Creating Strong Appeal to Investors

3:28:50 PM | 11/1/2022

Having a synchronous and modern transport infrastructure, being a center of regional economic cooperation and having attractive mechanisms and policies, Hai Phong is exerting a strong appeal to investors, especially large ones with modern eco-friendly technology. Mr. Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of Hai Phong Department of Planning and Investment, gives an interview to Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter.

South Korean Investment Promotion Conference 2022 in Hai Phong

Could you tell us about investment attraction and business development results of Hai Phong City in the first nine months of 2022?

In the first nine months of 2022, Hai Phong City’s foreign direct investment (FDI) value ranked 5th in the country, totaling nearly US$1.25 billion, equal to 45.97% of the same period of 2021 and 50.12% of the full-year plan in 2022.

The city licensed investment projects to targeted industries in the nine-month period. Industrial manufacturing accounted for 39.29% of projects and 46.53% of investment value. Industrial and economic zones accounted for 53.57% of projects and 86.21% of investment value.

Notably, Autel Robotics Hainan Co., Ltd (China) invested US$90 million in a high-tech unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturing project, while Pegatron Vietnam Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) spent US$68.3 million to build a residential area and ancillary facilities for workers. In addition, several investors from Singapore and Hong Kong invested in some warehousing investment projects (US$30 million each) to facilitate logistics infrastructure development in the coming time.

In addition, the Department of Planning and Investment handed an investment license to a South Korean investor to carry out a US$20 million infrastructure construction and operation project for Giang Bien Industrial Complex (Vinh Bao district) to create a clean land fund for secondary investors to locate their projects.

The city saw 2,452 new enterprises established from January to September, up 10.1% year on year and equal to 81.73% of the 2022 plan. Currently, 51 administrative procedures on business registration have been brought online and assigned Level 4 procedures. The Department of Planning and Investment coordinates with the Tax Department to grant tax codes for companies in the same working day and reduce the processing time of new business registration documents to 1.5 working days as compared to 3 days earlier. Over 80% of administrative procedures on business registration are returned by public postal services.

How has Hai Phong City targeted investment attraction and business development thru the end of 2022?

Hai Phong City aims to have 3,000 new enterprises with VND31 trillion (US$1.3 billion) and US$2.5-3 billion of registered investment capital in 2022. The city managed to draw large high-tech manufacturing corporations with research and development centers, high-quality human resource training, and commitments to technological localization and transfer. Currently, some potential investors are surveying and researching investment opportunities in logistics and freight transportation.

What opportunities will the economic connectivity of Eastern Expressway linking Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh bring to the city? How has Hai Phong City prepared to capture these opportunities?

The Eastern Expressway Economic Connection Agreement was signed. In the coming time, Hai Phong will work with Quang Ninh, Hung Yen and Hai Duong provinces to build a sub-regional economic connectivity model and create a new economic space with a favorable business environment.

Accordingly, all four localities will jointly invest in developing to unlock their strength as a subregion, based on their needs and benefits, instead of individually doing this as before. Hai Phong City will have the opportunity to increase its attractiveness to investors thanks to following advantages:

- The inter-regional transport and logistics infrastructure is synchronous with three international airports (Noi Bai, Cat Bi and Van Don), Lach Huyen deep-water international seaport system linked to large logistics centers; high-quality expressways linking to Hanoi; Hai Phong - Ha Long - Van Don - Mong Cai Expressway and national highways (National Highways 10, 37, 17B and 5).

- Abundant human resources are intensively trained in key professions and industries, supplied by manpower providers and supplied in cooperation with Hai Duong and Hung Yen provinces.

- Living environment with full amenities, combined with tourist and entertainment service facilities of international standard.

To anticipate these opportunities, address shortcomings and promote its advantages, Hai Phong City will propose the Government, ministries and central agencies direct focused investment funds for infrastructure development; upgrade and reform waterways to bolster cargo transport capacity; and carry out coordinated investment in building and completing local and interregional connectivity projects.

In 2021-2025, Hai Phong will build 15 new industrial parks with a total area of over 6,200ha; and prepare premises and land fund and modern and synchronous infrastructure for investors. Particularly, the city will focus on modern eco-friendly projects that create high added value and join production chains; and encourage investment in research and development (R&D) center establishment.

The city will also have solutions to enhance investment appeals by building social facilities and affordable social housing for workers and developing high-quality human resources. The city is carrying out procedures to select investors for social housing projects in Ngo Quyen, Hai An and other districts.

Besides, it will continue to reform administration by applying digitization, gradually raise the quality of online public services of Level 3 and Level 4; and combine foreign investment with internal resources of domestic companies that act as satellite manufacturers to help reduce production costs and increase localization rates with practical cooperation.

The city will build and develop Cat Ba, Do Son and Vu Yen tourist areas into international tourist centers and uphold special historical and cultural heritage values to make Hai Phong the most attractive place to live and work to investors.

In 2020, Hai Phong launched the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI). To date, how has the city's DDCI Index been upgraded to improve the business and investment environment, as well as the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI)?

In 2020, the DDCI was introduced for the first time, marking a strong step and reform effort of Hai Phong City for a better business investment climate and stronger competitiveness.

With a completely new perspective on methodology, after a period of application, DDCI has gradually asserted its role as one of measures to gauge effectiveness and performance of the government system. Together with other important indicators such as the Public Administration Reform Index (Par Index) and the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), DDCI is the voice that reflects the business community's perceptions and assessments of benefits and good deeds that the government brings to them in policy enforcement and gradually shift from order-based administration to service-based administration.

After one year, DDCI has proved the city's efforts to get closer to the business community; actively renew and reform administrative procedures; actively work for better management and administration; and deploy and scale up many practical activities to support enterprises and economic sectors to develop together. In 2021, Hai Phong City ranked second in the PCI in the country and first in the administrative reform indicator, reflecting its efforts for a better business investment climate and more robust competitiveness. Hence, the city has gradually realized its goals of making Hai Phong a leading city in the cause of industrialization and modernization; becoming a growth locomotive of the northern region and the whole country as per Resolution 45 of the Politburo.

Thank you very much!

Ha Thanh (Vietnam Business Forum)