HO CHI MINH CITY - Mapletree Investments, the property arm of Temasek Holdings, opened a new 17-storey office tower on Wednesday (March 22) near Ho Chi Minh City's central business district.
The Mapletree Business Centre (MBC), with a gross floor area of over 28,300 sqm, will house multinational corporations from various industries such as information technology and banking and finance.
It is part of the Saigon South Place Complex developed by Mapletree in Ho Chi Minh City's District 7. The complex includes the SC VivoCity mall, which opened in April 2015, an Oakwood serviced apartment block and a high-rise residential block called RichLane Residences. The two residential blocks are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Mapletree chairman Edmund Cheng said the company has grown its portfolio of properties here "in tandem with the expansion of Vietnam's economy and pace of urbanisation", since it entered the country more than 12 years ago.
"We tapped on our rich experiences in rejuvenating the HarbourFront and Alexandra precincts in Singapore to create a thriving precinct here," Mr Cheng said in a speech at the opening ceremony.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is on an official visit to Vietnam and is accompanied by Mrs Lee, was the guest of honour at the event. Also at the ceremony were Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing and other members of the Singapore delegation, as well as Singapore's Ambassador to Vietnam Catherine Wong and Vietnam's Ambassador to Singapore Nguyen Tien Minh.
Mapletree group chief executive Hiew Yoon Khong said in a statement that the company views Vietnam as a key market.
"Vietnam presents an exciting investment opportunity for us becasue of its strong economic fundamentals, such as a young and industrious population, a burgeoning middle income group as well as a stable increase in foreign direct investment,"he said.
MBC, Mapletree's first office development in Vietnam, is a Grade A office space and so far counts Standard Chartered Bank, Vietnamese food manufacturer Uniben, textile company Far Eastern Polytex and IT solutions provider SCC UK among its tenants.
There are plans to develop two more office towers in the precinct, said Mr Cheng.
Mapletree owns and manages more than $1.2 billion worth of developments in Vietnam, including three logistics parks in Binh Duong and Bac Ninh, an industrial and business park in Binh Duong, and mixed-use developments in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr Lee also toured the Co.opXtra hypermarket in SC VivoCity, which was set up by NTUC FairPrice and Saigon Co.op.
This afternoon, he leaves for Hanoi, where he will meet Vietnam's top leaders on Thursday (March 23).