Dong Thap - Leading Light in Investment Attraction in Mekong Delta

5:22:32 PM | 2/9/2014

With the dynamic leadership of the provincial government, Dong Thap province has quickly created an attractive investment environment and made its name in investment attraction in the Mekong Delta region. Ngo Hong Chieu, Deputy Director of the Dong Thap Department of Planning and Investment, said, “We hope that, with abundant potential and advantages, specific preferential policies, the commitment and sharing of the provincial government, the companionship and highest support of the provincial government for businesses, and the capacity, experience and determination of investors, many projects will be successfully deployed in Dong Thap province in the coming time." Thanh Tam reports.
Could you please tell about investment attraction results of the province, particularly FDI capital?
In order to tap such potential as land, materials and labour to serve growth objective and local economic restructuring, investment attraction is seen as one of top priorities of Dong Thap province. Therefore, in to investment promotion activities, the province always focuses on promoting infrastructure investment, training human resources, reform administrative procedures towards reducing intermediate stages, removing unnecessary procedures and shortening waiting time, foster professional knowledge and skills for officials and civil servants. All aims to make Dong Thap an attractive destination for investors.
With these efforts, Dong Thap province has achieved encouraging results in investment attraction. In the year to May 20, the province drew nine projects with a total registered investment capital of VND642 billion, including eight domestic investment projects (VND431 billion) and one foreign direct investment (FDI) project (VND211 billion). So far, Dong Thap has attracted a total of 209 investment projects with a total registered capital of VND20,990.56 billion (US$1 billion), including 20 FDI projects (VND1,655.42 billion), invested by investors from the United States, Singapore, China, South Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, France and Thailand. They mostly invest in fish and animal feed production, export footwear production and export rice processing.
Dong Thap province is strong in agriculture and the people mainly rely on agriculture. In the meantime, FDI projects often require highly qualified and skilled human resources. Therefore, to catch the attention of foreign investors in the coming time, the province will continue to improve the investment environment by enhancing the quality of human resource training and workforce and encouraging the development of support services.
Would you be kind enough to tell practical support activities and programmes to create a favourable production environment and uphold the spirit of “accompanying businesses”?
In the past years, in the spirit of “accompanying businesses,” the provincial government has attached much importance to improving the performance of public administration and this approach is introduced to all administrative offices and governmental agencies at all levels. All aims to make Dong Thap an attractive destination for investors.
In organisation, the Dong Thap Trade, Tourism and Investment Promotion Centre (DOTIP) is responsible for guiding and supporting investors from the time they come to the province to seek investment opportunities until the time their projects go into operation.
In investment procedures, policies, categories and charts, the province has clearly and transparently defined regulations and print instruction documents for investors. Local governments at all levels must coordinate with DOTIP in all investment promotion activities with the highest sense of responsibility. The province also requires all functional agencies to visit companies and factories to learn about their problems and seek practical solutions to those problems in order to assist them to do business well. Although its provincial competitiveness index (PCI) is in the group of leaders, Dong Thap still urges all branches and agencies to step up public administration reform, with the focus given to e-government development, pro-citizen service, and enterprise support.
In infrastructure investment, the province has upgraded the waterway and overland transport system which is well connected with industrial zones and urban zones in the province, in the Mekong Delta and Prey Veng province of Cambodia.
Regarding trade promotion support, the province has organised many market survey delegations to assist local businesses to explore market opportunities, seek partners and sign investment and commercial contracts with other firms in other countries like Myanmar and Cambodia.
In the Mekong Delta, many provinces have fast-growing economies like Can Tho and Kien Giang. What has Dong Thap province done to create a distinctive and attractive investment environment to catch the fancy of more investors? To ensure a healthy and fair investment environment, how has the province selected investors?
The government of Dong Thap province is committed to creating the greatest support for investors to do administrative procedures, carry out projects, train human resources, and develop infrastructure systems. All must be done in the quickest manner to ease investors and cut expenses for investors.
Currently, the province is focusing on attracting investors to invest in projects stated in the list of prioritised projects in the 2013 - 2015 period. While supporting investors to study local conditions for their projects, we proactively contact and invite potential corporations and investors, wok with Vietnamese diplomatic missions, business associations and investment promotion agencies in foreign countries, and organise investment trade promotion programmes to some countries and territories such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China. We also strengthen relationships with overseas Vietnamese and foreign investors doing business in the province to introduce investment opportunities to other investors.
In the coming time, the province will give priority to high-tech agriculture and reproduce high-yield, high-quality crop and livestock species. In industry, we will encourage supporting industries in order to reduce input costs for domestic production to enhance product competitiveness, prioritise infrastructure construction projects in support of industrial production projects generating high added value, using advanced technologies, using environment-friendly technologies; tourism projects and tourism-support projects.
Investors usually show their concern about ready land fund, site clearance situation, traffic systems and other conditions when they consider investment locations. How has Dong Thap province answered their concerns?
Land for investment projects is one of the biggest issues when investors go to Dong Thap province. Being aware of this, the Department of Planning and Investment has coordinated with provincial agencies and local governments to jointly propose the Provincial People's Committee on solutions to this issue to ease investors. The province now has three out of eight large-scaled industrial zones in operation and 14 out of 31 small-scaled industrial complexes in operation. If investors want to locate their projects in these industrial zones, local governments will support them to pick up best sites for their projects.
Investment incentives are also of interest when businesses invest in Dong Thap. Except for Cao Lanh and Sa Dec cities, investors in 10 other administrative units are offered preferential investment treatments. They will enjoy a preferential corporate income tax of 10 - 20 per cent in 10-15 years, tax free in 2-4 years, and a 50 per cent reduction in corporate income tax in the next 4-9 years. They are also free from import taxes when they import machines and equipment used to generate fixed assets when they carry out their investment projects. They will be offered further incentives when they invest in agriculture and rural development.
In addition, investors will feel assured when they locate their projects in far-lying areas because of good transport systems. Saigon Newport Corporation has upgraded Cao Lanh and Sa Dec inland ports for ships of 5,000 DWT and container barges of 128 TEUs. They will have no problem in carrying inputs to their projects in remote areas and export their projects to other countries.