
Comparing the middle class retail outlets in both countries in general, the Vietnam retail outlet has up to 2 times wider aisle in department stalls as compared to singapore. Also the store space are bigger due to the cheaper per square foot rent. The reason of this could be down to the cheaper land prices which allows these modern retail markets to be built "horizontally" instead of "vertically". As building "horizontally" is considerably less expensive than building "vertically". With bigger surface area, similarities of both malls would be the concept of the interior design, which is elegant and designed to look sophisticated. There are also the mode of transport in the mall, which are escalators and lifts. These are just some of the similarities present. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

27th May Reflections: TanZhiYong

The touch screen panel at Vincom Center

The 71 year old women at An Dong
The street stall seller!
The shop owner(Pink) who had to juggle 2 jobs a day.

I learnt today that there are many differences in the types of shopping centers and stores in Vietnam. There are modern and traditional markets. Most of the time traditional stores are ran by families like in markets or street stalls

Firstly, there is a big difference in terms of the level of class of these shopping centers. In Vincom Center, the shops had air-condition,were very spacious had proper lighting and was very high class. But compared to the Wholesale market An Dong, the market was cramped, dim lighted, and very stuffy.Thus, because of these factors, there were not as many people at the Vincom Centre than An Dong Market.

Secondly, the other difference is the difference in the technology used. At An Dong, besides some fans, lights, there were not much technology used. But in Vincom Center, there were much better quality there, and even a touchscreen panel for customers to get knowledge about shops they might want to go to.

A observation I made today was the the people of Vietnam seem to be enjoying their life despite their daily life and work. They would rather live the lives happily than miserably and were very friendly. Firstly, we met a 71 year old lady whose parents were from China, but she grew up in Vietnam. She worked in An Dong since young and was very friendly and helpful to us. Then, we met some street stall sellers selling glasses. They were very grateful when we decided to buy some of their products. Lastly, after dinner, Kun Yao and me went to a clothes shop. A 36 year old wife and a mother of one was the store owner, and she had to juggle 2 jobs. One job in the wet market near our hotel in the morning and in the afternoon till very late at night, she had to take care of the clothes store. But despite that, she was friendly and had a cheerful smile.

Day 6 Reflections (May 27) — Lim Hao Yang

What I have learnt:

1. In Vietnam, the roadside/giant advertisements are able to be bigger than those of Singapore's, as well as in more areas.
For example, even in more "rural" areas of Vietnam, huge billboard advertisements can be spotted, these being bigger than any billboard advertisement found in Singapore. Also, in many of the buildings, there are many of these advertisements found along the outside walls.

2. The country's development is related to and dependent on the retail development, vice versa.
As Vietnam gradually develops, the requirements and demands of the population, in terms of quality, increases. Hence, more modern retail outlets and specialised stores will be set-up.

3. There is a stark difference in the local and foreign markets. This means that Vietnam is improving to reaching international standards.
We can see that the difference in the choice of escalators in the local hypermart & shopping mall and the choice of travellators in the foreign one, as well as the the inexistence of electronic movement aid in the An Dong Market, is quite wide. Such details are not too greatly taken care of in local areas. For example, in Lotte Mart, we can observe that the sides of the escalators have steel frames sticking out of the sides in case of any dropping of items from the top.

Day 4 Reflections (May 25) - Tam Wai Hang

Three things I have learnt:

1) I have learnt how to plant the mangrove roots into the Can Gio biosphere, and that which a large amount of effort, the greenery can be preserved in Vietnam.

2) I have discovered that the income gap between the rich and the poor is really wide. Some of the richer generations can live in big houses and enjoy luxurious living, but the poor live in very small houses and some even resort to building houses illegally. This has also let me realise how fortunate I am in Singapore after looking at the living conditions of some Vietnamese people.

3)  I have learnt the importance of preserving the forests located around the globe. It is everyone's role to contribute to preserving the green nature found around the earth, as this can help delay the green house effects that may occur on earth. One way the Vietnamese improvise is by building the Can Gio biosphere, which is a protected area for growing mangroves there, to preserve the greenery in the country. Residents are also signed on a contract to protect the forested areas around the Can Gio bioshphere.

A photo of me planting the mangrove roots.

A photo of a house owned by a richer generation

3) A picture of the owner of an area of mangroves and part of the forested area he owns

Day 6 Reflection - May 27

Here are three things that I've learned from today's journey.

1) The first thing that I've learned are the challenges facing urban growth in Ho Chi Minh City. The first challenge is managing traffic con
gestion while the other challenge is developin
g new urban areas. These challenges can be overcome by avoiding low-lying wetlands such as Rocket Houses, develop satellite centers, discourage or delay the shift to automobile while encouraging the use of buses as you can see from the picture below that there are lots of people riding motorcycles in Vietnam.

2) Another thing that I've learned today is that there are two types of market in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and they are either Traditional or Modern. For Traditional Markets, such examples are wet markets and they are usually run by the family and another example of a traditional market are bazaar stalls. A real example of a Traditional Market is An Uong, a market we visited earlier.

A picture of the sweet and kind lady at the market.

