Photo: Mr. Tran Quang Huy, General Director of the FLC Group
Mr. Tran Quang Huy, General Director of the FLC Group, tells VET's Ngoc Lan about investments in real estate and golf course projects.
by Ngoc Lan
- FLC Quy Nhon Golf Links open
- $260 million FLC Samson Beach and Golf Resort opens
- FLC Faros expects to exceed 2017 profit targets
■ What are the likely trends in Vietnam’s real estate market and golf course market in the future?
I personally think that the “symbiosis” model of the two will remain popular not only in 2018 but also in the years to come. Looking at the successful case of Las Vegas in the 1990s, when casinos were considered a “magnet” for attracting small and mid-sized hotels, golf courses and resorts are a trend that many large companies are pursuing. Golf courses complete the entertainment ecosystem for an entire area, upgrading the level of nearby real estate products and providing customers for the resort.
With FLC Quang Binh, a resort complex combining ten 18-hole links, we will continue to demonstrate its effectiveness in 2018, following FLC Sam Son and FLC Quy Nhon.
For the real estate sector in general, I expect capital inflows to the market will remain solid, especially private capital.
We will see restructuring in certain segments to match demand in the market, including in structure, product type, and geography. 2018 will be a year for emerging markets, such as Thanh Hoa province, Ha Long city, Quy Nhon city, Lao Cai province, and Hai Phong city, where transport and tourism infrastructure are improving dramatically.
Many new product models will appear and grow strongly, such as tourism resort complexes combined with entertainment and healthcare, four-seasons resorts, theme resorts, and creativity tourism areas.
■ What difficulties has the FLC Group encountered in the process of investing in resort real estate and golf courses? What did it do to overcome these difficulties?
We have not chosen an easy path, pouring capital into areas that have convenient infrastructure to develop projects and bolster our tourism brand. Most FLC resort projects are built on uncultivated, vacant wasteland with no economic value. These have potential but were previously “unknown” on the tourism map. FLC has therefore always been a “pioneer”.
This strategy means that we will have to do everything ourselves, from surveys and research to working with local authorities, completing procedures, and addressing technical difficulties during the implementation of projects in the marshes of Sam Son and the sand hills of Quy Nhon and Quang Binh. Being a pioneer, though, gives us beautiful, valuable, and sustainable land, with high competitive advantages.
The spillover effect of a pioneering flagship project is reflected in many aspects. It doesn’t stop at improving the image of local tourism, contributing to local budgets, and creating jobs, but also changes thinking and business culture. This is a new premise for sustainable development in the long term. It also keeps morale high among FLC team members in the face of difficulties.
■ Apart from the FLC Luxury Resort in Vinh Phuc, most FLC resort projects are on the coast. What is the difference between investing in coastal and mountainous real estate?
In resort real estate, especially coastal projects, the natural landscape is associated with the destiny of the project. The ocean not only attracts visitors to the resort, it is also a source of livelihood for local people. For FLC, therefore, the development and conservation of the marine environment are two parallel issues. A preserved marine environment brings commercial and economic benefits to both the investor and local people.
Professional investors greatly contribute to the protection and reconstruction of the landscape and marine environment and change mindsets about exploiting the natural resources of local people.
■ FLC held overseas roadshows as part of its plan to promote Vietnam’s resort and golf resort market in the international market. Were these successful? Which foreign investors do FLC consider potential strategic partners in the future?
Globalization has an impact on every business in the economy, and the flow of investment funds is volatile in markets where there are many lucrative opportunities. The FLC Group has not chosen passive integration, where we simply wait for foreign investors to come. We want to go overseas to expand business opportunities and introduce the world to Vietnam, where there are many investment opportunities with high profitability.
We therefore successfully held our first three roadshows to promote our products in international markets, in Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. We also plan to reach other markets this year, including the US, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
These regions are carefully considered by FLC before being selected, with criteria including whether they have demand for information on FLC’s projects. For example, with an advantage in resorts with world-class golf courses, South Korea is a market of potential, as 11 per cent of the population play golf.
The criteria were a solid foundation for the success of the roadshows. In fact, a number of foreign businesses and partners received information and asked to deepen cooperative opportunities with FLC after the events.
In order to meet the needs of investors, the FLC Group established a representative office in Tokyo last November. The head of the office is former Ambassador of Japan in Vietnam, H.E. Norio Hattori. This year we will also open a representative office in Seoul.
■ What are the Group’s objectives in efforts to maintain its leading position in Vietnam’s real estate market?
Real estate is the key development sector for the Group and FLC is fully committed to its strategy of building and developing multi-purpose projects. This strategy has proven to be effective for tourism as well as overall general economic growth in localities such as Vinh Phuc, Thanh Hoa, and Binh Dinh, bringing benefits to investors in particular and the community in general.
This strategy will continue to be maintained in the future in cities and provinces such as Dong Thap, Quang Binh, Nghe An, and Hai Phong, and will come with diversity in unique and creative services. It will not only give customers a new experience but also maximize profits for FLC’s investors.
An important direction we are promoting is the development of green building projects such as The Coastal Hill hotel in Quy Nhon, built under the two highest green standards of LEED (US) and LOTUS (Vietnam). There are not many resort investors choosing this direction, but we think it is a necessary step to develop and grow sustainably in the context of green buildings being a major development trend around the world.
FLC will accelerate its multi-sectoral development strategy this year to maximize potential and existing opportunities in the market and anticipate new trends as the economy gains new growth momentum. FLC’s high-tech agriculture project is being implemented on a land area of about 4,000 ha, with estimated total investment in the 2018-2020 period being $1.5 billion, while Bamboo Airlines is also actively preparing its infrastructure and technology.
Other sectors such as construction, tourism, and imports and exports will also be promoted within the general growth process. We have set a revenue target for 2018 of VND14 trillion ($622.2 million).
- Mr. Tran Quang Huy
- General Director
- FLC Group
- Vietnam's real estate market
- golf course market
- FLC's projects