President and General Director of Dai An JSC: There is no failure, it is just a challenge

11:03:04 AM | 18/6/2019

Determined to build “Village in the industrial park, industrial park in the village”, Entrepreneur Truong Tu Phuong, President and General Director of Dai An Joint Stock Company - “owner of the industrial park that never closes the gate”, has contributed to changing the face of the industrial park itself and also helped develop surrounding areas. The Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with her about the operation of Dai An Industrial Park. Tran Trang reports.

What do you think about your achievements at Dai An Industrial Park, especially after it celebrated its 15th anniversary in January 2019?

Dai An Industrial Park was established on March 24, 2003, covering 603 ha in Hai Duong province, about 51 km from Hanoi City and 51 km from Hai Phong Port. After 15 years of investment, development and operation, Dai An Industrial Park has attracted 87 projects with a total registered capital of US$1.8 billion, including 80 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from 15 countries and territories. Tenants are engaged in electronics, light industry, and high technology.

Over the past 15 years, Dai An Industrial Park has made a significant contribution to industrial growth and export growth, thus giving a helping hand to local economic restructuring. In 2006, one ha of leased land on average generated industrial production value of US$2 million and created 70 full-time jobs. In 2018, one ha of leased land on average generated US$7.7 million of industrial production value, US$25 million of high-tech production and provided 100 jobs. Tenants in the industrial park pay VND800 - 900 billion to the State Budget a year. One of typical hi-tech projects is the US$250 million project of Kefico Co., Ltd. (South Korea). This is the first company to have a Party cell in the industrial park.

Dai An Industrial Park has created a relatively synchronous infrastructure system and modernized the infrastructure system in surrounding rural areas. By December 2018, the company had invested VND1,857 billion in infrastructure construction in the industrial park. The company spent some VND18 billion building roads and lighting systems for six villages and three communes in the industrial park. Dai An Industrial Park also plays an important role in job creation, human resource training and livelihood and skills improvement for workers. In 2004 - 2008, the industrial park had only 9,500 workers who were paid a monthly salary of VND4.5 million a month. In 2018, it had 38,000 workers who were paid VND7 million a month on average. The life of local people has been significantly improved. Sticking with the Party and State policy that farmers leave agriculture, not leave their hometown, Dai An Industrial Park has transformed an agriculture-based area into an industrial city. Typical of the “Village in the industrial park, industrial park in the village” model, Dai An Industrial Park has actively contributed to protecting the ecological environment for local people and regarded it as a decisive factor to its existence. Therefore, in 2007, we built a wastewater treatment plant with a daily capacity of 2,000 cubic meters. In 2017, we constructed the second one with a daily capacity of 5,000 cubic meters, using the most modern technology. Dai An has always been seen as a green and clean industrial park.

In addition to formulating security forces to ensure safety for each employee, for each tenant and for the industrial park as a whole, in 2012, Dai An had the honor of being proposed to the Ministry of Public Security for scaling up its safe and secure industrial park model across the country by the Police of Hai Duong. This model has been successful in Dai An Industrial Park and received the Certificates of Merits and the Emulation Flags from the Ministry of Public Security in 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Dai An Industrial Park has not only succeeded in creating a relatively complete investment environment, capable of attracting investors with modern environment-friendly technology, but also fulfilled the role of building and improving the local environment from agricultural culture to industrial culture. This is the foundation for seeding good citizens and workers who are employed, cultured, ethical and responsible to the community.

To continue to be a pioneering industrial park developer in Vietnam, what specific solutions are you carrying out?

To promote its achievements, overcome difficulties and obstacles, and build the strategy in the new period in consistence with the Government-backed orientation on “Innovation on Industry 4.0 foundation for higher quality and private economic development”.

First, the company has prepared successive employees because attracting FDI in Industry 4.0 era requires innovative, creative, enthusiastic, capable and qualified people to draw high-quality investment.

Second, to sustain and develop a sustainable industrial park, we will need 60,000 full-time workers and about 30,000 people catering services. In 2011, Dai An was licensed by the Government and Hai Duong province to invest in accommodation for workers. Given its limited finance and limited experience in managing and operating a sizeable urban - service - industrial area, Dai An has cooperated with Fujita Group (Japan) to invest VND3,000 billion ( US$129 million) into the project to build housing infrastructure for workers, utilities for the industrial park, and a multi-level education system.

Third, we will prepare land fund for tenants to expand their production scale, draw industrial projects which adopt advanced environment-friendly technology, are responsible to the community, and respect the law.

Could you please tell more about the development direction “Village in the industrial park, industrial park in the village” adopted by Dai An Joint Stock Company? What does this mean for secondary investors when they choose Dai An Industrial Park as a destination for production and business activities?

The concept of industrial park was too vague and strange for local people 15 years ago when agricultural production was still the main source of income. Guided and supported by authorities, the Hai Duong Industrial Parks Authority and provincial agencies, we have succeeded in harmonizing interests of farmers. We promise not to let local people leave the hometown after they left agriculture and we are committed to creating a new better life for them. Thus, we have adjusted our design of Dai An Industrial Park to make it different from others, by adopting the “Village in industrial park, industrial park in village" model. Dai An is an industrial park that never closes the gate and is the first industrial park that shares its technical infrastructure systems like traffic, water supply, water drainage and lighting with local people, employs local people for factories and persuades existing villages to build houses for rent to migrant workers. In addition, we often work closely with the Police of Hai Duong and the Hai Duong Industrial Parks Authority to inform, educate and train “security, safety and order in the industrial park”.

An investor needs to be happy to place its project here and it will help attract more secondary investors. In business, we always take ethics as a foundation, place the interests of people sacrificing their land to the industrial park, and of workers, above our interests and always listen to feedback from tenants to make ourselves a perfect INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTOR. We are always highly responsible and sharing with the business community who have come to us and trusted us.

Is there anything special about women doing business? In order to be creative and make breakthroughs in the era of globalization, what quality should a businesswoman specifically need?

I was born in Hanoi as a Vietnamese national. I was a public employee for 23 years (from 1978 to 2000), a challenging period for any change. Looking back, indeed, there is nothing impossible. Vietnam now has 356 industrial parks and I am still one of three female entrepreneurs active in the field that seems to be only for men. I have managed to construct Dai An Industrial Park in the order of “Urban - Service - Industry” instead of the order of “Industry - Urban - Service” commonly adopted by investors in Vietnam. In order to turn the vision into reality, I’ve studied a lot about local culture - society - life as well as international integration models. I always think that when we invest in any locality, we must stick to it for a long time, harmonize our interests with those of local people.

Entrepreneur Truong Tu Phuong has two things in mind. One is seeing people “leave agriculture, not leave the village" in places where Dai An Joint Stock Company has projects. The other is seeing an opportunity for private businesses to grow and expand.

The inherent thinking of agricultural economy is deeply rooted and considered a long-lasting traditional culture. Nothing can change it without a breakthrough. Therefore, “industrialization and modernization” is the only way to reform and change the agriculture-based economy to industry. To do this, we must accept challenges, we must be motivated and passionate, we must incorporate diverse cultural environments brought to by investors from around the world.

I can confidently assert that any woman in the world is able to break her limits to become a leader and succeed in her own way if “she always sets goals higher than normal and tries her best to realize her ideas, goals and plans. She must know how to make her fit for her job and know how to capture time and opportunity.” I always insist on the motto “There is no failure, all is just a challenge”. As a result, there is nothing happier than advancing INTERNATIONAL INTEGRATION right in our own country

Thank you very much!