With a strategic location in the Mekong Delta and blessed with many key national projects like passageways for oceangoing ships to enter the Hau River, Co Chien Bridge, Duyen Hai Power Centre, and Dinh An Economic Zone, Tra Vinh province possesses a lot of favourable conditions to draw investment. Do Van Khe, Director of Tra Vinh Department of Planning and Investment, affirmed that Socio-economic development potential of the province is being awakened and tapped effectively, promising to make Tra Vinh an attractive and trusted destination for domestic and foreign investors. Vietnam Business Forum reports.

* Could you please briefly say about the investment attraction in the province?

Over recent years, Tra Vinh province has tried to create an attractive and transparent investment and business environment and help enterprises and investors feel assured when investing in production and business development.

On investment, the province has so far granted certificates to 131 projects with a total registered capital of 96 trillion VND and 140 million USD, including 29 FDI projects. Key foreign investors in the province come from Taiwan, South Korea, Canada, China, the US, France, Australia and Russia. Investment projects have importantly contributed to socio-economic development.

Regarding the investment environment, Tra Vinh ranked 8th out of the 63 provinces and cities in the country on the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) 2012. Dr Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), certified that Tra Vinh is the “province with best economic governance quality improvement in 2012". This achievement showed that despite numerous difficulties, the province still makes an effort to improve economic governance quality and investment climate to satisfy investors and businesses.

* Would you please talk about achievements in the deployment of important infrastructure projects?

Tra Vinh province is bordered by Ben Tre, Vinh Long and Soc Trang provinces and East Sea and surrounded by the Tien and Hau Rivers, thus waterway transportation is relatively developed. The province has passageways for seagoing ships of 20,000 tonnes to enter the Hau River (Tra Vinh Canal) to reach the East Sea via Dinh An Economic Zone. This is a good condition for developing the Tra Cu port system and Dinh An international transshipment port.

Regarding overland traffic routes, the province has National Road 53 and National Road 54 that connect Tra Vinh with Vinh Long province and Can Tho city; National Road 60 that links to Soc Trang, Ben Tre and Ho Chi Minh City. Currently, the distance from Tra Vinh to Ho Chi Minh City is 200km if you go on National Road 1A and National Road 53, but if you go on National Road 60, scheduled to open to traffic in 2015 and connected with Trung Luong Freeway, the distance is 130 km. Once completed, these arterial roads will link Tra Vinh province with other provinces in the region, Ho Chi Minh City and the southeast region, and facilitate investment, trade, tourism, import and export. Simultaneously, the opening of Cau Quan - Dai Ngai Ferry will link Tra Vinh with Soc Trang province on National Road 60.

With respect to electricity, at present, all communes and towns in the province have access to national grid and the 4,400-MW Duyen Hai power centre is being built in the province. The first turbine with an individual capacity of 1,200 MW is expected to be completed and put into operation in early 2015 and supply power for socioeconomic development.

* To draw investors, apart from convenient transportation, synchronous infrastructure and rich natural resources, investment incentives and support policies also help. What investment incentives and support policies has Tra Vinh province offered?

Tra Vinh has implemented all investment preference policies stipulated by the government. Specifically, according to the Government’s Decree 124/2008/ND-CP on the implementation of some articles of the Law on Corporate Income Tax, the validity term of tax incentive is at least 10 years and at most 30 years and the tax cut rate is 25 percent at most and 10 percent at least, depending on business sectors and locations. Similarly, the validity period of corporate income tax exemption is at least two years and at most four years. The tax reduction rate is only 50 percent, with the validity period ranging from two to nine years, depending on the industry.

Regarding technical infrastructure incentives, the province will build infrastructure works like roads, power networks and water supply systems to the boundary fence of investment projects. If investment projects are branded important fields that serve local socioeconomic development by the Provincial People's Committee, they will have future infrastructure incentives. Land rental rate is the lowest in the rent frame of the Government. The rent period is 50 years.

Tra Vinh also exempts all land rents for key projects and exempts 3-15 years for investment projects stated in the list of socialised fields and particularly investment encouragement; reallocated projects, and projects situated in poor areas. Projects appearing in the list of investment encouragement and employing at least 500 workers will be granted personnel training fees.

Besides, Tra Vinh province always has the best support policies and pays attention to land compensation and site clearance in order to offer clean land for investors as early as possible.

* So, would you mind talking about decisive policies of the province expected to help raise investment attraction efficiency in the coming time and gradually make Tra Vinh province a rendezvous of investors in the Mekong Delta region?

In the coming time, Tra Vinh will give priority to high-tech agriculture; agricultural, aquatic, seafood and food processing; high-tech industry, and infrastructure investment and operation in economic zones and industrial parks. To attract investors, the province will step up the investment and construction of infrastructure, particularly traffic infrastructure, industrial parks and economic zones. It will accelerate site clearance and land compensation and draw investors to locate their projects in Dinh An Economic Zone and industrial zones. To date, the province has one economic zone and three large-scaled industrial parks established at the approval of the Prime Minister and the province also set up 10 small-scaled industrial complexes, covering a total area of 39,813.24 ha (expected in 2020).

To create more favourable conditions for investors, the province will pace up public administration reform and coordinate relevant units to set up the single-window mechanism for investment procedures. The provincial authority will host regular meetings with investors to listen to their difficulties to have timely support, thus strengthening the connectivity between local government and investors.

In addition, Tra Vinh province will actively work with ministries and central agencies to accelerate the construction and perfection of overland and waterway transportation infrastructure, power and water supply system and communication network. It will also facilitate financial and credit institutions to establish their branches in the province to serve project investors. It will also attach much importance to human resources training in order to supply qualified workers for investors.

Apart from preferential policies prescribed by the Government, Tra Vinh province will provide the highest incentives for investors in all aspects like land rent, labour training and scientific and technological transfer.-VNA