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UOB partners with Toong to make room for SMEs

Released at: 13:58, 18/10/2017

UOB partners with Toong to make room for SMEs

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

UOB customers to enjoy lower startup costs with preferential rentals at Toong co-working spaces in Vietnam.

by Hong Nhung

United Overseas Bank (UOB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Toong to provide UOB’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers preferential rentals at any of Toong’s five co-working office spaces in Vietnam.

UOB customers will enjoy up to 20 per cent off rentals and have access to Toong’s business partners, including legal and accounting firms, who can advise them on such issues as local incorporation.

“According to our research, one in four Asian enterprises is keen to expand into Vietnam,” said Mr. Harry Loh, Vietnam Country Manager at UOB’s Ho Chi Minh City Branch. “However, managing the costs of cross-border expansion is a key concern of business owners. By partnering with Toong, we are able to offer our customers a convenient and more cost-effective way to set up and manage their operations in Vietnam.”

“Unlike a typical office lease in Vietnam, which requires a two to five-year commitment, our co-working space provides companies with the ability to set up their operations in Vietnam quickly and easily,” said Mr. Duong Do, Founder and CEO of Toong. “In addition to office space, we will also support these companies in their operational needs, such as registering their company and helping them understand the local business landscape.”

As part of the MoU, UOB and Toong will also work together to promote the exchange of knowledge, business, and culture between Vietnam and Singapore.

A focus area of these joint efforts will be in nurturing the development of Vietnamese financial technology (FinTech) startups. Today, about 50 per cent of Toong’s clients are in the technology sector, while the remainder are from industries including finance, education, real estate, and logistics.

UOB will share its expertise with Toong’s clients and other promising startups in the areas of business development and innovation. It will also facilitate knowledge sharing and networking sessions between Vietnamese startups, potential investors, and industry experts. Toong will open up its office space for these events.

FinTech startups will also be given the opportunity to participate in UOB’s accelerator program, The FinLab. The FinLab provides practical guidance, resources, and mentorship to enable startups selected for its 100-day accelerator program to secure investor funding, to sign commercial deals, and to expand into new markets.

Singapore’s UOB last month announced it had received licensing from the State Bank of Vietnam as a foreign-owned subsidiary bank. At the same time, it also launched a Business Banking service dedicated to helping small businesses in Vietnam grow.

Toong is the first and largest co-working space chain in Vietnam, providing innovative working environments to SMEs and startups around the country. After more than two years of operations, it now has five locations in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang.

After receiving funds from the Openasia Group and Indochina Capital (ICC), Toong sought partnerships with CapitaLand in developing co-working space innovation centers in Vietnam, and International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) in helping Singaporean SMEs expand into Vietnam.

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