12:58:07 AM | 26/10/2012
In the 1990s, Dong Thap province had an agricultural economy, with industry contributing only a tiny proportion to local GDP. In 2000, the proportion of industry and construction to GDP reached just below 11.9 per cent. But, in 2010, industry and construction contributed 22 per cent to GDP. This achievement is largely due to the contribution of Dong Thap Housing and Industrial Zones Development Joint Stock Company (HIDICO), with the Sa Dec Industrial Park development project. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Nguyen Tan Ngan, CEO of HIDICO, on the development process of Sa Dec Industrial Park development project and on other notable activities of the company. Quoc Hung reports.
Could you brief us on HIDICO’s industrial zone development investment in the past years?
Sa Dec Industrial Park was established in 1998 and invested by HIDICO. The first phase of this project was completed with 130 ha. This is a rationally planned industrial zone with synchronized infrastructure, favourable road and waterway traffic systems thanks to container ports, plus easy customs procedures. Hence, this has become a favoured destination for domestic and international investors.
Sa Dec Industrial Park was the first of its kind in the Mekong Delta region to have centralised wastewater treatment plants, bringing all wastewater to Grade A standards under TCVN 5945: 2005 before being discharged into the Tien River; thus, it caused no bad impact on the environment. Besides, the facility supplied freshwater to tenants in the industrial park. The company also focused on other utilities such as warehouses, cargo handling facilities and green trees.
At present, tenants invest in various industries, including seafood processing and agricultural product processing. Many operational projects have brought high efficiency to investors and contributed significantly to rapid industrial development acceleration and industry-driven economic restructuring in the province.
In Dong Thap industrial development, Sa Dec Industrial Park is an important highlight and, for HIDICO, this project helps the company assert its brand. After 15 years of development, how do you evaluate the success and social and economic values that Sa Dec Industrial Park has brought?
There is no doubt that Sa Dec Industrial Park’s marked successes today are partly the result of HIDICO’s bold steps to make breakthroughs. As regards construction management, the company audaciously proposed handling this itself; ensured quality and construction progress, and met the expectations of investors. With regards to planning implementation, the company strongly suggested authorities make adjustments to the plan to suit the reality and expectations of investors, a move with a strong consensus of support from investors. With reference to investment mobilisation, the company always sought ways to coordinate with authorities, institutions and public organisations inside and outside the province to carry out image building programmes and disseminate industrial park information. It actively attended scientific conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs and appeared on newspapers, radio and internet channels for advertising purposes. Concerning utility works, the company invested to build the wastewater treatment facility, water supply plant, warehouses and freight handling vehicles.
Thanks to these efforts, Sa Dec Industrial Park was completed two years ahead of schedule, thus saving tens of billions of Vietnamese dong for the investor and earning income ahead of schedule for the State Budget. To date, the industrial park has housed over 40 tenants, which provide jobs for more than 12,000 workers and help raise the contribution of industry to the province’s GDP and local State Budget.
In 1998, HIDICO embarked on the investment project to develop Sa Dec Industrial Park. Looking back on the progress of HIDICO’s industrial zone development investment, what were the major difficulties and advantages the company faced, then and now?
When we developed Sa Dec Industrial Park, we found that Sa Dec Industrial Park construction and development investment policy, plus the investment incentive policies and effective budgetary mechanism for infrastructure construction, were suitable for industrial zone development in a Mekong Delta province. Besides, infrastructure construction in the midst of site clearance also facilitated investment attraction into this industrial park.
However, the company also saw difficulties, including slow site clearance, although local authorities always provided active support and solutions to deal with those problems. Although authorities approved developers to centralised wastewater treatment and water supply facilities inside industrial zones, they sometimes allowed investors to tap underground water sources in the course of project implementation. Thus, these items were ineffective, and had difficulty controlling wastewater discharge and groundwater contamination. This caused huge loss in investment.
Would you be kind enough to reveal the FDI capital attraction in industrial parks that HIDICO invests in? How do you assess the prospects of foreign investment attraction?
With open, transparent policies, accelerating administrative procedure reform, and active business support, Dong Thap province rose to fourth position in the overall provincial competitiveness index (PCI) in 2011, standing in the top group of provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta in terms of investment attraction. Sa Dec Industrial Park now has over 40 investment projects engaged in seafood processing and fish feed, including four foreign investment projects, with total investment capital of VND3,269 billion and US$27.86 million.
As regards FDI capital attraction, I think the advantages in raw materials, labour force, attractive investment encouragement policies and complete infrastructure system, are an opportunity to draw a lot of foreign investment projects in the coming years. The province will have the chance to select and prioritise high-tech projects. But, this requires a more comprehensive strategy for planning, personnel training, infrastructure development, business support services and environmental protection solutions.
HIDICO is a prestigious and ambitious brand. Can you describe the vision and direction the company will take in the upcoming time?
HIDICO has mapped out a development strategy to 2015, with a vision to 2020, based on available resources like real estate, industrial park business and construction material businesses, while expanding into new industries such as real estate service supply. All target products are environmentally friendly and of high technological content.
The current trend is gradually increasing the proportion of white collar workers to replace manual labourers. Therefore, in order to survive and develop in a sustainable manner, the company has focused on a number of fields like mastering advanced production technologies to create new products of high intellectual content and strong competitiveness; grasping modern corporate governance to boost development sustainability; creating a high-level, skilled workforce to operate and apply advanced management and production technologies; and contributing more to the cause of national and local industrialisation and modernisation.
Thank you very much!