In recent years, many investors have become increasingly interested in the economic zones and industrial zones of Quang Tri province. Mr. Tran Quang Trung, Deputy Director of the Quang Tri Economic and Industrial Zones Authority, granted an interview to Vietnam Business Forum on this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.
Could you please describe the current performance of local economic zones and industrial zones, especially outstanding incentive policies for investors?
Quang Tri province is located in central Vietnam, covering a natural area of 4,740 square kilometers and having a population of more than 620,000. The province lies on the intersection of important transport arteries, including National Highway 1A, National Highway 9 on the East - West Economic Corridor (EWEC), and North - South Railway. With many border gates and seaports, Quang Tri has ideal conditions to expand trade, economic, service and tourism development.
Currently, Quang Tri province has two economic zones and three industrial parks included in the Vietnam Industrial and Economic Zone Development Plan: Lao Bao Special Economic and Commercial Area (Huong Hoa district) - the first model border-gate economic zone established in the province (in 1998), Dong Nam Economic Zone (Hai Lang, Trieu Phong and Gio Linh districts) - a coastal economic zone established in 2015 to create motivation for the development of the province and the central region, Nam Dong Ha Industrial Park (Dong Ha City), Quan Ngang Industrial Park (Gio Linh district), and Tay Bac Ho Xa Industrial Park (Vinh Linh district).
Thus, compared to other localities in the country, Quang Tri has industrial parks, border-gate economic zones and coastal economic zones, which are very favorable conditions for comprehensive socioeconomic development.
To date, funded primarily by central budget and partially by provincial budget, site clearance and construction of essential technical infrastructure like internal roads, power grids, and water supply and drainage systems have been completed to meet basic needs of tenants in Lao Bao Special Economic and Commercial Area, Nam Dong Ha Industrial Park and Quan Ngang Industrial Park.
Dong Nam Economic Zone, covering a total area of 23,792 ha, was established under the Prime Minister's Decision 42/2015/QD-TTg dated September 16, 2015. Currently, the province is actively carrying out subdivision planning, land compensation and site clearance to build infrastructure for tenants. Many domestic and foreign strategic investors have come to learn and conduct investment procedures to implement their projects.
Tay Bac Ho Xa Industrial Park had the detailed plan approved by the Provincial People's Committee and submitted to the Government for approval to grant investment licenses to infrastructure developers and secondary investors.
Lao Bao Special Economic and Commercial Area is entitled to the highest preferential policies in the framework of Vietnamese law. It piloted some new economic management mechanisms before being scaled up nationwide. Dong Nam Economic Zone is entitled to preferential policies applied to very poor localities under investment laws.
What do you think about investment attraction and tenants’ performance in local economic and industrial zones?
Over the past years, the Quang Tri Economic and Industrial Zones Authority has: taken strong action to reform administrative procedures and improve the investment and business environment; strengthened investment management; boosted investment promotion activities; and supported businesses to make development steps. Therefore, the face of local economic and industrial zones has undergone positive changes. Local economic and industrial zones are attracting more investment projects and investment value.
On investment promotion, the authority has worked with many potential and prospective strategic investors of economic zones and industrial zones, especially in Dong Nam Economic Zone. Particularly, Daewon Group (South Korea) has agreed to invest in a 571-ha multi-sector industrial park; C&N Vina Co., Ltd. (South Korea) has completed planning documents for subdivision planning to invest in 618-ha Korea - Quang Tri Industrial Park; EGAT International Company Limited (EGATi) of Thailand is currently actively preparing financial matters, procedures, land compensation and site clearance to carry out the Quang Tri BOT thermal power plant project; My Thuy Port is also completing procedures for construction; and Gazprom Group (Russia) is implementing the 340-MW gas power project.
To date, economic zones and industrial zones have attracted 153 investment projects with a total registered capital of VND86,068.3 billion, including nine foreign-invested projects with VND55,920 billion. Of the sum, 99 projects with VND8,569 billion in investment capital are operational and 47 projects are under construction. In 2019, economic zones and industrial zones drew 16 new investment projects with a total registered capital of VND17,248 billion. The fresh projects hired 754 ha of land.
In addition, the authority is guiding investors to complete investment procedures for 12 projects with a total registered capital of VND225,833 billion, including some large-scale motive projects of giant domestic and foreign corporations in Dong Nam Economic Zone.
On business results, tenants in the industrial zones and economic zones have achieved better business outcomes and contributed more to local economic and social development. All business indicators have grown over 10% year on year.
In 2018, tenants made the total industrial production value of more than VND4,850 billion, up 21% over 2017; paid VND368 billion to the state budget, up 10% over 2017; and employed more than 6,000 workers, with average monthly income of VND5.9 million.
In 2019, they achieved VND5,500 billion of industrial production value, up 13.4% over 2018; paid VND420 billion to the state budget, up 14.4% over 2018; and employed 7,500 workers with average monthly income of VND6.2 million.
How has Quang Tri stepped up investment promotion to attract large potential businesses and high technology projects?
Quang Tri is still facing a lot of difficulties, especially in calling for investors. Thus, in the past time, the province focused on calling and assessing small and medium-sized projects in Quang Tri, neighboring provinces and some regional countries like Thailand and China.
But, in recent years, to carry out the Resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress (2015 - 2020 tenure) on focused investment in construction and development of industrial zones and economic zones to create motivations for sustained and effective socioeconomic development, Quang Tri province has actively carried out the Action Program to improve business environment, enhance provincial competitiveness, build and launch the economic restructuring project linked to the change of growth model. The province has adopted the plan to carry out the Action Program under Government Resolution 35/NQ-CP on business support and development to 2020. The province accelerated investment promotion and attraction of key projects into local economic zones and industrial zones, especially Dong Nam Economic Zone. Quang Tri has taken advantage of central support and assistance to mobilize and implement ODA projects and capital sources managed by central ministries and branches to fund important projects. In particular, the province defined administrative reform as the most important solution to create a favorable business and investment environment for people and businesses.
In recent years, the whole administrative apparatus of Quang Tri has always paid attention to administrative reform, improved the business and investment environment, and enhanced the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) to draw more investment capital. Thus, all administrative procedures are published on the National Administrative Database on the province’s websites, managed by various agencies. In addition, the province has actively removed difficulties for businesses. The Provincial People’s Committee organized regular dialogue conferences, maintained business coffee talks, and closely supported businesses to deal with emerging hardships and obstacles.
At the same time, the province has supported businesses and investors in trade promotion, land compensation, site clearance, and access to land. In order to diversify trade promotion, Quang Tri has carried out investment promotion activities through diplomatic events for economic development such as Japan meetings, United States meetings and Kansai (Japan) meetings with central provinces of Vietnam. In an effort to boost investment promotion, the Quang Tri Economic and Industrial Zones Authority also changed its viewpoint and approach to court potential, motivational and breakthrough projects and high-tech projects in such fields as infrastructure in economic and industrial zones, heavy industry, industrial equipment, supporting industry, environmental industry, new and renewable energy, processing industry, foodstuff industry, electricity and electronics, high-tech agriculture and high-class resort.
Determined to make reasonable reforms and support investors and businesses, Quang Tri will continue to be a destination for investors in the future. With an anticipated new investment wave, local economic zones and industrial zones will make more positive, impressive and effective contributions to motivate and leverage local development and help the province reach average development level among localities of Vietnam, as stated in the Resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum