Elevating Performance of Quang Nam's Economic and Industrial Zones

8:58:18 AM | 7/3/2024

Quang Nam Provincial Planning for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050, states that Chu Lai Economic Zone and Nam Giang International Border Gate Economic Zone will become the nucleus and center of development of the region and the country. Currently, Quang Nam is making efforts to carry out its tasks and solutions to promote the role of local economic zones (EZs) and industrial parks (IPs) and realize this vision. Mr. Hoang Chau Son, Deputy Director of the Quang Nam Economic Zones and Industrial Zones Authority offers an exclusive interview on this content to our reporters.

What are your perspectives on the outstanding potential and advantages of economic zones and industrial zones in the province now?

Quang Nam currently has 27,040-ha Chu Lai Open Economic Zone - Vietnam's first coastal economic zone established in 2003; 31,060-ha Nam Giang Border Gate Economic Zone in Chal Val and La Dee in Nam Giang district near the border with Laos and 13 industrial parks (10 in the economic zones).

With a favorable geographical location, a synchronous infrastructure, and increasingly perfect policy mechanisms, over the past 20 years, Chu Lai Open Economic Zone and local industrial parks have always been attractive to investors because they are located in the center of the Central region and the whole country and serve as an important transportation, trade and international exchange hub, a gateway to the East Sea for the Central Highlands of Vietnam, southern Laos, northeast Cambodia and Thailand. Moreover, the transport infrastructure with all types of traffic such as road (like National Highway 1A, coastal roads interconnecting Da Nang - Hoi An - Chu Lai - Dung Quat, and Da Nang - Quang Ngai Expressway), seaport (Ky Ha, Chu Lai) and airway (Chu Lai Airport) will ensure smooth traffic connectivity.

Chu Lai Port is positioned as an important new export gateway in the Central region

Especially, besides abundant human resources and relatively cheap labor costs, Quang Nam also has a vast land fund with low land rental prices for industrial development investment. At the same time, the emergence of new products and services has positively affected processing and manufacturing industries in Quang Nam. Many large corporations such as Thaco are increasing automation and digital applications in supporting industrial factories and at many production stages like painting and assembling.

Currently, Thaco Group in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone (OEZ) has cooperated with major automobile manufacturers from South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States. In the coming time, Thaco and other Vietnamese private corporations will have the opportunity and capacity to cooperate with multinational firms to invest and do business in the province, especially in Chu Lai OEZ.

Quang Nam is also capable of developing large logistics, sea and air transport services of the Central Coast region. In addition, the Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) oilfield, forecast to have gas reserves of up to 150 billion cubic meters, currently operated by ExxonMobil Group and PetroVietnam, will supply gas to local thermal power plants and neighboring provinces.

After more than two decades of development, how have Chu Lai Open Economic Zone and local industrial parks changed?

More than 20 years ago, Quang Nam only had two IPs, namely Dien Nam - Dien Ngoc (Dien Ban Town) and Thuan Yen (Tam Ky City). At present, the province is home to 13 IPs with a total area of 3,527 ha. According to Decision 72/QD-TTg dated January 17, 2024 of the Prime Minister on the Quang Nam Provincial Planning for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050, Quang Nam will have 29 IPs.

Currently, the total registered investment capital for industrial park infrastructure development is about VND9,487 billion (US$400 million), of which VND4,280 billion has been disbursed, accounting for 45% of the registered capital. Nine IPs are in operation and four IPs are in the process of land compensation and site clearance. Licensed IPs have a total rental industrial area of 2,592 ha, of which 934 ha has been leased, reaching an average occupancy rate of 36%.

As many as 248 tenants registered to invest VND81,430 billion (US$3.5 billion) in industrial parks, including 87 FDI projects with VND27,782 billion (US$1.43 billion) and 161 domestic projects with VND53,648 billion. Budget revenue from EZs and IPs was VND53,363 billion in 2021 - 2023, accounting for over 60% of the province’s budget revenue. In 2021 - 2023, their export value was US$344.2 million and their import value was US$489.6 million.

How will Quang Nam develop new generation industrial parks following an ecological and green model and form technology and innovation parks?

At present, the province is promoting industrial development from “fast” to “sustainable”, from simple, multi-industry industry to specialized IPs to support each other such as auto accessories, textiles and garments. Specially, Quang Nam encourages new investment projects into ecological IPs, promotes cleaner production, economical and efficient use of resources, gradually increases the share of industry and service in the economy, and develops high-tech industries and environmentally friendly, energy-efficient industries to reduce emissions towards a low-carbon green economic growth.

On that basis, the province aims to develop new eco-industrial parks in the east and support investors such as BIN Corporation and WHA Corporation PCL to research and propose ecological IP infrastructure investment projects. For currently operational IPs, transformation into ecological IPs will be encouraged.

In order to attract a variety of partners and investment capital sources into EZs and IPs, in the coming time, in addition to advising and completing regional planning and zoning planning, adjusting existing regulations, the Quang Ngai Economic Zones and Industrial Zones Authority will actively grasp integration trends and woo capable and reputable investors of high technology, pharmaceuticals, electronic components and clean industries. Priority is given to large-scale projects that apply cutting-edge technologies and modern equipment to make technological products with high added value and for export.

How has the Authority promoted its role in state support and management of post-investment and post-licensing activities, especially its coordination in supporting businesses in building social housing in industrial parks today?

The authority has reviewed and resolved matters faced by businesses and investors according to its jurisdiction and reported outcomes to the Provincial People's Committee and the Provincial Party Committee for guidance. In addition, according to the direction of the Provincial People's Committee in Official Dispatch No. 3021/UBND-KTN dated April 26, 2024, the authority has worked with investors on project implementation progress and plans so as to to propose specific solutions for each project. Then, the authority will settle matters within its power or promptly report them to the Provincial People's Committee for direction.

Chu Lai is currently a 4C-level domestic airport. It is the largest airport in Vietnam by area, 2,006 ha, located in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone. According to the National Airport Development Master Plan for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050, approved by the Prime Minister in Decision 648/QD-TTg dated June 7, 2023, Chu Lai will become a 4F international airport (along with Noi Bai and Long Thanh) with a designed capacity of 10 million passengers a year by 2030.

For worker housing construction in IPs, the authority is coordinating with localities to propose a list of investment projects as a basis for approving investment projects and selecting investors. Some specific contents include having organized a survey on housing needs of workers in IPs in the province. For ongoing projects, the agency is working with relevant bodies and localities to support investors to resolve their problems or report them to the Provincial People's Committee for guidance on resolution to speed up investment projects.

On registering and completing the list of investor selection procedures, the Provincial People's Committee has recently approved a 1-ha project in Tam Hiep commune, Nui Thanh district. The authority is carrying out further procedures to select investors on a public bidding method according to regulations.

Regarding land funds for social housing and worker housing development, the agency continues to review local land funds to report to competent authorities and carry out investor selection procedures. In addition, in preparing zoning plans for industrial parks and urban areas, the Quang Ngai Economic Zones and Industrial Zones Authority also prioritizes arranging land funds for social housing and worker housing development.

Thank you so much, sir!

Binh Minh (Vietnam Business Forum)