11:34:32 AM | 26/10/2006
Recently, Tien Giang province has paid careful attention to investment attraction with favourable conditions created for investors to seek opportunities. Ngo Van Nam, director of the Tien Giang Department of Planning and Investment talked with ViB Forum about the province’s investment attraction and priority policies.
How many projects did Tien Giang attract in 2005 and first half of 2006? What socio-economic effectiveness have projects brought to the province?
In 2005, Tien Giang attracted some major foreign-invested and domestically-invested projects. One of the projects belonged to UNI-President, specialising in producing feed for aquaculture with a total registered capital of US$21.89 million. So far, the project has completed its capital construction and is operating on a trial basis before start its official operation. In the first six months of 2006, the province’s industry attracted VND 885 billion, up by 24.2 per cent against that of the same period last year. A foreign-invested project, capitalised at US$2.3 million, of Excel Vietnam was attracted to garment making for export.
Tien Giang’s attraction of foreign investment remains constrained as the province has attracted only ten projects of the kind with a total registered capital of US$115 million. Of which, six projects have become operational.
Nonetheless, the projects have made a significant contribution to the province’s socio-economic development. Concretely, their industrial production value has reached more than VND 1,000 billion per annum, accounting for around 15 per cent of the province’s total industrial production value. Furthermore, they have created jobs for over 2,200 people and each year contribute more than VND 60 billion to the province’s budget and earn over US$8 million in export turnover.
What difficulties have investors faced after they received licensed and implement their projects?
The Government has issued concrete regulations on investment priorities. However, when observing the regulations, we have faced some difficulties in tax priorities and time for corporate income tax exemption for projects in industrial complexes because the Government stipulates that projects in industrial complexes enjoy less priorities than projects of the same kind in industrial parks. Another difficulty is in recruiting qualified workers as Tien Giang has an abundant labour force but the majority has not been trained yet. To overcome the difficulties, the province has concentrated on investing in vocation training facilities for the University of Tien Giang and the Tien Giang Vocational Training School.
The province will also concentrate on allocating land for building houses for workers when it plans local industrial parks and complexes, to address the shortage of houses for workers. It is a difficulty in co-operation between the Vietnamese side and foreign partners in local joint ventures. As a result, most of them have not achieved their investment targets. With differences and conflicts between the two sides yet to be settled, many enterprises have dissolved ahead schedule. One of the main reason is that Vietnamese enterprises, mainly State-owned, lack experience, finance and capability. Furthermore, they have not been active in their co-operation with foreign partners under the market mechanism. Tien Giang will organise training courses on international economic integration for enterprise managers.
Competition for attracting foreign investment between Tien Giang province and other localities in the Mekong delta has become fiercer. What will the province do to improve its investment environment and competitiveness?
In general, Mekong delta provinces have a similarity in terms of natural conditions, natural resources, infrastructure and human resources, as well as culture, tradition, business custom. Therefore, they share the same development orientations and investment attraction.
To attract investment capital and to develop its role in co-operation with other Mekong delta provinces, Tien Giang is making efforts to improve its investment environment and increase competitiveness and tap fully its existing potential. Accordingly, the province is always ready to provide necessary information for investors to develop their projects, settle administrative procedures quickly for projects to be carried out soon. The province helps investors recruit workers and seek production materials.
As a result, time for the settlement of administrative procedures has been shortened against the time stipulated by law. Concretely, it takes investors maximally three days to get their business licences and seven days for foreign investors to get licences or adjust their licences.
The province’s Investment Promotion Centre, which was recently established, acts as the focal point for providing consultancy services and support for investors when they seek opportunities or implement their projects. In addition, the development of infrastructure facilities is an important solution for the province to improve its investment environment. Tien Giang has paid attention to developing land fund in industrial parks. The province is considering the development of the Tam Hiep industrial complex and some other complexes to have land for investors in 2006 and years to come.
As head of the Department of Planning and Investment, what would you want to contribute to Tien Giang’s investment policies?
I think that foreign and Vietnamese investors need to be treated equally based on a unique legal framework and investment policies, which should be stable, transparent and predictable. Policies of the Party and State are gradually improved in such a manner.
Tien Giang is one of few provinces, which have not offered more incentives to investors than stipulated by the Government. Instead, we have focused on meeting investors’ needs, including good infrastructure facilities, human resources and simple investment procedures. Also, we help them promote their products and expand markets, and overcome difficulties.
The province’s investment policies concentrate on compensation for site clearance and infrastructure development in industrial parks and complexes. We offer them free infrastructure services and provide support for them to conduct scientific and technological researches, and renew and apply new technology. We help them promote trade and develop vocational training.
We have issued regulations for enjoying assistance and when investors meet the conditions, they will enjoy the province’s support.
Projects calling for investment:
A project on investing in developing and providing infrastructure services of the Tan Huong industrial park: Total area of the land is 197 hectares. Tien Giang province has invested in advance VND 155 billion for compensation, relocation and resettlement and land recovery. Infrastructure service providers will receive a support equal to 50 per cent of the costs and the remaining 50 per cent they will pay in five years with VND 15.5 billion for each year. Authorised agencies will be responsible for supplying electricity, water and communication services to the industrial park’s fence. The province will build roads outside the park. Enterprises in the park will get assistance in labour recruitment, vocational training, advertisement costs and trade promotion as stipulated by the province.
A project on investing in developing and providing infrastructure services of the Tam Hiep industrial complex: The complex has an estimated area of around 58 hectares from the province’s land fund. Investors can rent land right in 2006 with rent stipulated by the province. The province will prioritise developing infrastructure facilities outside the complex. Enterprises in the complex will get assistance in labour recruitment, vocational training, advertisement costs and trade promotion as stipulated by the province.
Projects on investing in developing and providing infrastructure services of the Long Hung industrial complex on an area of 15 hectares and the Vam Lang industrial complex: Tien Giang province will provide a VND 30 billion support for site clearance compensation and resettlement for two complexes. The province will invest in developing infrastructure facilities outside the complexes’ fence. Enterprises in the complexes will get assistance in labour recruitment, vocational training, advertisement costs and trade promotion as stipulated by the province.
A project on vocational training: The Tien Giang University was established in 2005 and the Tien Giang People’s Committee will allocate land and invest in completing the development of a project of the Tien Giang University, creating favourable conditions for the university to co-operate with other training establishments from Vietnam and foreign countries to train local labour force.
A project on water supply from My Tho to Go Cong: This is a project, prioritised by Tien Giang province. My Tho town has abundant water supplies while Go Cong has huge demand for water. Qualified investors can work directly with the People’s Committee of Tien Giang to learn about special priorities the province can provide them.
Reported by Le Tan, Ngoc Huong