Can Tho Province Opens Door to Investors

5:13:43 PM | 6/8/2009

Can Tho has just been recognized as the first-grade city in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. This is an important landmark for the city to become the Mekong Delta region’s centre. The city’s key infrastructure network has been completed and Can Tho Bridge will be technically open to traffic in March 2010. The city is expected to be an attractive destination for investors. Vietnam Business Forum reporter had an interview with Mr Vo Thanh Sang, Director of the Can Tho Department of Planning and Investment on the locality’s upcoming plans to welcome both local and foreign investors.  
How has the city’s investment promotion and attraction progress supported the local economic transition on the basis of industrial-service sector? 
The Politburo’s Resolution No. 45-NQ/TW issued on February 17, 2005 and the municipal XI Party Congress’s Resolution affirm that the city need to take full its advantages and its potentials to boost economic development and sharpen its competitiveness in the global market integration as well as speed up its economic transition on the basis of services and hi-tech agriculture sector. This is a key task of the city during the development progress.
In terms of domestic investment attraction, between 2006 and 2008, Can Tho pulled in a total investment capital of US$1.118 billion from 38 new projects and capital rise of existing projects. Of the sum, US$176.4 million was disbursed. In the first six months of this year, it attracted 19 new projects totaling US$127.7 million and allowed seven existing projects to raise their capital by US$45.8 million. To date, industrial parks in the city is home to 187 valid projects worth a total investment capital of US$1.5 billion, including US$465.2 million disbursed or 31 per cent of the total registered capital. Among projects, 137 have become operational. In the 2006-2008 period, local authorities granted licenses for 2,420 enterprises of different kinds with a combined registered capital of VND6.63 trillion. Between January and June this year, the city granted business registration certificated for 710 businesses totaling VND2.56 trillion. As of June this year, the locality licensed 8,539 enterprises worth VND16.67 trillion.
Regarding foreign investment attraction, the Mekong Delta city has licensed 23 projects capitalized at US$590,53 million over the past three years. In the first six months of this year, it granted investment licenses for three projects valued at US$206.125. By the end of June this year, Can Tho is home to 45 foreign-invested projects costing US$733 million with US$135 million disbursed.
What should investors pay attention to to carry out projects in the industrial and service sector?
Can Tho, which is considered the “gateway of the Mekong River’s lower section”, plays an important part role in strengthening the regional development. Therefore, investors have to contact the local Construction Department to study the city’s general planning for the city’s general construction planning until 2025. They should also work with the local Department of Planning and Investment, the Centre for Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion to get support for their projects and study the list of projects calling for investment in the 2009-2010. Meanwhile, investors also should know that Can Tho is encouraging investment of hi-tech industry projects and clean production projects in the areas of bio-technology, supporting industry, agro-fishery products, cement, steel, engineering products, software, high-grade construction materials, garment and textile and high-quality consumer goods as well as tourism.
What will Can Tho do to lure more local and foreign investors?
The city will focus on developing key infrastructure projects, particularly in the fields of transport, education, posts and telecommunications and information and technology. It will develop the projects, including Tra Noc Airport, Cau Tho Bridge, Hoang Dieu and Cai Cui Ports and inter-province and inter-district roads. The locality will develop Can Tho University into a key university and upgrade social, sports and health works.
Can Tho will boost its administrative reform in tax management, state budget spending and collection as well as production technology reform. Additionally, it will continue the investment and business environment and complete preferential mechanism for investment under the forms of Building-Operation-Transfer (BOT), Building-Transfer (BT) and Building-Transfer-Operation (BTO).
The locality has planned to establish a stock exchange and encouraged capital mobilisation from domestic and foreign banks operating in the city for the city’s socio-economic development. It is also considering the issuance of a real estate price mechanism and develop the labour market to develop companies’ demand.