Catching new opportunities from the integration process, driven by global investment shifts, economic and industrial zones of Thua Thien Hue province have actively prepared attractive infrastructure, premises and policies to woo investors. With an open spirit, the Management Board of Thua Thien Hue Economic and Industrial Zones always actively invites and stands ready to support investors when they carry out their projects and even after their projects come into operation. Mr. Le Van Tue, Director of Management Board of Thua Thien Hue Economic and Industrial Zones, gives an exclusive interview to Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter on these efforts.
Could you please briefly describe the highlights on the current picture of economic and industrial zones in Thua Thien Hue province?
Thua Thien Hue province currently has six industrial parks (IPs) with a total area of 2,393 ha, Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone covering 27,108 ha, and A Dot Border Gate Economic Zone, covering 10,184 ha.
Economic and industrial zones have fairly synchronous technical and social infrastructure, with National Highway 1A and the North-South Railway passing through, Chan May deep-water port being the nearest "gateway" to the East Sea for the East-West Economic Corridor that links Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and other countries with countries around the world, capable of receiving cargo ships of up to 50,000 DWT and the world's largest cruise ship (225,000GT). They lie near Phu Bai and Da Nang international airports, very convenient to reach domestic and international destinations.
Economic and industrial zones are entitled to investment incentive policies as they are located in places with extreme social and economic difficulties. Specifically, projects in Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone are entitled to a 10% corporate income tax in the first 15 years, a four-year tax exemption, a 9-year 50% tax reduction, a zero import tax and a land rent exemption (lifetime for projects engaged in sectors assigned with special investment incentives, 17-year exemption for projects engaged in sectors given investment incentives and a 13-year exemption for other projects). Projects invested in industrial zones are entitled to a 17% corporate income tax in the first 10 years, a 2-year tax exemption and a 4-year 50% tax reduction.
Investment projects in economic and industrial zones are also given localized preferential policies such as investment support for traffic infrastructure, power grid, water supply and wastewater treatment; land clearance and unexploded ordnance clearance; worker training support; and investment promotion support.
How do you judge investment attraction results and performance of tenants in Thua Thien Hue economic and industrial zones in recent years?
In the past time, the Management Board has advised the Provincial People's Committee to meet and work with many strategic and reputable investors; research potential markets, trends and partners; establish and identify information and partners to engage connections. It has also promoted and introduced the investment environment, potential and opportunities while assisting investors to understand laws, policies and procedures and accompanying them when they carry out their projects.
With that effort, more investors are coming to study and register investment projects. In 2019, Thua Thien Hue province-based economic and industrial zones attracted 10 projects with a total registered capital of VND9,500 billion, an increase of 458% over 2018, (including four FDI projects with VND5,400 billion). In the first six months of 2020, despite being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, they drew five projects with VND3,000 billion. Cumulatively, they are housing 147 projects with VND102 trillion of registered investment capital (including 34 FDI projects with VND67 trillion.) Typical projects are the cristobalite production factory (Phenikaa Group), the Hue Kanglongda factory (Kanglongda Company), the toy production factory (Billion Max Company), the automobile manufacturing and assembly complex (Kim Long Motors Hue Company) and Laguna project (BanyanTree Group - Singapore).
As many as 197 companies registered to operate in economic and industrial zones. Over the past years, their business performance has grown quite well. Their revenue reached VND28,100 billion in 2019, an increase of 8% against 2018; the industrial output value totaled VND20,710 billion, up 11%; the tax payment to the budget was VND2,663 billion, up 9.8%; the export value was US$688 million, down by 3%. They employed 31,500 people, up 10.5% over 2018.
Amid the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, what solutions did the Management Board advise to solve difficulties and boost business operations?
In early 2020, the Management Board focused on carrying out many solutions like informing and disseminating documents and instructions of the Ministry of Health, the Department of Health on epidemic prevention and control; developed a guided response to COVID-19 epidemic prevention at the workplace for tenants; instructed them to develop criteria for epidemic prevention under the decision of the Provincial People's Committee. All businesses ensure safety in the fight against the epidemic and no COVID-19 infections have been recorded in economic and industrial zones.
In addition to understanding and quickly solving difficulties for tenants, the Management Board of Thua Thien Hue Economic and Industrial Zones promptly informed instructions of the Thua Thien Hue Social Security, the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the State Bank of Vietnam - Thua Thien Hue Branch, and District People’s Committees on business support by halting payment to retirement and death funds; guided wage payment and benefit settlement for laid-off workers; and updated import and export activities across border gates for tenants to work out active business plans.
It also worked with relevant agencies to guide and support tenants to take safety measures when bringing in foreign experts and workers to deploy construction and install machinery and equipment. Thus, tenants in economic and industrial zones gradually overcame difficulties, restored production, and contributed to economic recovery.
What conditions have Thua Thien Hue economic and industrial zones prepared to seize opportunities from deep international integration and the global investment shift?
In order to catch the investment wave shift from other countries around the world, Thua Thien Hue province and the Management Board of Thua Thien Hue Economic and Industrial Zones are making every effort to prepare necessary conditions to woo investors in the coming time
Investment promotion: The Management Board is always actively promoting investment in various forms; publicly and transparently announcing project information, investor evaluation and selection criteria on the mass media, the website, departments and sectors.
Infrastructure investment: To date, most industrial zones have infrastructure investors. The Management Board worked with localities to accelerate site clearance; required infrastructure investors to quickly launch infrastructure construction such as transport, electricity, water and wastewater treatment facilities to attract secondary investors. Currently, the province has Phong Dien and Tu Ha industrial parks in the north; Phu Bai and La Son industrial parks in the south, and Saigon - Chan May nontariff zone (in Chan May Lang Co Economic Zone) with available rentable area ranging from 50-300 ha. Seaport infrastructure has also been invested and completed, with Terminal 01 in operation capable of receiving ships of 50,000 tons; Chan May Port breakwaters to be completed in 2020 and expected to have two new terminals in operation in the first quarter of 2021, capable of receiving 4,000-TEU container ships.
Administrative reform: In addition to building the ISO 9001-2015 quality management system, the Management Board continued to simplify administrative procedures and publicize settlement processes.
Human resource training: The Management Board coordinated with concerned agencies to work with universities, colleges and vocational schools to train, improve human resource quality, and prepare ready conditions for businesses to invest in economic and industrial zones.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum