The Nghi Son Economic Zone (EZ) in central Thanh Hoa province has struggled to attract investment after receiving significant support during recent years, local authorities have said.

During a meeting late last week, the provincial People's Committee vice chairman Nguyen Dinh Xung said poor planning, inadequate infrastructure and lack of land for service and petrochemical sectors were major obstacles preventing the province from attracting investors.

Xung said local authorities had assigned the Nghi Son EZ Authority to draw up plans to mobilise domestic and international capital sources for infrastructure development between 2014-17.

He also said prioritised investments by the State were vital to the EZ's development in addition to efforts by local authorities.

The Nghi Son EZ covers an area of more than 18,600ha, with most factories focusing on heavy industry, basic industry and the Nghi Son seaport, said the head of the EZ Authority, Tran Hoa.

As of October last year, the EZ had attracted 74 investment projects, including 66 domestic projects with a total registered capital of 93 trillion VND (4.43 billion USD) and eight foreign projects worth 12.1 billion USD.

However, Xung said the investments were still in the early stages and were modest in spite of preferential policies on land and tax. He suggested that many investors had been unaware of these incentives when deciding the scope of their investment in the EZ.

Investors in the zone have received tailored incentives, including exemptions for land and water taxes for up to 15 years after the start date of operations, and corporate tax exemptions for four years.

"We provide all the necessary administrative procedures at the zone to help investors succeed," Hoa said.-VNA