Hoa Binh: Strong Development in All Aspects

4:05:21 PM | 14/8/2007

Hoa Binh is a north-western mountainous province covering nearly 4,800 square kilometres with a population of nearly 800,000 people, mainly belonging to the Muong, Kinh, Thai, Tay, Dao and H’Mong peoples. The province is on the fringe of the Red River Delta and near the capital city Hanoi. It has high potential in land, forests and human resources, with 84 per cent of population living in rural and mountainous areas. These are favourable conditions for socio-economic development.
The Hoa Binh economy kept growing strongly in the first half this year, with estimated GDP growth of 12.2 per cent, higher than last year (11.41 per cent), in which agriculture, forestry and fisheries increased 3.5 per cent, industry and construction 20.4 per cent, and services 16.9 per cent. Industrial and handicraft production expanded strongly, with the highlight of 71.88 per cent growth in the private sector. Construction material, food, garment, textile and electronic parts production also enjoyed high growth.
Hoa Binh has paid much attention to building and expanding industrial zones, resettlement areas, traffic infrastructure, and power systems. Northern Luong Son Industrial Park has been approved for construction on 135 hectares. This park is expected to attract FDI projects.
In agriculture, in spite of numerous difficulties due to unfavourable weather and El Nino phenomenon impacts, farm production still rose. Farmers adopted and grew many kinds of cash crops like bitter melon, seed-oriented China squash and organic vegetables. Aquaculture also expanded, with total water surface area of 1,900 ha and output of 1,700 tonnes in the first half this year.
In the service sector, commodity circulation and retail sales increased significantly. In the first six months this year, service and retail revenue was VND1,358.5 billion (US$85 million). Total export revenue was estimated at US$17.128 million, 38 per cent of this year’s target, including US$9.12 million from commodity export, down 18 per cent on year and US$8.008 million from service export (US$7 million from manpower export and US$1.008 million from tourism). Key exports of the province are farm products, garment, textile, electronic components and lenses. The province’s import spending was predicted at US$4.989 million. Key imports are production inputs like cloth, chemicals and material for lense production.
Tourism also has developed significantly. Tourism infrastructure investment is encouraging. Several attractions like Viet-Muong Cultural Tourism Zone and Phuong Hoang (Phoenix) Golf Course have been completed, while many others are underway, including the Da River and Lac Sy tourism sites. The tourism industry generated total revenue of VND110 billion (US$6.87 million) in the first half this year, 51.6 per cent of the yearly plan and up 206 per cent on year. Total arrivals exceeded 288,000, including 28,800 international arrivals.
From January to June 2007, Hoa Binh licensed 133 companies and 17 branches and representative offices with total registered capital of VND425.963 billion, up 68 per cent on year, bringing the total number of companies and branches or representative offices to 748 and 174, respectively. Business operations of private companies are very good, creating many local jobs and paying significant taxes to the State Budget. In the future, Hoa Binh will continue restructuring State-owned enterprises like farming plantations and enterprises, and streamlining administrative procedures to facilitate business and tax code registration for investors.
Hoa Binh Province expects food output to reach over 32,800 tonnes and forests to reach 7,500 hectares. The province hopes for retail and service revenue of VND2,395 billion (US$149.68 million), export revenue of US$45 million and import expenditure of US$40 million. Total tourism revenue will be VND203 billion (US$12.68 million).
Vietnam Business Forum would like to introduce ideas of investors about the investment environment of Hoa Binh province:
SANKOH Vietnam: Feeling Secure in Production Input Supply
SANKOH Vietnam Co. Ltd is one of three wholly Japanese-owned investment projects in Hoa Binh Province. Set up May 12, 2003, the company, specialising in manufacturing high-tech heat sensing electronic parts, is one of most successful businesses in Hoa Binh. The company now has a workforce of 580 people, with average monthly pay of VND1 million. The operation of SANKOH Vietnam helps reduce unemployment in the province.
Hiroaki Komatsuzaki, said he decided to choose Hoa Binh “because Hoa Binh is near Hanoi and near Song Da hydropower plant. Thus, when we came here, we felt no worry about power supply. In addition, the Hoa Binh Province People’s Committee always created the most favourable conditions for stable operation. For example, they gave us a separate electrical line and quickly settled all difficulties arising from administrative procedures.
After nearly four years SANKOH Vietnam has absolutely won the trust of local authorities.
R Technical Research Viet Nam: High praise for Vietnamese Industriousness
R Technical Research Viet Nam is a wholly Japanese-invested producer of lenses for optical devices in Hoa Binh Province. This was one of the first foreign companies to come to Hoa Binh.
Mr Ogawa Koichi, general director of the company, said: “Five years ago, we encountered various difficulties, especially site clearance and administrative procedures when we decided to invest in Hoa Binh. Therefore, we spent a lot of time and effort bringing the company into operation. Currently, as the economy is growing strongly and administrative procedures are streamlined, enterprises receive more support from the provincial government.” He said Vietnam should pay attention and grasp global trends after joining the WTO, especially in tertiary education.
He highly appreciated the industriousness of Vietnamese labourers. However, he still felt uneasy about tax policies. “Our company is a high tech company and we need a quality labour force, especially the managerial staff. However, tax policies of Vietnam make it difficult for us to employ high-level foreign workers.” According to him, Vietnamese policies now back employees and this raises difficulties for companies and spoils workers.