An aerial view of Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has emerged as a magnet for foreign investors in the recent time thanks to its “golden age” population, favourable business climate, and administrative reform.

According to Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs Vu Dinh Xung, the province is now housing 120 valid foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with total registered capital of more than 6.23 billion USD.

Among 21 countries and territories having invested in the province, the US is the largest investor, registering 2.3 billion USD for its eight projects, accounting for nearly 38 percent of the total foreign capital. It is followed by China, Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia.

Most of the FDI has been poured into the fields of tourism, service, hotel, industry, mining, fibre production, and building materials.

The province is being offered a chance to attract more investment from Northeast Asia as it is the destination for a two-day field-trip of delegates to the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) 2018 which is taking place in Hanoi from September 11-13.

While Japan and the RoK are the two leading investors in Vietnam, Quang Ninh province has so far failed to catch the attention of companies from the two Northeast Asian economic powers.

Japanese investors have poured more than 380 million USD in 7 projects in Quang Ninh, focusing on industry-construction and agriculture. Meanwhile, investors from the Republic of Korea have 6 projects with 33 million USD operating in agriculture, trade and service.

In the first six months of this year, the flow of Japanese investment in Quang Ninh province stood at only 43.4 million USD, and that from the RoK was 31.4 million USD.

In addition, a majority of projects by Northeast Asian investors in the province are of medium and small scale. Among the 79 investment projects by investors from the region, only 10.1 percent have registered capital exceeding 50 million USD.

From the outset of the year, the province has granted new investment licenses and adjusted investment certificates for 28 projects valued at 9.6 trillion VND (412.8 million USD), including 15 foreign projects worth 235.62 million USD.

Notable, the province presented an investment license to AMATA Group from Thailand to carry out the facility building and business project at Song Khoai industrial zone. The Thai investor injected 155.59 million USD into the project.

Last year, Quang Ninh province for the first time ever became the most competitive locality in the country, topping the Vietnam’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2017, which helps consolidate and increase investors’ confidence. As a result, a number of potentialinvestors have sought opportunities to enhance their presence in the province.

In the past time, Quang Ninh received and worked with 18 delegations of investors, most of whom came from Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (China), said Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long.

Furthermore, the province’s working group attended the 10th UK-Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in the UK and conference on Meet Europe 2018 as well as met European organisations and enterprises.

The province is now looking for measures to optimise the efficiency of border gate economic zones and sea port systems while facilitating investors to carry out projects in industrial parks, especially the Van Don Economic Zone, Song Khoai Industrial Zone, Hai Ha industrial-port zone, among others.

It is completing key transport works to lure foreign investments, including Van Don International Airport and Ha Long-Van Don expressway, as well as making meticulous preparations for Van Don-Mong Cai expressway project, Ha Long-Cam Pha coastal road.

The WEF ASEAN 2018 with the theme of “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” is expected to bring together more than 1,000 delegates, including high-ranking government representatives and executives of regional and world-leading corporations.-VNA