9:43:16 PM | 16/5/2011
Dong Thap is not pursuing simply the number of investments. It concentrates on the quality of FDI projects. In the future, investment projects will be chosen more carefully, focusing on infrastructure, high technology, clean technology and products of high competitiveness. Those are the views of Mr Khuc Quang Dung, Head of Dong Thap Department of Planning and Investment, in an interview with reporter Thanh Hoang.
How do you see the investment in Dong Thap in recent years, especially FDI?
In the past years, we have several programmes and measures to attract investments,such as signing periodic cooperation agreements with Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, An Giang and others; organizing investment promotion conferences in Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh (Cambodia); signing MOUs between businesses to invest in the province; and monthly meetings between Chairman of the People’s Committee and businesses to make recommendations and solve remaining issues.
With great efforts, investments have increased significantly in industrial zones of the province, with 120 projects and registered capital of over VND8,200 billion, creating 29,000 jobs. Though the investment environment of the province has been improved and highly valued, FDI remained modest with few and small-scale projects.
How can the province choose high quality investment projects?
To attract investments, Dong Thap focuses on assisting investors, both local and foreign. In the past, local investments were bigger than foreign investments both in project number and registered capital. However, the province continues to attract foreign investments as foreign investors have advantages in capital and management skill. To attract high quality investment projects, we ask concerned authorities to develop in advance socio-economic infrastructure, planning and especially administrative reform and improvement of business and investment environment. The province also applies policies and measures to attract investment, upgrading services and industrial zones, and ensuring land and workplace for investment projects.
More important still, the province focuses on removing constraints for businesses and in joint efforts with concerned authorities to choose strategic investors with great potential. In the coming years, the province will develop industries of comparative advantage such as processing industries (agriculture, forestry and fisheries), building materials, science and technology, and information technology. Dong Thap welcomes investors in big industrial projects to promote industrial development in the province. Meanwhile, the province will consider more seriously the danger of pollution, and the development of eco-tourism.
How will the province assist businesses so that they can play their role in socio-economic development?
In concerted efforts to create a friendly environment for investment and business activities, the province has attracted major investment capital for socio-economic development. In recent years, local and foreign investments have contributed significantly to economic growth (averaging 13.5 percent in 2004-2010), the economic structure is transforming in favour of industry and service. This is partly due to business community contributions.
Though the provincial competition indexes continue to improve, we still have much to do to upgrade the business and investment environment, ensuring better service for people and businesses. Accordingly, we concentrate on the planning, especially construction and land use, to obtain assistance from central government and ODA to complete infrastructure. The province also accelerates administrative reform, reinforcing investment promotion organizations with higher professionalism and efficiency.
The province also encourages investments in areas in accordance with government Decree 61/2010/ND-CP. Projects in conformity with planning and land use, or in public private partnership, will have reduction or exempt in land use and land rental.
No doubt, the preferential treatment has helped Dong Thap attract more and more investors. In 12 administrative units, 10 are on the list of preferential treatment. Therefore, investors will have huge assistance in Dong Thap province.
For instance, in districts with difficult socio-economic conditions, investors will have preferential treatment in income tax by the central government, as well as exemption from land rent for 7-15 years, 20 percent of income tax rate for 10 years, exemption from income tax for 2-4 years and 50 percent tax rate reduction for the following 4-9 years.
Besides exemption of import tax on equipment for fixed property, businesses can get assistance in training of human resources, market development, consulting service, transport fees, trade promotion and trademark development, and treatment of environment pollution, so investors can implement their projects with the shortest delay.
What areas will you focus investments on in the coming years and do you have any message for investors?
We will attract more investors to make the best use of our advantages in agriculture. More specifically, investments in processing industries (besides fisheries and food processing), post-harvest technology, urban development, trade-service centres and duty-free supermarkets in border economic zones to develop the border economy, especially in Cao Lanh, Sa Dec, and Hong Ngu.
We will support and provide all necessary assistance to local and foreign investors who have efficient projects in the province.