Thanh Hoa: Investment Flows Increasingly Productive

10:10:15 AM | 3/11/2021

Carrying out Resolution 58 NQ/TW of the Politburo dated August 5, 2020 on Thanh Hoa development to 2030, with a vision to 2045, and implementing planning and management tasks and solutions; and developing socio-economic infrastructure, Thanh Hoa province has endeavored to make breakthroughs in administrative reform, improve the business investment environment; and build investment attraction mechanisms and policies to make Thanh Hoa a model province and a new growth pole in the rectangle development together with Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh, Mr. Le Minh Nghia, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Thanh Hoa province, said in an interview granted to Vietnam Business Forum. Duy Anh reports.

What do you think about investment results in Thanh Hoa province in 2016 - 2020?

In 2016 - 2020, Thanh Hoa attracted 1,131 direct investment projects, more than twice that of 2011-2015, including 1,054 domestic direct investment (DDI) projects with a total registered capital of VND118.06 trillion and foreign direct investment (FDI) with US$3.74 billion (22.6% more of the registered fund over 2011 - 2015). Notably, in 2016-2020, the province drew important FDI projects that created a driving force on local economic development and social security. The good investment results also reaffirmed the appealing business investment environment to domestic and foreign investors. To date, Thanh Hoa has 133 valid projects with a combined registered capital of US$14.25 billion, ranking 8th by value in the country.

At its investment promotion conferences in 2017 and 2020, Thanh Hoa province attracted many large investment projects. How are these projects operating now?

Thanh Hoa successfully hosted the Investment Promotion Conference 2017, where 31 projects were licensed with a total pledged fund of VND141 trillion (US$ 6.35 billion). To date, six projects are operational, 16 projects are under construction, and three are being prepared for detailed planning. These projects accounted for 93.6% of the total pledged capital at the conference. Operational projects are helping improve the quality of economic, urban and rural infrastructure and creating a new force for the province.

For Investment Promotion Conference 2020, Thanh Hoa was the first locality to open an investment promotion conference immediately after the Government ended social distancing and announced the dual goal of “strongly promoting socio-economic development and effectively preventing the pandemic”. At the conference, 34 projects were licensed with a total registered fund of US$15 billion. This event had the largest-ever projects and investment value in the province. To date, three projects started construction: (i) Long Son cement grinding station in Nghi Son Economic Zone and terminals No. 7, 8, 9 and 10 in Nghi Son Economic Zone, invested by Long Son Industrial Company Limited; (ii) Dai Duong Cement Plant 2 in Nghi Son Economic Zone, invested by Dai Duong Cement Joint Stock Company; and (iii) Sam Son marine square, luxury ecotourism, resort, entertainment and residence complex in Sam Son City, invested by Sun Group. 16 projects completed necessary documents and procedures for investment and construction. 15 projects are preparing documents and procedures for investor selection or investment license.

Thanh Hoa has been highly appreciated for its productive partnership with enterprises and investors. Would you tell us about this?

Thanh Hoa province pledges to offer the best support to investors carrying out their projects, facilitating investors to achieve the best business performance in the province.

When investors come to study investment opportunities, the province always supports them to conduct surveys and select locations and helps them settle administrative procedures, including those under the authority of central governmental agencies. When they decide to invest in the locality, Thanh Hoa actively fulfills “three commitments”: Site clearance progress at the request of the investor; investment in traffic infrastructure, electricity supply, water supply and communication to the project boundary; prompt solution of difficulties and problems during the project implementation and commercial operation.

Administrative reform, which focuses on administrative procedure reforms, has made a breakthrough. Administrative documents and procedures from provincial to communal levels are processed electronically. Many administrative procedures need much shorter time for settlement like investment licensing procedures (down 30%), planning licensing (51%), construction permission (50%), land allocation and land lease (40%).

The planning system has been reviewed for consistency. Investment incentive and attraction policy have helpfully promulgated. The province directed construction, review, addition and revision of planning. Nghi Son Economic Zone was approved for adjustment and expansion by the Prime Minister’s Decision 1699/QD-TTg dated December 7, 2018, laying the groundwork for investment attraction. The province has regularly reviewed and completed development plans for industrial zones, district-level land use and urban areas, making Thanh Hoa one of the top planners of synchronous modern provincial planning for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2045, to facilitate investors to search for investment opportunities. Besides, many attractive investment policies have been issued to woo investors, for example, handicraft development investment incentive policy; support policy for shipping lines to open international container shipping routes through Nghi Son Port; support policy for airlines to open new routes; and credit support and interest subsidy for agricultural and rural investment projects.

