Bac Lieu Province Becoming an Ideal Destination for Investors

3:48:34 PM | 23/5/2008

“With preferential treatments, Bac Lieu will become an ideal place for investors of all economic sectors,” asserted Mr Le Thanh Dung, Director of Bac Lieu Planning and Investment, in an interview with Vietnam Business Forum.
What are the efforts and achievements of Bac Lieu in recent years?
In recent years, Bac Lieu authorities and related agencies have focused on investment promotion to make the best use of local potential and boost socio-economic development. For its part, Bac Lieu Department of Planning and Investment has introduced many investment projects on the VCCI website, brochures and mass media to local and foreign investors.
Though still slow, the investment flow has been quite positive: 14 local investors have been granted licenses for investment capital of VND199 billion and two foreign investors with investment capital of US$2.8 million.
It seems that the investment fails to match the richness in agriculture and fisheries of the province. Why?
With a 56 km long coast and a large fishing area, Bac Lieu is rich in aquaculture and seaport development potential. However, the province fails to attract investors as it is far from economic centres like Ho Chi Minh City, seaports and airports, while the road network is still under-developed and the workforce makes up only 25 per cent of the population.
Some provinces have focused more on the number and less on the quality of investment projects, what is the plan in Bac Lieu?
The investment flow is important for economic development; however, each province should rely on its own conditions to make optimal use of investments. While investment remains modest in Bac Lieu, we must ensure the quality of investments in terms of objectives, size and schedule compliance with the registered projects and socio-economic development goals of the province.
What are the preferential treatments available and projects calling for investments?
On the basis of the preferential treatment provided by the laws and central government, investors in the province will receive a tax rate of 10 per cent for 15 years, income tax exemption for 4 four years after the first taxable income and 50 per cent reduction for the 9 following years.. The province will also apply the most favourable tax rates for investors.
The province is calling for investments in 37 projects of four groups:
-                                  8 projects in the processing industry: agricultural produce and fruit, instant noodles, livestock and poultry meat processing.
-                                  3 projects in consumer goods: leather and leather products, garment and packages.
-                                  16 infrastructure projects: seaport and oil refinery, Nha Mat – Hiep Thanh tourist centre, commercial centres and water supply.
-                                  Infrastructure in industrial zones: Tra Kha, Lang Tram, Ninh Quoi and district industrial centres.
Bac Lieu People’s Committee and Department of Planning and Investment will ensure the most favourable conditions for efficient investments.
Mr Huynh Tiet Thao, Head of Bac Lieu IZ Management Board:
Accelerating infrastructure development
One big problem for Bac Lieu and other Mekong Delta provinces is transport and technical infrastructure. To attract investment, Bac Lieu must accelerate infrastructure and seaport development.
In administrative reform, the province must simplify formalities with one-stop service at IZ management boards and promote investments by website with detailed guidance on formalities and preferential treatment.
The province must give priority to projects with new and advanced technology that are environmentally friendly and suitable with local potential. The province must also assist in training human resources.
Mr Pham Van Quang, Director of Bac Lieu Housing and Construction Company:
Cooperation of concerned authorities needed
In Bac Lieu, a number of urban centres are taking shape such as Ward 5 (by Bac Lieu Housing and Construction Company), Ward 1 (by Bac Lieu Real Estate Company) and Riverside area (by Company 577). Though the projects are improving the appearance of Bac Lieu, they need further improvement to ensure investment efficiency.
Land clearance is the most difficult problem. Concerned authorities such as the departments of national resources and environment, and construction, must plan, evaluate and be ready to hand over the land so that the investors can consider the feasibility, accept and invest in the projects. In my view, to attract investments, ten persons must serve one investor instead of ten investors being served by just one person. It must be, in the true sense, laying out the red carpet for investors.
Mr Nguyen Chi Luan, Director of Bac Lieu Real Estate Company:
Suitable investment policy needed
To promote investment in real estate development, there must be improvement in administrative formalities, land clearance and evaluation of projects and investors. Information must be transparent on location and schedule to ensure equal treatment and fair competition among all investors. Preferential treatment must be specific to each project concerning tax rates, tax exemption, and reduction or exemption of land rental for the initial years.
Quoc Hung