Situated on the intersection of arterial roads and national economic corridors, Tay Ninh province has easy access to seaports and major economic centres. It has developed industrial parks and economic zones along trans-Asia Highway and National Road 22B to meet the needs of investors. Vietnam Business Forum reports.

Sharing over 240 kilometres of border with Cambodia, Tay Ninh province plays an important role in promoting foreign economic relations development strategies. It is a link in sub-regional cooperation programmes, as well as regional and international economic integration plans. In the socio-economic development strategy, the province has identified the border economic zones as a momentum to accelerate the growth and restructuring of the economy towards industrialisation and modernisation

Tay Ninh has Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone and Xa Mat Border Gate Economic Zone, which are very dynamic, contributing to the local socio- economic development. The Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone has a unique geographical advantage with its location on the trans-Asia highway and 73 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. It not only acts as a trade gateway between Tay Ninh province and Cambodia, but also plays an important role in forming the outward economic development as well as an international trade centre of the sub-regional cooperation plans under the economic development strategy of the south of Vietnam.

The zone is among few border economic zones allowed by the Prime Minister to implement open policies towards the "non-tariff" for the commercial and industrial areas within the border economic zones. The policies offer many investment incentives including non-tax or reduced tax for companies, individuals, and facilitate the immigration and residency at the border economic zone.

Pursuant to the promulgation of Decision 144/2004/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister, dated December 8, 2004, the activities of investment, trade, services, and tourism at the Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone have been improving. The zone is also selected as one of three urban areas under the project of the development of the urban areas along the Mekong Sub-region for infrastructure development, funded by the ODA of the Asian Development Bank with total investment of 46.13 million USD.

Being in operation for over 10 years, the Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone has attracted 36 investors with 47 projects and total registered capital of 241.13 million USD and 6.746 trillion VND. Immigration and tourism in Moc Bai has been growing. Since the trans-Asia road was finished and the open hours of the two border gates of the two provinces of Tay Ninh and Svay Rieng province of Cambodia has been extended from 06.00 to 22.00 hours from May 2005 and Cambodia has exempted Vietnamese citizens from visa requirements since 2008, the number of passengers between the two border gates has been increasing. It is recorded that there were 601,752 passengers crossing the Moc Bai border gate in 2005; 2,700,791 in 2011, and 2,784,566 in 2012. The total values of exports and imports through the gate also have steadily increased each year (112.752 million USD in 2007; 543.918 million USD in 2011; 861.683 million USD in 2012; and 453.036 million USD in the first nine months of 2013).

Along with the Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone, the Xa Mat Border Gate Economic Zone also contributes greatly to Tay Ninh's export activities. The Xa Mat zone is the most important international border gate of the southern region as it is located on 22B Highway, considered the backbone road connecting the Tonle Sap Lake tourist site with Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Bangkok (Thailand) and the other northern provinces of Cambodia and Laos, and onward to Myanmar and India.

In addition to its favourable geographical location at the heart of the southern areas, the Xa Mat zone is gifted with many other conditions such as favourable natural resources for forming an environmental protection master plan, promoting general economic development, thereby narrowing the development gap between the sub-regions in the area.

Besides, taking advantage of the favourable natural conditions including the good topography, geography and rich water resource, the Xa Mat Border Gate Economic Zone could offer great advantages for the border economic development, security and defence.

Currently, there are nine projects with total registered investment of 315 billion VND at the Xa Mat zone. The values of exports and imports have also annually increased; in 254.469 million USD in 2007; 638.237 million USD in 2011; 790.634 million USD 2012; and 913.062 million USD in the first nine months of 2013.

According to Kieu Cong Minh, Deputy Director of the Tay Ninh Economic Zones Authorities, besides activities of opening and expanding a set of crossings and the side gates for commercial activities between Vietnam and Cambodia, the People's Committee of Tay Ninh province is also implementing the open policies, which help the Tay Ninh's border economic zones increasingly promote their potential effectively as well as consolidate their positions.

Particularly, thanks to the special mechanisms and preferential policies to attract investment, combined with the allocation of national budgets, the border economic zones of Moc Bai and Xa Mat have made significant changes towards the standard models of urban civilisation, actively contributing to the development of foreign economic relations as well as regional and world integration.-VNA