In the 5-year period of implementing the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress, although there have been many difficulties and challenges, with the efforts of the whole Tay Ninh province, the Provincial Economic Management Board have supported, creating favorable conditions for licensed projects to quickly go into operation and production effectively, the situation of attracting investment in Industrial zones (IZs) and Economic zones (EZs) of the province has been prosperous. Vietnam Business Forum had an interview with Mr. Ha Van Cung, Director of the Management Board. Cong Luan reports.
Can you tell us the outstanding results achieved in development and investment attraction in IZs - EZs in Tay Ninh province in the period of 2016 - 2020?
In the past 5 years, IZs and EZs have attracted 141 investment projects (116 FDI projects and 25 DDI projects) with a total attracted investment capital of $US 4,387.96 million (an average of approximately US$ 900 million per year). Compared to the 2011-2015 period, the total investment capital exceeded 57.78% (US$ 2,781.16 million), the number of projects exceeded 156.67% (it reached 90 projects in the 2011-2015 period). The total attracted investment capital accounted for 73.41% of the total investment capital of the province (US$ 5,976.95 million).
Also during this period, enterprises in IZs and EZs had relatively effective production and business activities, reflected through the specific targets including: export turnover reaching US$17,472 million, accounting for 91.96% of the province’s export turnover; payment to the budget reaching VND 4,388 billion, accounting for 10.6% of the province; and IZs and EZs creating jobs for 28,752 workers, accounting for 29.92% of the total number of employed workers in the province.
With the efforts of the Management Board and infrastructure investors, how has the technical infrastructure system of IZs and EZs in the province changed over time? Could you tell us about the development orientation of Tay Ninh IZs in the coming time?
With the aim of developing IZs in a sustainable direction, for many years, IZs in the province have been making efforts to complete their infrastructure, including: technical infrastructure (roads, trees, electricity and water supply, wastewater treatment) and social infrastructure (cultural institutions, schools, kindergartens). Up to now, most of the IZs in the area (Trang Bang IZ, Linh Trung 3 IZ & Processing Zone, Cha La IZ) have basically been occupied; Phuoc Dong and Thanh Thanh Cong IZs have also completed their infrastructure and attracted about 50% of the IZ land.
By well performing the infrastructure development with the remaining land fund of 496 ha (including the clean land of the TMTC IZ in the Moc Bai border gate EZ), the IZs in Tay Ninh province can be ready to meet the requirements of the large projects and meet the demand of attracting investments from now to 2025. In the coming time, Tay Ninh IZs will develop according to the model of industry - service - urban associated with each other. In which, IZs will be the nuclei to form the city and stimulate the development of services; on the other hand, urban areas and services are logistics complementing the development of industrial production. The industrial development has not focused on growing at all costs, but towards a modern, efficient and sustainable development direction.
Specifically, the IZs have focused on attracting projects in industries using high technology, less labor intensive, more environmentally friendly, associated with the transfer of agricultural labor in rural areas. They have decided to attract large investors with international brands, financial capacity, reputation in the world, and a sense of environmental protection, contributing to the local socio-economic development. They have also formed nuclear enterprises, increasing support, creating the best conditions in local production activities, forming businesses as a focal point to urge satellite businesses to develop supporting industries, creating development chains. In addition, they have focused on forming and developing new IZs, creating a clean land fund to be ready to attract potential investors.
In order to catch opportunities to attract investment in IZs and EZs, how has the Management Board paid attention to administrative reform, improving business investment environment; strengthening various forms of investment promotion and supporting enterprises?
The effectiveness of investment attraction not only depends on the adequate infrastructure services of the IZs, but also depends greatly on the companionship of the local government to create a favorable investment environment. With the motto "Enthusiastic - Transparent - Efficient", the Management Board determines that accompanying enterprises to solve difficulties, creating the best conditions for enterprises to feel secure in production and make long-term commitments to Tay Ninh, are the priorities in its investment attraction policy.
The administrative reform is always paid attention by the Management Board in order to bring the most favorable facilities to investors. Annually, on the basis of legal documents of the Government and ministries in the relevant fields, the Management Board regularly updates, reviewing, contributing, supplementing, completing policies and proposing solutions to shorten the time of implementing procedures compared to the current regulations to ensure the most favorable conditions for investors. Currently, for most of the procedures that the Management Board are applying in the field of investment, the time for implementing has been shortened by half compared to the time prescribed by the Government. The MB is also coordinating with relevant departments to implement the inter-agency one-stop-shop mechanism, in which the Management Board is the focal point to receive procedures and returning results.
The Management Board is currently managing 6 IZs under the Vietnam IZ plan approved by the Prime Minister with a total natural land area of 3,969 ha; of which 5 IZs have been licensed for establishment with a total approved land area of 3,385.96 ha, the industrial land area for lease of 2,540.1 ha, the leased area of 1,518.36 ha, with the occupancy rate at 60.09%.
In addition to the advantages, in the past term, did the Management Board encounter any obstacles and difficulties in the process of implementing state management tasks for the development of IZs and EZs, and what were its proposals and recommendations to the government levels to remove these problems?
One of the current difficulties is that the decentralization and authorization mechanism for the Management Board is not stable and only focuses on certain tasks and powers in some fields, while IZs, EZs and enterprises are still subject to management of many different central and local agencies. According to the law on IZs and EZs, the Management Board is defined as the focal point for state management of IZs and EZs in the locality; however, the authority to perform specialized state management tasks such as construction management, environment, labor, import-export and land in the IZs and EZs of the Management Board must be authorized and guided in the specialized law. Currently, the specialized law does not guide authorization for the Management Board, or the authorization is not consistent with the provisions of the law on IZs and EZs.
In addition, the Management Board is not assigned functions or tasks of inspection. This reduces the efficiency of state management in IZs and EZs. When detecting a law violation in the IZs and EZs, the Management Board cannot conduct an inspection and sanction by itself, but only coordinates with the specialized inspection division for implementation. Therefore, the handling of violations in IZs and EZs is not timely. This reduces the role and operational efficiency of the Management Board.
Therefore, the Management Board recommends, in the coming time, the study and amendment of the labor law to decentralize or assign tasks directly to the Board to perform the state management task of labor instead of the current authorizing mechanism. Regarding the organizational apparatus, it is important to reduce the focal point of state management on the EZs. In the localities, it is significant to have a unified focal point to monitor and manage the EZs’ activities. This agency must be strengthened with comprehensive and stable functions and tasks to ensure the implementation of "one-stop-shop" administrative services.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum