Ha Nam: Priority on Formation of Favourable Investment and Business Environment

10:07:26 AM | 5/8/2015

In 2014, Ha Nam granted investment licences to 35 companies, mainly from Japan and South Korea, with a total investment capital of US$320 million. 44 companies reported completing investment processes and beginning commercial operation, contributing to the province’s economic growth of 13.15 percent. With the aim of creating the most favourable conditions for investors, Ha Nam is considered a "good land" for domestic and foreign investors to do business. To learn more about investment attraction results as well as solutions to draw more investment capital, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Nguyen Van Oang, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Ha Nam.

How do you assess the outstanding investment attraction results and project investment implementation in Ha Nam in recent years?
In the first six months of 2015, Ha Nam province licensed 33 new investment projects, including 19 FDI projects and 14 domestic investment projects, with a total registered investment of US$243.5 million and VND7,103 billion (US$322 million). As of June 24, 2015, the province had 508 investment projects, including 144 FDI projects and 364 domestic investment projects, with a combined registered capital of US$1,313.2 million and VND46,265 billion (US$2,100 million). So far, 411 projects have gone into operation and 97 projects are under construction. Investors have disbursed VND50,843 billion, or 70.1 percent of their registered value. Big investment projects include motorcycle manufacturing project invested by Honda Vietnam Co., Ltd.; a consumer electronics production project invested by Anam Electronics Vietnam Co., Ltd; a shaped aluminium rod production project invested by ASEAN Aluminium Company; automobile and motorcycle relay production project invested by Nippon Thermostat Vietnam Co., Ltd; and a beverage production project invested by Number One Ha Nam Company.
Among the foreign investors in Ha Nam, 45 companies come from Japan and 55 companies are from South Korea, including many well-known corporations such as Honda and Sumi. Japanese and South Korean investors primarily register to invest in electricity, electronics, automotive and motorcycle components, plastic products, jewellery, and children's toys. After completing investment, land and construction procedures, most investors keep up the progress of their projects as scheduled. In particular, they apply good employment policies and show their responsibility to environmental protection.
What solutions and directions did Ha Nam province take to achieve these results?
In recent years, Ha Nam province has implemented synchronous solutions to attract domestic and foreign enterprises to invest in Ha Nam province as follows:
- Completing plans (overall social and economic development plan to 2020, regional construction planning to 2030 and to 2050; land-use planning to 2020 and land-use planning in five years (2011-2015), widely publicising on mass media to inform investors and enable them to access, look up and mine information. This will help cut costs for investors, improve infrastructure in industrial zones, and create ready land funds for investment projects.
- Building development investment renovation scheme for 2015-2020 period and to 2030 (defining priority sectors and investment attraction like priorities for development of supporting industries, high-tech industries, products with high added value, high competitive advantages and environmental friendliness, placing focus on attracting businesses in Japan, South Korea and Europe, giving priority for industrial development in Thanh Liem and Duy Tien districts.
- Developing, reviewing and supplementing mechanisms and policies to encourage private investment, especially domestic and foreign small and medium-sized enterprises, high-tech supporting industries, energy-saving industries (mechanical assembly and electronics, etc.); attracting investment for agricultural and rural development (infrastructure, production, consumption and formation of agricultural product chains); assisting investors from the time they start exploring investment policies to project preparation and implementation, marketing and branding.
- Promoting administrative procedure reform at all levels, ensuring transparency and simplicity of administrative procedures, supporting enterprises to invest in production and business expansion. Specifically in 2015, the Department has advised the Provincial People’s Committee to research and revise "Regulations on implementation of single-window mechanism for settlement of administrative procedures concerning investment approval of production and business projects in Ha Nam province”, and shortening the time to complete related procedures for businesses.
+ Integrating location notification procedures into investment intention approval (previously location notification and mapping was done a separate procedure).
+ Integrating planning procedures with project space approval (formerly planning certificate, architectural planning agreement or ground approval were separated procedures).
- Applying information technology to management and administration and implementing single-window mechanism; enhancing transparency and publicity of processes, procedures, and legal documents; posting full information about construction planning and land-use planning approved by competent authorities on its investment-related websites.

