At the APEC CEO summit in Hanoi last November, Phu My Hung Corp (富美興) chairman Arthur Ting (丁廣鋐), in his early 30s, lectured to business leaders from 21 member countries on doing business in Vietnam.
The honor is usually reserved for tycoons like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. What made this rarer was the fact that Ting, as a Taiwanese, was given a chance to enhance Taiwan's profile in the international event, something that is ordinarily blocked by China.
But Ting seems to carry a weight comparable to Jobs and Gates in Vietnam, where Phu My Hung is a household name with its own "urban legend."
PHOTO: JESSIE HO, TAIPEI TIMES
Founded in 1993, Phu My Hung is 70 percent owned by the Taiwan-based Central Trading and Development Group (中央貿易開發關連企業) and 30 percent by the Tan Thuan Industrial Park Development Co that represents the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee.
Led by Lawrence Ting (丁善理), then chairman of Phu My Hung and Arthur's father, the company started to develop infrastructure and residential and commercial buildings on 3,300 hectares south of downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
But at the time, most of the area was swampland where communist guerillas hid during the Vietnam War.
"When we started the development plan, local people sneered at us and called us crazy," Phu My Hung president Frances Ba (巴大文) said.
The company completed the first batch of Western-style villas in 1998, but plagued by the war-zone stigma, it took a whole year to sell all 14 units priced at US$17,000 each, Ba said.
With the completion of a main road and offering quality living at 30 percent of the price of the main part of the city, Phu My Hung sold out 2,000 apartments in 2000 -- the time when the legend of Phu My Hung turning swamp into gold began to spread.
Now, the Phu My Hung urban area has five zones: new city center, university place, high-tech center and two merchandise centers. Prices of residential apartments have skyrocketed to between US$800 and US$1,200 per square meter, three times more expensive than downtown.
The self-sufficient community has been praised as an urban residential model for Vietnam, and the Central Trading and Development Group became one of the largest and most successful foreign investors in the country.
Phu My Hung's investment totaled US$700 million, and includes the Tan Thuan export processing zone that has attracted 108 companies with trade volume of US$1.3 billion per year, and the Hiep Phuoc power plant that supplies electricity to the area.
The legend will not stop here.
"We will continue to develop the area to accommodate a population of 1 million in the next 10 years," Arthur Ting said.
Targeting Vietnam's business potential after joining the WTO, Phu My Hung is now building an international-scale exhibition hall, which is expected to bring in huge business and the status of a new world trade center, Ting said.
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
The nation marked its 49th day with no new domestic COVID-19 cases yesterday, and there were no new imported cases, but that does not mean the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) can relax its attention, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said yesterday in Tainan as he and a team of health officials wrapped up a weekend visit to the city. The visit is part of the center’s efforts to promote domestic travel under the “new disease prevention lifestyle.” Among the 442 confirmed cases, 423 have been released from isolation and 12 people remain hospitalized, Chen
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest