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Chong Chee Keong has a succinct way of summing up his role at Frasers Property Vietnam. “We’re concentrating on building modern and sustainable industrial developments,” he says.
Judging by the increasing international demand for high-quality, premium industrial estates, this is a focus which isn’t going to waiver anytime soon.
CK, as he is known, joined Frasers Property Vietnam (FPV) as General Manager of Industrial Property three years ago and since then, has managed its industrial property portfolio with an emphasis on driving efficiencies and continuing expansion. As with all ventures FPV undertakes, these come under the umbrella of sustainability; something which lies at the core of the company’s strategy.
“We’re concentrating on building modern and sustainable industrial developments.”
Frasers Property is an investor, operator and developer of real estate and is listed on the Singapore Exchange. With a strong presence in eight markets across Asia, Australia and Europe, it boasts an extensive portfolio that includes properties in commercial and business parks, retail, residential and hospitality. However, its strength lies in industrial and logistics with this sector representing the Group’s largest asset class by far.
In Vietnam, its footprint is made up of several projects including in Binh Duong province and Melinh Point, a boutique office building in the city’s commercial district. It is also behind luxury mixed use developments and hospitality projects in the city.
“We saw the opportunity to cross-leverage the Group’s capabilities in developing and operating international grade industrial and logistics facilities with the local team’s deep understanding of the Vietnam market,” CK says. “This understanding was built through decades of in-market experience and serves to extend our presence in the Vietnam industrial sector.”
As economies recover from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CK believes Vietnam has an opportunity to help strengthen supply chain resilience by meeting demand for industrial and logistics property leasing.
“Vietnam remains an attractive investment destination and is becoming a bright spot in a gloomy global economy,” he points out. “The country’s market fundamentals remain strong, and its economy appears resilient enough to overcome the recent disruption to production due to the pandemic. After reaching its highest nine-month growth in the past 12 years, Vietnam is poised to become South-East Asia’s fastest growing economy this year.”
“Vietnam remains an attractive investment destination and is becoming a bright spot in a gloomy global economy.”
One reason for this expected growth is that the country is set to benefit from shifting patterns in global supply chains, especially as companies look for logistical alternatives to China.
“Industrial and logistic real estate are becoming increasingly more attractive in Vietnam,” CK explains. “This is also due to the effects of many free trade agreements, and the country’s liberalized trade base.”
By 2030, the Vietnamese government expects the industrial sector to account for 40 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. “There’s a lot of potential for us to grow our industrial platform over the next decades,” he adds. “Of course, we are going to sustain our business throughout the life cycle, so we will not stop exploring residential and commercial business opportunities as well.”
The right space in the right location can upgrade the potential of any business. FPV has achieved immense success by producing a diverse range of industrial products that meet the demands of businesses requiring built-to-suit, hybrid manufacturing and smart manufacturing properties.
“As we pursue continued growth, FPV will also move toward a more sustainable future, and has committed to becoming a net zero carbon corporation by 2050,” CK explains.
FPV has already begun implementing various energy-saving features into its buildings, which not only helps it to reach its sustainability goals, but also enables it to pass the cost savings onto end users. The company has also supported tree-planting initiatives as part of its CSR efforts.
Since 2005, more than 200 buildings across Frasers Property Group’s portfolio have been certified as green, and the Binh Duong Industrial Park (BDIP), on its way to receiving the LEED Gold Green Building certification, is set to be the latest.
“BDIP has a plethora of sustainability features and environmentally friendly and advanced technologies; it is a best-in-class development designed to meet operational efficiency, productivity enhancement, health and well-being for occupants,” CK reveals.
Providing sustainable buildings is not only about helping to achieve carbon neutrality; it is also something FPV does as a result of its customer-centric approach to doing business.
“The customer experience is a strong focus for us,” CK insists. “We need to know what our customer needs. We need to listen to them, we need to communicate and consult. When we are dealing with any external stakeholders, we need to listen if they have complaints or feedback. Based on that, we are able to create a more feasible and more suitable product to serve our customer externally.”
“We are confident of emerging stronger and look forward to even better days.”
As for FPV’s growth, CK is quick to praise the team that has made it all possible. “I recognize we could not have navigated these challenging years without our people. We are now moving faster together. As we create a culture of innovation and continuous learning, we continue building core capabilities, especially sustainability, technology and digitalization that are relevant for our future readiness.
“We are a diverse team of people driven by a culture of innovation and excellence,” CK adds. “Looking ahead, FPV Industrial will continue to focus on creating an integrated, focused and resilient business with customer centricity and sustainability as key drivers of value creation.”
It’s clear that the future for FPV is exciting and it’s just as clear that it’s one that CK is looking forward to. “We look to the future even as we stay focused on our near term priorities,” he says. “We are confident of emerging stronger and look forward to even better days.”