5:35:20 PM | 21/5/2013
To study the potential strong points of industrial parks (IPs) and economic zones (EZs) in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang as well as local investment opportunities, the Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Nguyen Van Tan, Director of the Kien Giang provincial Economic Zone Management Board.
Can you talk about the role of the industrial parks and economic zones in the province’s socio-economic development ?
The planning and invesment in the development of industrial parks and economic zones in Kien Giang province plays an important role not only to the development of industries but also to the local economic growth, thus facilitating the shift in economic structures towards increasing the proportion of the industrial sector and contributing to the industrialisation and modernisation of the province.
The planning of industrial parks and economic zones has created land funds with synchronous infrastructure such as convenient transportation, and upgraded electricity and drainage systems which help businesses take the initiative in relocating and building factories in line with the province’s development planning and environment protection, and prevent scattered development.
Besdies, the development and opening of industrial parks and economic zones have helped create jobs for local people and helped improve their living conditions as well as deal with other related social-economic issues.
The operation of industrial parks and economic zones would help tap the big potential of the province’s agriculture-forestry-fishery sector.
Can you review the province’s outstanding achievements in its planning and investment in infrastructure development as well as investment attraction in industrial parks and economic zones over the past years?
In the planning of the industrial parks and economic zones in the Ha Tien international border gate, authorities of Kien Giang province have built a master plan on development of industrial parks and economic zones by 2015 with a vision towards 2020.
Accordingly, the Prime Minister has approved to develop five industrial parks in Kien Giang with a total area of 759 hectares. The five industrial parks include the 250-hectare Thanh Loc Industrial Park located in Thanh Loc commune, Chau Thanh district; the 140.737-hectare Thuan Yen Industrial Park in Thuan Yen commune, Ha Tien town; the 68-hectare Tac Cau Industrial Park in Vinh Hoa Phu commune, Chau Thanh district; the 200-hectare Xeo Ro Industrial Park in Hung Yen commune, An Bien district, and the 100-hectare Kien Kuong II Industrial Park located in Binh An commune, Kien Luong district. Under the planning, there will be four residential areas covering a total area of 148 hectares and one service and trade center covering an area of 69 ha.
Under Kien Giang province’s 9th Party Congress, in the 2010-2015 term, the province aims to fill up the Thanh Loc and Thuan Yen Industrial Parks in Thuan Yen commune and Ha Tien town. Up till now, part of infrastructure of the industrial parks have been built. The parks have attracted six investors who are finishing the neccesary investment procedures to start building three seafood processing and MDF woodwork production factories in the second quarter of 2013 and to kick off the remaining projects in the first quarter of 2014.
Besides, the Government has approved the master planning for Ha Tien town and the Ha Tien Border-gate Economic Zonewith a total area of 1,600 hectares. The province has to date built detailed plans for some functional areas to serve the development of the Ha Tien border-gate economic zone with an area of 71.28 hectares. The areas include a 3.106-hectare free-tax trade centre, a market covering 1.8 hectares, a warehouse of 4.086 hectares and a 50.81-hectare protected areas of tax. This would be a foundation for the province to attract investment in industries to sustainably develop them in the long term, thus thus facilitating the shift in the province’s economic structures.
For the functional areas in the Ha Tien Brder-gate Economic Zone, the province plans to build a tax-free trade centre, a market and a warehouse. The province has selected Kien Giang Trade and Tourism Company Ltd as the investors of the project and the management board has granted the investment license to the company. Kien Giang Trade and Tourism Company Ltd has completed the site clearance and compensation with a total cost of VND22.925 billion and is in the process to receive land to build a market in the Ha Tien border-gate economic zone. The province has also selected Gia Tan Phat Company Limited as the investor of a project to build a protected area of tax.
As a consultant agency to the provincial People’s Committee to manage local industrial parks and economic zones and to create an attractive environment to attract investment, what suggestions have the Kien Giang provincial Economic Zone Management Board given to the People’Committee?
The Kien Giang provincial Economic Zone Management Board has proposed the provincial People’s Committee to advance money from the provicial budget to facilitate detail planning, the building of investment plans and and reports on environment impacts... in the industrial parks so as to help investors, who get licenses to carry out infrastructure projects, shorten the time needed to complete these procedures.
