Processing cashew nuts for export. Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Binh Phuoc (VNA)
- The southern province of Binh Phuoc has attracted eight foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, with a combined registered capital of 31.8 million USD in the first six months this year.

The figure is below the province’s expectation, requiring local policy makers to revise a specific strategy to increase FDI attraction.

As an effort to improve business and investment climate, monthly dialogues have been conducted to help enterprises and investors operating in the Binh Phuoc, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Vo Sa said, adding that numerous measures have been taken to attract investors, particularly the construction of infrastructure facilities in industrial parks and clusters.

The construction of infrastructure facilities is underway to lure investors in big industrial parks, such as the 2,000ha Becamex – Binh Phuoc urban and industrial zone, while Dong Xoai 3 IP, Minh Hung – Sikico IP, Hoa Lu border gate economic zone are ready for investors to land in.

However, geographic location, poor transport system and limited human resources are the province’s disadvantages in attracting investment, according to experts.

Tran Dinh Thien, deputy head of the Vietnam Economic Institute, suggested Binh Phuoc take advantages of its vast land and favourable climate condition to develop high-valued industrial plant material areas, such as cashew nuts, pepper, rubber, fruit trees, particularly clean vegetables to supply for Ho Chi Minh City.

The provincial People’s Committee has approved a plan to develop smart and hi-tech agriculture to lure investors. Under the plan, the province has zoned off 1,000 ha for hi-tech agriculture in Loc Ninh, Hon Quan districts and Dong Xoai town.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Loi urged sectors to call for investment in the smart agriculture production chain, particularly the regional connectivity to ensure a sustainable source of clean materials, such as cashew nuts and peppercorns.

Dozens of cooperatives have been established and joined the chain. The clean pepper growing model has proven effective and been multiplied across the province.

According to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Van Loc, the province has over 134,000 hectares of cashew trees, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the nation’s coverage, producing 280,000 tonnes per year.

Over 70,000 tonnes of cashew nuts are shipped abroad each year, generating 504 million USD or one third of the province’s export values.

The locality also has over 270 plants and over 1,600 small facilities processing cashew nuts, creating jobs for 50,000 labourers.

Currently, the province is home to 163 FDI projects, worth nearly 1.5 billion USD.-VNA