Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
  
HCM City (VNA) - Industrial zones in Ho Chi Minh City hope to attract investments worth 500 million USD in 2017, according to the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA).

Exports by companies situated in industrial zones (IZs) and export processing zones (EPZs) are expected to top 6 billion USD this year, Tran Cong Khanh, head of the HEPZA office, told a press meeting on December 30, 2016.

HEPZA continues to encourage investment in four key industries, including mechanical engineering, electronics and IT, chemicals and food processing, and supporting industries, he said.

To achieve the target, it plans to expand Le Minh Xuan IZ and complete the third phase of Hiep Phuoc IZ.

It will develop areas set aside for supporting industries in Hiep Phuoc, Le Minh Xuan No.3 and Automotive-Mechanical IZs.

Tran Viet Ha, head of the investment management department, said foreign direct investment halved in 2016 to 255.61 million USD.

Investments by domestic enterprises were worth 5.2 trillion VND (237.71 million USD), a year-on-year decrease of 14 percent, he said.

He attributed the decline to a shift in investment towards high-tech industries instead of labour-intensive sectors, meaning there was a fall in investment in sectors like textiles and footwear.

Exports by enterprises in IZs and EPZs were estimated at 5.86 billion USD.

A total of 1,385 projects with a combined investment of 9.22 billion USD, including 535 FDI projects worth 5.41 billion USD, are operating in IZs and EPZs.

They employ more than 285,700 workers, including 2,346 foreign nationals.-VNA