Nghe An Worthy to Be Capital of Northern Central Vietnam

3:48:31 PM | 2/3/2015

To explore investment potential and opportunities in Nghe An province, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Dr Doan Duy Khuong, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), on this topic. Le Minh reports.
How do you assess investment opportunities in Nghe An now? What is Nghe An's appeal to investors?
Nghe An province targets to attract VND100 trillion of investment capital from 2015 to 2020, half of which will come from foreign investors.
Nghe An province has attracted 249 projects with total registered capital of VND51,016 billion since 2011 in the face of economic slowdown. Many projects have large scale and modern technologies like livestock and dairy processing projects, BSE electronics production plant (South Korea), mobile phone speaker production project, garment and accessory projects, MDF fireboard production project, high-tech projects, and TH pharmaceutical production project. Many operational projects have effectively contributed to local economic restructuring and created a ripple effect on the local economy; stimulating investment resources, promoting technological innovation and transfer, and accelerating the development of service industries like banking, insurance, counselling and employment services to gradually form key industries of the province. At the same time, they have created a new budget source and generated many jobs for local workers.
Currently, Nghe An has a high investment demand for agriculture, forestry, fishery and industry - potential sectors of the province. Due to limited capital, the province’s internal resources fail to be brought into full play.
As the Vice President of VCCI, a representative of the business community, what do you think about Nghe An province’s efforts to improve its business environment and attract investment capital sources?
I appreciate Nghe An’s changes to improve its business environment and attract investment capital, including foreign investment and domestic investment. In 2014, the province licensed 105 investment projects with a total registered capital of VND18,522 billion, up 45.83 percent and 43.74 percent over 2013, respectively. They generated over 8,000 jobs.
Typical big projects include Hanoi - Kim Lien residential and hotel complex (VND720 billion); Lan Chau - Song Ngu ecological, villa, sports and amusement complex (VND1,969 billion) in Cua Lo Town; Thanh Thanh Dat Port (VND560 billion) in Dong Hoi Seaport; MDF production plant (VND1,908 billion) in Dong Nam Economic Zone; Ma San food project (VND1,200 billion), Hoa Sen steel sheet plant (VND2,300 billion), Nguyen Kim Supermarket (VND550 billion), and Vingroup (VND2,392 billion).
The province has specific plans for investment fields; creates favourable conditions for investors to explore investment opportunities; and creates clear land funds and introduces land rent, labour training and input supply policies for investment projects.
In 2015, Nghe An targets to raise its provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and stand in the Top 30.
Besides, Nghe An will reshuffle operations of investment promotion agencies to enhance their professionalism and efficiency to better serve investors exploring investment opportunities and performing investment procedures in the province.
What is your opinion about Nghe An province’s ability to improve PCI?
Nghe An province has implemented many measures to improve its investment environment with the desire to become an attractive, safe and effective destination for businesses and investors.
According to businesses, one remarkable achievement of Nghe An province has been raising its civil servants' service capacity and accountability. Particularly, the dynamism of provincial leaders is highly appreciated for their determination and willingness to roll out the "red carpet" to welcome investors.
Over the years, Nghe An has always tried to improve its business climate, economic management quality and administrative reform efforts. The province’s PCI increased from 49.76 points in 2007 to 54.36 points in 2012 and 55.83 points in 2013. Five out of nine component indices increased over 2012, showing Nghe An's improvements in administrative procedures, access to land, business support service, labour training, legal institution and dynamism, and addressed troublesome costs facing businesses performing their duties to the State. It showed the effort and suppleness of provincial leaders in creating a favourable business environment for companies to do business in the province and resolve new emerging problems.
These efforts have been translated into good investment attraction results in the past time, reflected by increasing investment projects and scales year after year.
Can you name some successful investors in Nghe An province?
Successes in Nghe An are numerous. VCCI is a bridge to bring many businesses to Nghe An to do business, and there are many big projects.
For example, in October 2014, Hoa Sen Group (HSG) started construction on Hoa Sen Nghe An Steel Sheet Plant in Nam Cam Industrial Zone in Dong Nam Economic Zone, Nghe An province.
The project is invested by Hoa Sen Nghe An Steel Sheet Co., Ltd. The 12-ha plant comprises three investment stages, started in September 2014 and completed in August 2018. Costing more than VND2,300 billion, the project is expected to create jobs for about 500 employees.
Earlier, in July 2014, the Nghe An Provincial People's Committee proposed that the Government adjust the development plan for Dong Nam Economic Zone and serve the investment of Becamex IDC.
Becamex IDC invested up to VND3 trillion in the first phase to build the 1,475-ha Becamex - Nghe An industrial, urban and service zone, of which 725 ha is inside the economic zone and 750 ha is outside the economic zone.