Business support has been strengthened. Existing difficulties against local enterprises are promptly removed. Business startup and entrepreneurship training are implemented annually according to the plan adopted by the Provincial People's Committee. The Standing Board of the Thanh Hoa Provincial Party Committee issued regulations, held direct dialogues with people and handled complaints and petitions filed by people to the Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee. Every month, the Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee holds public dialogues at the Citizen Reception Office; the Chairperson of the Provincial People’s Committee together with relevant agencies host business meetings on the 20th of every month. Leaders of districts, towns and cities meet businesses at least once a month.

The modern infrastructure system has been gradually built, especially transport infrastructure and infrastructure in economic zones and industrial zones. Tho Xuan Airport was upgraded, with many new domestic and international routes in operation. The seaport system in Nghi Son Economic Zone was completed with synchronous technical infrastructure with international container routes. Many traffic routes were upgraded and expanded, such as roads from Nghi Son Economic Zone to Tho Xuan Airport, roads from Thanh Hoa City to Nghi Son Sao Vang, and coastal roads linking the province with domestic and international localities, to facilitate mobility and transportation of goods and services.

Implementing Resolution 58-NQ/TW dated August 5, 2020 of the Politburo on Thanh Hoa development to 2030, with a vision to 2045, what will Thanh Hoa province focus on to attract investment capital in the 2020-2025 period?

First, the province will focus on attracting investment in four dynamic economic centers, five growth pillars, and six economic corridors to create new room for socio-economic development. Specifically, four dynamic economic centers are the dynamic hub of Thanh Hoa City - Sam Son City; southern dynamic center (Nghi Son Economic Zone); northern dynamic center (Thach Thanh - Bim Son); and western dynamic center (Lam Son - Sao Vang).

Five growth pillars include processing and manufacturing; agriculture; tourism; health; and infrastructure development.

Six economic corridors include coastal economic corridor; North-South economic corridor; Ho Chi Minh Road economic corridor; Northeast economic corridor; Central economic corridor; and International economic corridor.

Second, Thanh Hoa will focus on attracting investment capital for agriculture, forestry and aquaculture development to increase the output, added value and product reputation; developing vegetable and fruit processing factories for farming areas in Hoang Hoa, Nga Son and Hau Loc districts; pineapple and fruit processing factories for farming areas in Ha Trung, Thach Thanh districts and Bim Son Town; and building Lam Son - Sao Vang high-tech agricultural zone and other areas to grow high-quality agricultural products for domestic and export markets.

The province will entice investors to new large-scale industrial projects to create new driving forces for local economic growth, including Nghi Son refining and petrochemical plant - phase 2 and petroleum depot; gas power plant and LPG depot; paper and energy complex; Duc Giang Nghi Son chemical complex in Nghi Son Economic Zone; Intco Medical Vietnam’s factory, Nitrile Intco Vietnam’s glove factory in Bim Son Industrial Park.

Thanh Hoa will attract investment for synchronous infrastructure construction in economic zones and industrial zones. The locality will gradually form industrial chains such as petrochemical, chemicals (polypropylene, synthetic fibers, plastics and synthetic fertilizers) in Nghi Son Economic Zone, agricultural and forest product processing, electronics, telecommunications and information industries in Lam Son - Sao Vang Industrial Park.

Thanh Hoa will attract investment for synchronous infrastructure construction in economic zones and industrial zones. The locality will gradually form industrial chains such as petrochemical, chemicals (polypropylene, synthetic fibers, plastics and synthetic fertilizers) in Nghi Son Economic Zone, agricultural and forest product processing, electronics, telecommunications and information industries in Lam Son - Sao Vang Industrial Park.

The province will encourage investment in tourism infrastructure construction, support investors to accelerate large-scale tourism projects like maritime square and festivals in Sam Son City; Ben En resort and entertainment complex, Dao Ngoc ecological resort and hotel complex, Flamingo Linh Truong B, and Sao Mai Thanh Hoa Resort.

It will attract resources for synchronous modern infrastructure development, especially for investment and business activities of enterprises and people.

Third, Thanh Hoa province will actively and selectively attract and cooperate with foreign investors, take quality, performance, technology, and environmental protection as criteria for investment promotion; prioritize large-scale projects with high added value, modern environment-friendly technology and ripple effects connected to global production and supply chains. The province will focus on convincing well-reputed domestic investors to place large projects in the locality.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum