Removing difficulties for businesses and upgrading the infrastructure system to attract more investment to economic zones (EZs) and industrial parks (IPs) were among the highlights of a recent conference held in the central province of Quang Tri.

Participants at the ninth conference of the Club of Industrial and Economic Zone Management Boards in northern localities also made proposals related to the completion of central and local state agencies in charge of managing such zones.

Statistics show that the country has in total 300 industrial parks (IPs), 18 coastal economic zones (EZ), and 28 border gate EZs, hosting about 5,000 foreign-invested projects totalling more than 110 billion USD and nearly 6,000 domestic projects valued at 970 trillion VND (46 billion USD). Northern provinces and cities from Thua Thien-Hue northward have established more than 100 IPs and seven coastal EZs.

However, they also pointed out that although policies on IPs and EZs are relatively complete, they are not yet in synch, while investment in infrastructure development has been limited. Attendees tabled measures to speed up disbursement of investment in infrastructure systems for IPs and EZs.

Nguyen Duc Cuong, Chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee, said over the past years, Quang Tri has paid much attention to the development of IPs and EZs. Currently, the province has one special trade zone and three IPs. The Lao Bao special trade area is a new model where many pilot preferential policies are being applied for the first time in the country, he said.

Quang Tri is focusing on the construction of the Cua Viet-Cua Tung sea tourism site and the Southeast maritime EZ to make use of the East-West Economic Corridor, which is expected to open up new prospects in the local socio-economic development, he noted.-VNA