The establishment of Hon La Economic Zone, Cha Lo Border Gate Economic Zone and industrial zones is a major policy of Quang Binh province with the aim of attracting more investment capital. As a lead agency, the Quang Binh Economic Zones Authority has stepped up public administration reform and supported investors as they carry out their projects. Mr Pham Van Nam, Director of Quang Binh Economic Zones Authority, has a conversation with Vietnam Business Forum on this issue. Song Uyen reports.
As one of 18 economic zones in the country, but not one of six priority economic zones, Hon La Economic Zone has faced certain difficulty in infrastructure development investment. Could you please tell us about this?
Despite numerous hardships in the way, Hon La Economic Zone has received valuable support from central and local authorities in recent years. Nevertheless, limited investment resources have restricted the economic zone from building a perfect infrastructure. To date, only essential infrastructure works have been built, including power grid, water supply and lighting systems.
We cannot wait for State budget to build infrastructure for now and we plan to attract investors to invest in infrastructure.
How do you think about operations of economic and industrial zones and their tenants in the province in recent years?
Despite slow economic growth in recent years, especially after the environmental incident offshore the central region, tenants in economic and industrial zones still maintained effective production and business performances. The authority also actively and creatively improved the quality of investment attraction, and more and more projects registered in economic and industrial zones.
Currently, investment projects in economic and industrial zones have new, environment-friendly technologies, meet employment requirements, and contribute reasonably to the State budget. Typical projects include VND1,580 billion Quang Binh MDF Factory, VND150 billion Quang Binh Garment Factory, and a VND120 billion garment factory of S&D Co., Ltd. Basically, investment projects are highly effective. But, some projects are not big and strong enough to creative motive force to attract new investment projects into the province’s economic and industrial zones.
What are differences between Quang Binh province-based economic and industrial zones with their peers in neighbouring provinces like Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue? How has the Quang Binh Economic Zones Authority promoted local advantages?
Indeed, Quang Binh is at a disadvantage in relation to neighbouring provinces in North Central Vietnam. The difference of Quang Binh province-based economic and industrial zones is the consistent leadership of the entire political system. Quang Binh province and the Quang Binh Economic Zones Authority are committed to offering the highest land and tax incentives in the regulatory framework. We always see the success of enterprises as the success of the province. We also issue many practical business support policies to recruit and train workers, thus attracting highly qualified and skilled labourers.
When coming to Quang Binh province in general and its economic and industrial zones in particular, investors are provided with opportunities to learn, invest and do business. The authority takes the lead in the province in public administration reform. It has made great efforts to build a one-site single-window mechanism for administrative procedures, which are simplified and made public to facilitate citizens to settle administrative procedures.
Linking economic and industrial zones with general technical infrastructure (urban areas and worker houses) and public utilities is becoming increasingly urgent. How has the Quang Binh Economic Zones Authority advised the provincial government on forward directions and solutions?
To develop economic and industrial zones sustainably, attracting investors and highly-skilled workers, connecting general infrastructure and building cultural institutions and worker houses are basic requirements. At present, the Quang Binh Economic Zones Authority is actively coordinating with the Provincial Confederation of Labour to build cultural institutions for industrial parks, review general economic zone construction plans, detailed industrial zone construction plans, in association with urban and housing development, especially worker housing construction. It is also actively advising the Provincial People’s Committee to prioritise land allocation and attract funds for building social houses, educational, cultural, sporting and medical facilities for workers in economic and industrial zones.