Yen Bai organised an investment promotion conference in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, in early 2017 (Source: VNA)

Yen Bai (VNA) – Foreign direct investment (FDI) has helped boost socio-economic development in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai, contributing to shifting the economic structure, creating more jobs and improving locals’ living conditions.

To attract more FDI, the mountainous province has continuously promoted its strengths in natural resources and preferential policies to enterprises, especially those with foreign investment.

The Foreign Investment Law was issued in 1987, but Yen Bai did not see any project coming until nine years later. The first FDI project was on limestone exploration, exploitation and processing at Mong Duong mine in Yen Binh district with a registered capital of 7.6 million USD. At that time, Yen Bai was not attractive to foreign investors as the building of preferential policies remained limited.

FDI flow into the province only increased in 2007 when the province began to pay attention to policies on encouraging, attracting and managing foreign direct investment. Notably, after the Noi Bai-Lao Cai opened to traffic in 2014, the province attracted several large-scale foreign-invested projects, including an electronic component factory project worth 220 million USD of the Republic of Korea’s Edge Glass JSC, and a hi-tech rabbit raising and processing project worth 78.6 million USD of Japan’s Nippon Zoki Ltd., Co.

Currently, there are 23 valid FDI projects totalling 438.7 million USD in Yen Bai, of which eight projects are operating effectively, focusing on mining, agro-fishery-forestry processing, and garment and textiles.

According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, total revenues of FDI businesses in the province were estimated at 39.5 million USD in the first nine months of this year, and their export turnover at 54.1 million USD. They contributed 3.86 million USD to the State budget, and are generating jobs for over 3,600 labourers.

The locality’s business and investment environment has been improved, and the infrastructure system upgraded as well. The province now has four industrial zones and 11 industrial clusters. The transport system has been consolidated and roads linking with the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway expanded.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Do Duc Duy said that Yen Bai has paid much attention to bettering its business and investment environment with a motto of “investors to Yen Bai are Yen Bai’s residents, enterprises’ success is the province’s success”.

The province has given priority to investors with advanced and environmentally-friendly technologies to achieve a harmonious development between industry and tourism, Duy stated, adding that the province has also intensified investment in infrastructure, especially regional, inter-regional and inter-provincial transport networks.

He also pointed to several difficulties facing Yen Bai in attracting FDI, including its long distance from major economic and urban centres, a lack of high-quality human resources, and limited investment promotion.

To lure more foreign investment, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Minh Toan, stated that the province will continue efforts for a more favourable and transparent investment environment, call for investments in processing industry, agriculture and forestry, tourism, trade and services, and electronic component assembly, step up investment promotion activities, and improve the provincial competitiveness index.-VNA