The Kien Giang provincial Economic Zone Management Board has also used effectively an aid of VND140 billion from the central government for Thanh Loc and Thuan Yen Industrial Parks, with the amount o f VND70 billion each industrial park. The board also advanced money from the provincal budget to serve compensation to clear around 190 hectares of land in the two industrial parks, including 126 hectares for the Thuan Yen Industrial Park and 57 hectares for Thanh Loc Industrial Park with an aim to create clean land funds for investors who get investment licenses to cary out projects.
As part of the region with difficult socio-economic conditions, Kien Giang province is still facing challenges in its socio-economic development. Rach Gia City and Ha Tien are named in the list of the areas with difficult socio-economic conditions while the remaining districts are in the list of the areas with extreme socio-economic difficulties. Therefore, investors who are interested in projects in the industrial parks and border-gate economic zones in the province will get special incentives in line with the Government’s regulations. The incentives include the land use time, exemption or reduction in land leasing fees and corporate income tax, preferential export tax and import duty and special support for carrying out infrastructure and technical projects.
What are the challenges and difficulties in developing industrial parks and economic zones in the province?
There are many challenges in the development of industrial parks and economic zones in the province. The global economic slowdown and local economic uncertainties have forced the Government to tighten the monetary policies and to cut public investment which have had negative impacts on the provincial social-economic development, in particular the development of industrial parks and economic zones. High lending interest rates and hard access to bank loans are among the difficulties.
These barriers have caused difficulties for the province to attract investment in the industrial parks and economic zones. Kien Giang authorities have urged the Government to raise the financial support for the Thuan Yen and Thanh Loc Industrial Parks as the VND70 billion each is too small for an industrial park in Kien Giang, which is located in the southwestern part of the country and has poor transportation system.
The Government has yet to build special policies and specific incentives for cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta region, including Kien Giang province, thus the region remains less attractive than other regions in attracting investor.
Can you disclose the province’s development strategy for industrial parks in the future?
The province will focus on the development of the Thuan Yen and Thanh Loc Industrial Parks and functional areas in the Ha Tien Border-gate Economic Zone. For the Thuan Yen Industrial Park, local authorities will strive to soon complete compensation and site clearance to accelerate infrastructure projects so that investors can soon start their projects in the industrial park. At first, the province will prioritise the agriculture-forestry-fishery sector to tap the local potential. Local authorities will also invest in building waste water treatment plants to satsify the requirements on environmental protection. The province aims to put the Thuan Yen Industrial Park into operation in 2015.
For the Thanh Loc Industrial Park, the province will scrutinize the implementation of infrastructure and technical works in the industrial park under the approved plan. Besides, local authorities would continue completing the site clearance and compensation for the first stage of Thanh Loc Industrial Park, depending on its financial capacity of investors’ land demand for carrying out their projects. Local authorities will also urge investors to accelerate their neccesary investment procedures so as to soon get investment licenses. The province aims to put the Thanh Loc Industrial Park into operation in 2015.
For the Tac Cau, Xeo Ro and Kien Luong II Industrial Parks, the province will continue to complete all preparations for investment projects and will build and perfect a detailed planning of investment projects for the 2011-2015 period and will then announce the detailed planning. Togehter with the preparations, the Kien Giang provincial Economic Zone Management Board will call on domestic and foreign businesses to invest in the industrial parks. It will create favorable conditions for investors who are interested in developing infrastructure in the industrial parks. By 2015, the province aims to call on investors to develop infrastructure for these industrial parks or entrust partial works to some investors.
For the functional areas in the Ha Tien Border-gate Economic Zone, the province will keep track of them and speed up works of the market project in the economic zone. Local authorities will continue finishing compensation and site clearance for projects to build protected areas of tax and roads connecting the industrial parks. The province will give supports to help investors deal with their difficulties and barriers during the implementation of their projects to ensure that all of their projects will be carried out smoothly and effectively.
Besides, Kien Giang province will launch more promotional programmes to attract investment in the industrial parks. The province will attend economic cooperative forums and conferences expos at home and abroad, and improve the quality of documents such as guidebooks, leaflets and websites and translate them into many foreign languages such as English, Japanese and Korean to advertise the province’s image and investment environment to lure domestic and foreign investment in infrastructure projects in the IPs. Kien Giang will create more favorable conditions for investors who seek investment opportunities in the province as the success of investors will greatly contribute to the province’s social-economic development.
Local authorities will also inspect and supplement, amend and standardize the regulations on administrative procedures guide, documents, time and the process of administrative procedures. The province will also remove cubersome and overlapped administrative procedures as well as other unnecessary papers to ensure that investors can complete their investment procedures in an effective way.