In August 2015, Ha Nam province will collaborate with the Central Economic Committee and Ho Chi Minh City to organise the Ha Nam Economic and Investment Promotion Forum in HCM City. Would you mind telling us the focus sectors that Ha Nam province will introduce investors?
Ha Nam province now has four industrial parks, including Dong Van I, Dong Van II, Hoa Mac and Chau Son. Particularly, investors have leased out the rentable space in Dong Van I and Dong Van II industrial parks. The Chau Son Industrial Park covers 170 ha, including 115 ha in the second phase under construction. At present, the Provincial People’s Committee is directing the land reclamation for Dong Van III Industrial Park to provide more business space for investors.
For industries, Ha Nam province will give priority to environment-friendly advanced investment projects and ensure the efficiency of investment projects engaged in engineering, assembly, electronics, telecommunications, information technology, supporting industries, new material, food processing, food preservation, beverage and milk.
In addition to drawing investment capital into industrial sectors, Ha Nam province also promotes investment into high-tech agriculture like growing and processing organic vegetables, tubers and fruits of high quality and value to serve domestic market and export to other countries; rear pigs and milk cows and process pork. The province has signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group to raise 15,000 milk cows by 2020 to produce 45 million litres of milk a year in the province.
Ha Nam province has also promoted investment in other sectors like urban infrastructure development, transport, trade and tourism. Currently, Phu Ly City is planning to become a second-grade urban zone by 2020 and Duy Tien district will become a fourth-grade urban zone in 2020. To achieve these targets, the province has directed departments, branches and districts to speed up detailed planning, and create favourable mechanisms for investment projects in urban infrastructure development, educational and vocational training institutions, high quality hospitals, commercial and service centres.
In addition, Ha Nam has encouraged investors to supply provide water for industrial parks and urban areas; treat solid wastes and wastewater; build inland clearance depots (ICDs) in Vuc Vong - Dong Van region to serve export and import of materials and goods for industrial parks in Ha Nam and neighbouring provinces.
How is Ha Nam committed to creating a conducive investment and business environment for investors?
Authorities at all tiers of Ha Nam province will strictly implement the province's 10 commitments to investors.
(1). Providing enough electricity around the clock for tenants in industrial zones;
(2). Ensuring sufficient essential infrastructure and utilities for investors, including clean water supply, telecom service and waste treatment for tenants;
(3). Minimising the time of investors (within three days from the date of receipt of valid applications, investors will be granted investment certificates, online tax declaration registration, etc.);
(4). Supplying enough manpower of suitable quality for investors;
(5). Supplying free land for building houses for workers; meeting demands for service, social infrastructure and entertainment
(6). Supporting and facilitating investors to expand operations, change business methods and adjust business registration certificates
(7) Ensuring favourable customs procedures at industrial parks; carrying electronic customs procedures
(8). Ensuring security for humans and properties of enterprises
(9). Ensuring no worker strikes
(10). Establishing telephone hotlines to Party Secretary and Chairman of Provincial People’s Committee to help investors deal with emerging issues.
- The province issues regulations on supports for domestic and international investors as follows.
+ Supporting VND1 million for each worker employed by enterprises operating in priority fields
+ Carrying out labour training scheme and supporting Japanese businesses in the 2014-2016 period.
+ Granting rewards for organisations and individuals who invite domestic and foreign investors to invest in production and service fields encouraged by the province.
+ Arranging meetings between industrial zone management authorities with the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to train suitable labourers for investors
+ Supporting SMEs specialised in supporting industries to build workshops for lease at Dong Van 3 Industrial Park
+ Allowing the establishment of health facilities in enterprises (Japanese companies) to provide primary healthcare for their employees
+ Privatising services such as telecommunications, Internet, water supply (two distributors available for investors to choose).
+ Establishing business support agencies like Japan Desk (to support Japanese companies), South Korea Desk (to serve South Korean investors), and investment promotion centres.
- The province maintains regular dialogues with investors in the province in order to understand their needs and tackle difficulties and problems against them in the course of operation. The province will help investors to operate their projects effectively to build up their trust in the investment and business environment in local industrial parks as it will help the province to polish its image before new potential investors.