Cao Bang Border Gate Economic Zone: Economic Development Impetus

11:49:01 AM | 6/4/2015

Cao Bang has a 333 km border with China, with Ta Lung international border gate and 3 main gates namely Tra Linh, Soc Giang, Ly Van and several sub-entry gates and crossings, creating many potential advantages for cross-border economic development. In March 2014, the Prime Minister signed a decision establishing the border gate economic zone (BEZ) of Cao Bang province, which is the motivation and opportunity to tap local potential and promote socio-economic development. To learn more about investment attraction as well as the orientation of the provincial economic development promotion, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Le Thanh Chung, Director of Management Board of Cao Bang Economic Zone, on investment attraction in the past years. Hoang Tinh reports.
On March 11, 2014, the Prime Minister signed Decision 20/2014 / QD-TTg on the establishment of a BEZ in Cao Bang Province with a total area of 30,130 ha, covering 37 communes and 3 towns. What do you think about the role of the BEZ in socio-economic development of Cao Bang?
Over the years, Cao Bang has determined that a BEZ is an important driving force to promote growth rate, economic restructuring and motivation for other economic areas. In particular, the BEZ of Cao Bang province has an important location with convenient access to large economic centres of China, such as Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou and Guangxi. In the outlook, the zone will be developed into a transportation hub for exchange and cooperation between Vietnam and China, as well as between ASEAN countries and China, in the framework of building an ASEAN - China free trade area.
When the BEZ officially goes into operation, it will create conditions to attract investment in infrastructure systems. It will promote trade, commodity production and enhance linkage with areas in the province and regions to exploit the strengths of local raw materials (minerals, agricultural and forest products). Cao Bang BEZ is the zone to test the models of border gate economic development cooperation in accordance with open, synchronous policies, upholding the highest potential, closely linked with socio-economic activity in the province.
How about the results of planning, infrastructure construction and investment attraction for the BEZ of the province in recent years?
Over the years, the planning and infrastructure construction of the zone has been promoted. The province has finished adjusting the plans to build Hung Quoc town and Tra Linh border gate areas; adjusting plans to build the town of Ta Lung and having a detailed plan to adjust the centre Ta Lung town planning and zoning Tra Linh BEZ, and planning depot service for temporary import for re-export of frozen food in the province.
International cooperation is enhanced, with more delegations of many sectors and enterprises from bordering provinces and districts of China, such as Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangxi (China), arriving to meet, exchange and seek opportunities for investment and business cooperation. Some projects were completed, such as road 205 linking Hung Quoc and Tra Linh gate; Ta Lung gate’s Garage and border check point; upgrading conjugate control station gate Ta Lung; renovating Control Station Complex Tra Linh and Soc Giang and building Duc Long main road.
By December 31, 2014, the province had attracted 49 investment projects including 8 FDI projects with total registered capital of US$30.8 million and more than VND3,123 billion investment in the BEZ and De Tham Industrial Park.
As the advisory body for the province in performing the function of state management of the zone and creating a favourable environment to attract investment, could you please tell us about the greatest difficulty in attracting investment in the BEZ today and the orientation activities of the Board in the future?
Currently, the construction of the BEZ in the province is facing difficulty, with unsynchronized infrastructure. The annual capital to invest in infrastructure does not meet the annual investment needs, especially for the transport system in the province to open the way for customs clearance of goods. The business environment is not very favourable in the zone.
In the future, the province will continue to promote the development of the BEZ. In particular, the province focuses on investment in infrastructure construction, creating a favourable environment for business investment, with incentives for investment, while adjusting and supplementing existing regulations on the management of the province's entry in the zone. The province will also collect charges for using infrastructure in the gate area, implement state management activities in the fields of export, import and transit; strengthen prevention of smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods, and mobilise funds to invest in the zone.