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Vietnam developer and Sumitomo join to build $4bn smart city

Hanoi site will employ 'internet of things,' with homes for up to 25,000 people

HANOI -- Leading Vietnamese developer BRG Group and Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. will spend 450 billion yen ($4.21 billion) to develop a smart city on the outskirts of Hanoi, the partners said Sunday.

The project, slated to be one of the largest urban development in Vietnam, kicks off in 2020 with the construction of about 7,000 apartments and homes.

BRG and Sumitomo formed a 50-50 joint venture to develop about 270 hectares located a 20-minute drive from the center of the capital city.

"City planning is an effort without a fixed goal," Sumitomo President Masayuki Hyodo said. "We will create a city that suits Vietnam."

High-rise apartments will be built in the first phase, with occupancy set to begin in 2022 for 20,000 to 25,000 people. Office buildings and large commercial facilities will be constructed in the second phase. A rail station that links to Hanoi's city center and the international airport is planned for the future.

The companies will employ "internet of things" technology to promote energy savings. They aim to create Vietnam's leading smart city by using state-of-the-art systems such as surveillance cameras tapping facial recognition and artificial intelligence.

Vietnam has benefited as production shifts away from China due to the trade war between Washington and Beijing. The Southeast Asian country's economy is expected to keep growing at a 7% pace in the near future, with real estate development likely to continue.

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