Vietnamese Government is keen on developing Industrial Parks and Economic Zones in the central coastal region, Tran Duy Dong, Deputy Director of Economic Zone Management Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said in his talk with the Vietnam Investment Review recently.

*What’s your assessment of IPs and EZs in terms of investment capital and economic contribution to the national economy ?

The Government highly values the contribution of IPs and EZs to Vietnam’s investment capital and socio-economic development.
They have helped restructure and modernise the economy. At present, IP and EZ-based enterprises have employed two million workers and produced 40 percent of the total industrial production value and 30 percent of the total export turnover respectively.

IPs and EZs are attractive destinations for investors, especially foreign investors. Over 50 percent of total foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in the country has come from IPs and EZs. Last year, 90 percent of total FDI capital was channelled via FDI projects in IPs and EZs.

In the central coastal region, Thua Thien-Hue and Binh Thuan provinces were not able to attract as much investment as the two leading economic areas of the Southeast region and the Red River Delta. By the end of 2013, the central coastal region’s IPs attracted 189 FDI projects with registered capital of 2.743 billion USD and 830 domestic projects with registered capital of 49.600 billion VND (2.3 million USD). Meanwhile, EZs attracted 69 FDI projects with total investment capital of 8.2 billion USD, and 225 domestic projects with investment capital of 125.235 billion VND (5.9 million USD).Although the total investment capital from the central coast’s IPs and EZs was modest, it contributed remarkably to socio-economic development in the region.

*What are the potential sectors in the central coast?

In the central coastal region, the maritime economy, port construction, especially deep-water ports are potential sectors.

Ports and logistic services will provide a goods trans-shipment location for domestic and international cargo.

This is a good opportunity for Vietnam to participate in the global value chains, enhance the value of Vietnamese goods as well as promote socio-economic development.

The region is also the ideal destination for the development of heavy industry such as shipbuilding, petrochemicals and steel. Dung Quat oil refinery plant has been put into operation and maintained production stably. We, therefore, can develop support industries for these industries.

Besides Dung Quat, Phu Yen province granted an investment certificate for the Vung Ro refinery project with investment capital of 3.2 billion USD, and Binh Dinh province is considering the 27 billion USD Nhon Hoi refinery project.

In addition, the central coastal region has the long and beautiful coastline which is suitable for developing tourist projects. Seafood processing is also a potential sector to attract the investment.

*The region has many advantages to develop, but investment attraction remains limited. Will the Vietnamese Government promulgate special mechanism and policies to attract investors to the central coastal provinces ?

The Vietnamese Government aims to achieve equal development among different regions. So the Government is keen on developing IPs and EZs in the central coastal region.

From now until 2015, the Government will increase its budget to develop Dung Quat and Chu Lai EZs. And in the future, other EZs in the region will also receive support from the Government.

All provinces across Vietnam are subject to the same investment mechanisms and policies. However, IPs in the central coastal region are facing difficulties, there are calls for lower corporate income taxes in IPs as a special treatment to the region.

The Government will also support the central coastal provinces in investment promotion and develop mechanisms and policies to attract investment especially in projects such as the transportation system, coastal paths and power plants.

The Vietnamese Government hopes the development of IPs and EZs in the central coastal region will catch up with the Southeast region and Red River Delta in the near future.-VNA