Lang Son Ready to Welcome Investors

10:59:16 AM | 23/7/2014

“Lang Son is now focusing on developing the Export Processing Zone and the Industrial Park in the Dong Dang - Lang Son Economic Zone to prepare ready space for domestic and foreign investors who are expected to be breakthrough forces for local socioeconomic development,” said Mr Le Minh Thanh, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Lang Son province in an interview with Vietnam Business Forum. Duc Binh reports.
Could you please tell us about the remarkable investment results of the province in the past years, and forecasts for the coming years?
In the 2006-2010 period, the province mobilised VND19.5 trillion of investment capital, of which VND17.7 trillion was locally sourced. In the past five years, investors registered to invest VND2.9 trillion in 960 new projects. Foreign capital (FDI, ODA and NGO) was VND1.8 trillion. GDP growth was 10.35 percent a year in the reporting period. GDP per capita in 2010 more than doubled that in 2005.
In the three years from 2011 to 2013, total investment capital mobilised reached VND21,533 billion and 576 new enterprises were established with a combined registered capital of VND3,100 billion. As of end 2013, the province had about 1,530 active enterprises with an aggregate investment capital of VND8,250 billion, 330 corporate branches and 80 representative offices. Investment promotion continued to be accelerated in various forms. From 2007 to present, the province has licensed 224 projects valued at VND12,660 billion. At present, the province has 28 valid foreign-invested projects worth US$224.5 million.
Based on Lang Son socioeconomic development plan for the period through 2020, Lang Son will develop services and industrial sectors based on its advantages. Regarding services, the province will concentrate on expanding trade with China and other countries and territories by developing terminals and inland ports along the economic corridor and increase cargo throughput in the province.
Thus, we will focus on developing the Export Processing Zone and the Industrial Park in the Dong Dang - Lang Son Economic Zone to prepare ready space for investors from China, ASEAN and other countries. In addition, we will focus on completing technical infrastructures and policies to bring into operation warehouses, bonded warehouses, trade and service zones at the Huu Nghi International Border Gate and the Dong Dang Railway Station Border Gate. In the city, we will call investment capital for developing trade, ecological tourism, cultural tourism and spiritual tourism zones.
Presently, we are focusing on completing site clearance and levelling the foundation of Huu Lung Industrial Complex to hand over land plots to investors at the earliest. We also completed detailed planning of Dong Banh Industrial Park and are actively calling investors. Besides, we are paying special attention to calling investors to build infrastructure systems in industrial zones. We also attract investment capital for agricultural and forest product processing, resort development, material production based on local resources like limestone.
What are specific solutions that Lang Son province has taken to strengthen human resources and infrastructure for investors to do business in the locality?
Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone was set up in October 2008 under the Prime Minister’s Decision 138/2008/QD-TTg. With the primary nucleus being Lang Son City and Dong Dang - Pingxiang Border Crossing Economic Cooperation Zone, this border gate economic zone is a chain in the Nanning - Lang Son - Hanoi - Hai Phong Economic Corridor and serves as an economic motivation of Lang Son province and Northeast Vietnam as well. Therefore, building Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone is considered a leading central task in promoting socioeconomic development of the province by the Provincial People's Committee. To realise such objectives, the Provincial People's Committee has closely directed and introduced consistent solutions like improving the investment environment, resolving problems to support investors to invest, do business, import and export in the province; accelerating construction and detailed planning of border gates and construction works, especially important ones; completing, transferring and operating three construction works (Repairing Tan Thanh Road, upgrading Coc Nam Joint Control Centre, supplying electricity to Na Hinh border area), and others. Currently, Lang Son is selecting contractors for infrastructure sub-project in Huu Nghi Border Gate funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and preparing necessary steps for construction of the Border Crossing Economic Cooperation Zone. In addition, the Provincial People's Committee also submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment the Pre-feasibility Report and the Report on Cooperation Construction at Export Processing Zone No. 1 for consideration before handing to the Prime Minister for approval. The projects are expected to be added to the list of projects eligible for public private partnership (PPP) investment form.
What solutions will Lang Son province prioritize to create a good investment and business environment?
At the beginning of every year, the Provincial People's Committee holds meeting businesses to grasp their difficulties and problems to instruct relevant agencies to seek solutions and help them to boost investment, production, business, export and import. At the same time, the committee also directs functional provincial departments, in their capacities, carry out the Government’s Resolution 01/NQ-CP and Resolution 02/NQ-CP.
VAT payment rescheduling, corporate income tax and land rent reduction programmes are seriously and effectively carried out to support businesses in difficulty.
The province attaches much importance to administrative reform, with administrative procedure reform and administrative procedure control being the most important contents, particularly those relating to business activities like business registration, tax procedures, and customs procedures. Many procedures have been reviewed, repealed, amended to reduce the time for businesses. Any acts of bureaucratic authoritarianism and harassment of civil servants on duty are strictly corrected. The province asked the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade for permits to allow miners to export low Fe-content iron ores to deal with difficulties. And, the province approved this request.
Given limited State budgets for investment, to help businesses to develop and expand investment opportunities, the province used its budgets and mobilised other sources to invest in basic social and economic infrastructure in Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone, Lang Son City, border gate areas, towns, rural areas, and border areas.
Investment, trade and tourism promotion programmes were also accelerated. Training programmes for business executives and employees also had positive results.