As for Modern Markets, such markets are like supermarkets and hypermarkets. They are convenience chain stores, specialty chain stores and online stores. A real example of a Modern Market is Vincom Center. A center that we visited earlier and bought a few stuffs there.

A picture of how the Modern Market looks like. Just like any shopping malls in Singapore.

3) The last and final thing that I've learned from today's learning journey is that there are about estimated 60.6 million consumers in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. Majority that takes up 27.9% of the consumers are 20-29 years old. They have this mindset of spending more and saving less and to buy high complicated product requirements. They also like to spend more money on buying
healthcare products from other countries as they are cheaper and not from Vietnam as they are "fresh". Furthermore, They appreciate quality products. Some famous food products at Vietnam are the lotus seeds, cashew nuts, mango and coffee. Finally, the last market we visited was the Lotte Mart. This is a Modern Market and a picture of the market is shown in the picture below.

Done by
Tay Kun Yao

Day 6 Reflections (May 27) - Benz Kew

A huge Lego trooper and me :)

Apple Premium Reseller in Vietnam

A converse shop in Parksons

3 things I have learnt:

1. The retail in Vietnam is split into 2 major markets: Traditional and Modern. Traditional consists of wet markets, family run stalls and bazaar stalls while the Modern consists of supermarkets and hypermarkets, convenience chain stores, specialty chain stores (Sells 1 brand only) and online stores. As Vietnam is a developing country, we can bargain and have discounts easily because the goods are not at a fixed price.

2. There are 60.6 million consumers in Saigon. Most of them (27.9%) are usually at an age of 20-29 years old as they do not have enough money to fend for themselves and start selling products to gain a profit and earn a living. The consumers usually spend more save less, have high complicated product requirements, spend more on healthcare and appreciate more on the quality of the products.

3. The retail development in HCMC is developing, pavement in the market is very narrow, very crowded and the foods are exposed to the surroundings. The market is humid and most are imitations of the original authentic products. The manufactured products in Vietnam are usually exported out to other countries and those sold in Vietnam are overrated, stolen or defects. The products sold are cheaper but fake. The supermarkets have better quality and more expensive products than wet markets. However, the souvenirs are found more often in traditional markets than modern markets as they attract tourists.

Day 5 Reflections (May 26) — Benz Kew

VSIP logo (Singapore's partnership with Vietnam)

The urban planning of the future VSIP 2

The entrance of the sewage treatment plant

3 things I have learnt:

1. Vietnam is an ideal place for investors because the Vietnamese has the necessary skill sets and abilities, are more intelligent compared to other developing countries (e.g Cambodia, Laos). Ho Chi Minh City is also not an earthquake prone zone, so it will not affect the business industry because there are no disasters. The city has about 7 million people, and many of them do not have job opportunities. Because of this, many will get a job (e.g Teacher, Cleaner, etc) when the new urban area is developed.

2. VSIP 1 has a vast variety of factories--From Kimberly-Clarke to Yakult--. The surrounding area is much like Singapore, with wide pavements and roads. The road plants and trees are also very similar to Singapore plants. Many lamp posts and gates look just identical to Singapore. The buildings are also built horizontally than vertically because land is cheaper in Vietnam-unlike Singapore where limited land space costs very expensive and building vertically is very costly because of the mechanical systems and lifts. The higher the building gets, the more expensive to build the lifts.

3. VSIP 2 is the future urban area of Vietnam--There is a cultural center, river, university and residential which can hold up to 125,000 people. It is international, which gives foreign people to live there. This year during September, the university will house 1,000 students while it prepares for teachers and workers. The designs of this area are all made by Singapore companies-Surbana, NUS School of Design and Research. There is also a copycat made by Vietnam called VHIP (Viet Houng Industrial Park) where the "dirty" stuffs are manufactured here (e.g Textiles) and a new sewage treatment plant. The roads were halfway constructed to the dirt tracks. It is very small unlike Singapore's, and this industrial park will take many years to catch up. The VSIPs appears to be in-charged by the company Becamex.

Reflection : Day 5 , GuangJun , Kimberly , Grace and Lincoln .

Photo 1, a model of the university.
Photo 2, the building of the university.
Photo 3, a model of VSIP 1.
Photo 4, a entrance to VSIP 1.

Introduction of VSIP 1 and 2 :

The Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) is a world-class industrial park that was initiated by the Governments of Vietnam and Singapore. In March 1994, the VSIP project was first proposed by former Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet to his contemporary Singaporean counterpart Goh Chok Tong. Almost two years later, the project was officially launched on January 31, 1996 in Singapore. On 14 May 1996, the two Prime Ministers gathered again at the project site in Binh Duong to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the first part of the project, VSIP I, (500ha). For the past 14 years of development, VSIP I has become the leading industrial park in Vietnam, and has proven to be a very attractive investment destination, technology transfer and environment protection for many multinational companies for the domestic as well as export markets.

Essential Question :

Q1 ) Why is it important for Singapore and her citizen to venture out ?

