Despite the sluggish global and domestic economy, Vinh Phuc province’s socio-economy has continued to prosper, especially in attracting investment. Many domestic as well as foreign investors have chosen the northern province as their investment destination. Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phung Quang Hung spoke with the Vietnam Business Forum about the issue.

*For many years, Vinh Phuc has been known as one of the top spots in attracting investment, an attractive destination for investors. So can you please tell us how the province has become so popular among investors?

In 2013, Vinh Phuc's economic growth reached 7.89 percent. At the end of 2013, the province had 675 valid projects, including 137 FDI projects from 13 countries and territories with a total investment of 2,767.6 million USD and 538 DDI projects with total capital of 31,727 billion VND (1,420 million USD).

The main reasons for these favourable results are:

Along with the advantage of local economy and culture and the determination of provincial authorities, Vinh Phuc has made continuous efforts to improve the investment environment and to enhance the province’s competitiveness such as: Stepping up investment planning and preparing; paying attention to land clearance and developing land fund for investors; investing essential infrastructure for industrial zones; providing mechanisms and policies supporting investment; training human resources; developing urban, services and tourism; conducting administrative procedures under the one-stop shop mechanism to reduce investing procedures; giving timely direction to help businesses deal with difficulties and obstacles in order to create the best conditions for effective investment.

The province has also carried out investment promotion activities. Besides, Vinh Phuc has also given special attention to promoting on-site investment through successful investors in the area; creating the link between domestic and foreign investors. The content of promotion activities has also been built with professionalism; communication information has had more attention and therefore more complete. Thus, investment promotion and support has shown great results, attracting investors and new projects inside and outside the country to Vinh Phuc.

*Can you tell us the unique competitive advantages of Vinh Phuc compared with other Vietnamese localities in attracting investment?

Vinh Phuc province has many potential and advantages in investment. It is located in the three important areas of North Delta, Northern Key Economic Zone and Capital Region, Vinh Phuc is contiguous to the capital Hanoi, adjacent to Noi Bai international airport and has a transportation system of national roads, railways, waterways.

Vinh Phuc rarely has disasters like floods while its hilly land favourable for industry and urban development.

The provincial topography of Vinh Phuc has all three ecologic types: the plains, the midland and the mountainous. The province also has large forests, many rivers, lakes and ponds along with many famous scenic spots and hundreds of historical and cultural spots.

The province currently enjoys a golden demographic structure. The province has 20 universities, colleges and vocational schools of central and local levels, ready to provide labour for businesses in the area as well as the whole region.

The province has a specialised agency in charge of land compensation and clearance, preparing available land for investors; administrative procedures for investment is carried out under the one-stop shop mechanism, reducing procedures’ time; the province also has many policies to support and create favourable conditions for investors in implementing projects.

The province has completed its master development plan and detailed roapmaps for rural and urban plannings. This helps ensure investors' sustainable development.

* Vinh Phuc province has completed its Provincial Planning, General Urban Planning to 2030 and vision to 2050; development planning to 2020 of 20 industrial parks with an area of over 6,000 hectares. Can you tell us the province’s direction in attracting investment in the future?

For the upcoming time, Vinh Phuc will pay attention and give priority to investment in the sectors of industrial electronics, telecommunications and supporting industry; mechanical industry (manufacturing, automotive assembly); construction materials, light materials, food processing; development of industrial parks infrastructure, world-class tourism projects; service sectors such as finance, banking, insurance, healthcare, education - training, logistics, etc.

The province will focus on attracting investment projects in industrial parks and complexes, connecting industrial development with environmental protection, thoroughly handling environmental pollution in industrial parks and complexes.

Vinh Phuc is striving to become an industrialised province by 2015, a modern industrialised province by 2020 and the city of Vinh Phuc in the 20s of the twenty-first century.

Vinh Phuc welcomes all investors, domestically and globally, to invest in the province. Japan is the first province's foreign investor. The country also laid the groundwork for the development of the provincial industry. As of the end of 2013, Japan ranked the third among countries investing in Vinh Phuc in terms of number of projects (21 projects), ranked second in terms of capital investment (717.26 million USD) and number one in terms of realised capital ratio (90 percent).

Japanese investors are fast in implementing projects, effective in producing business and well observe Vietnamese laws. They are active members in social programmes in the province - Toyota, Honda, Nissin and Exedy to name a few. The province currently has reserved a land fund for factory construction dedicated to Japanese small and medium enterprises.-VNA