Singapore is a small island, and has no resources. This means that if she is to develop and expand, we have to venture out of Singapore. At other countries, like how we buy water from her neighboring countries, example being Malaysia. To develop, we need materials to build, we need to improve the economy. That is why we need to venture out, and not just focus on Singapore alone, to actually be able to properly get the resources and help needed to improve Singapore. Also, due to the size of Singapore, the human population is not big enough, and the expertise needed may not be around. This will mean that she has to venture out and get help from the people of other countries, which might have the talents that Singapore needs to develop.

2) What did Singapore do to develop her local talents?

Ministry of Education opened up serval schools to cater to potential people of different fields. For example, MOE open up School of Science and Technology to developed more professionals to increase the percentage of quaternary industry, increase the number of suitable people in research work.

The increase of research will increase the amount of knowledge the Singaporeans has. Singapore exchange the information they obtain with other countries, improving the relationship between the countries. Better relationship will allow Singapore to participate in trade with other countries easier, obtaining natural resources from them which we do not have.

The school focus more on innovation and entrepreneurship so that the students can adapt to the work environment will they grow up. The school also focus on communication skills so that the students can communicative with the locals and people from other countries. Effective communication will allow better partnership with other countries.

3) How does this integrated industrial park spanning a land area of 500 hectares with full infrastructure facilities and conducive operating environment operates ?

The total area of 2,545ha in the south, since 2007, after 10 years of operation, VSIP has announced its expansion to the north with two projects: VSIP Bac Ninh Township and Industrial Park Complex of 700ha (200ha for Township and 500ha for IP); and VSIP Hai Phong Township and Industrial Park Complex of 1,600ha (1,100ha for Township and 500ha for IP). Talking about the expanding investment of VSIP into township, Ms. Low, a representative of VSIP, said, "After 10 years of success in developing infrastructure for industrial parks, we have realized the investors’ demand for township infrastructure. Therefore, VSIP has decided to develop these two infrastructure projects to create the best investment environment for investors."

4) What are the unique features, purpose and design of VSIP ?

In comparison to the VHIP, the design of the industries in the VSIP area is a reflection of the industries and factories in Singapore, whether it is the roads or the signs. The area is also well planned and the factories have enough space and are not packed closely together. The roads are wide and have enough space to let trucks and large machineries to go to and fro. The purpose of the partnership between Singapore and Vietnam is to make a foundation to develop a part of Vietnam so that Vietnam would have an idea to what she can do to become a developed country like Singapore. The partnership has a few phases and as time goes by Singapore realised that there is a need to set a more steady foundation besides the factories and made master-plans for Universities and layout for the factories, residential areas and study areas.

5) What are the difference between VSIP and SIP ?

In terms of availability of the land usage , VSIP which is located in Vietnam will be able to make good use of the huge span of land to develop and construct different infrastructures for the Industries purposes. This enable the Industries to carry out their production more efficiently. However, availability of land is very limited in Singapore. Therefore, factories and building were built vertically to maximise the usage of the land. In terms of population, VSIP has more workers since they have a larger size as compared to SIP. Therefore, the productive rate may be much more faster and efficient.

Advantages :

The advantages of VSIP 1 and 2 is the 500 hectares of land, it is a large amount of land spaces used to construct and develop infrastructure facilities. So, more factories and industries can be constructed in VSIP to allow a larger production line to reduce cost spent on various aspects. Also, it provides a full range of infrastructures which allow many industries and factories to make good use of.

Learning Objectives :

This trip to VSIP 1 and 2 is to allow us to learn about the need for Singapore to develop her human and other capital in order to ensure her survival in the future.

What we have learnt :

From this trip to the VSIP we have learnt that even though we are two different countries, we can help each other to develop and the partnership improves the relationship between Singapore and Vietnam and this also widens Singapore's network. During the short drive through the VSIP, we observed that this small area is nearly a split image of Singapore, whether it is the roads or the arrangement of factories. Even the trees at the side of the road can be found at the side of most roads in Singapore.

We also found out that Singapore is helping to set the layout for a developed country and Vietnam would improve their country based on these small changes made by Singapore. From this we learnt that even though Singapore is a small country, we are developed and is able to help other countries as they have helped us. We learnt that to become a self sustainable city, it have to be well planned. The factories will provide jobs for the citizens. However, the workers will not want to travel a long way to his or her workplace. There will be a need to have housing provided for them. When they have a job and a house, they will need some entertainment in their daily life. Thus, the government will need to include greenery and facilities for entertainment purpose. If the workers are to move to the city with their family, health facilities and school will need to be included in the design of the city. The government will have to planned the location of each facilities so that it will be convenient for all.

Lastly, the VSIP project is a very huge project, and it is the collaboration between Singapore and Vietnam, to provide jobs for people in Ho Chi Minh City. That is due to the lack of jobs that can pay sufficient money to the citizens, thus the need for factory jobs like the ones in the VSIPs, which can help to increase their pay. The university built in the new city for the rich is going to accept 1000 students in the first phase of the construction, which has 3 phases. This university is built so that the graduates from the university would be able to find a job easily in the VSIPs.

Source : http://www.vsip.com.vn/default.aspx?pid=0002&mid=0002&mdl=1&lang=end