Investment Attraction in Hai Duong: Not Just a Slogan

4:14:59 PM | 3/9/2015

Hai Duong province has so far licensed 299 foreign investment projects with a total registered capital of US$6,676.2 million from 24 countries and territories, including 153 projects with US$3,284.2 million in industrial parks and 146 projects with US$3,392 million outside industrial parks. The province will continue to improve its investment and business environment, enhance the provincial competitiveness index (PCI), and draw investors to do business in the locality. What the province does is ‘not just a slogan,’ said Mr Vuong Duc Sang, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Hai Duong. Thuy Vu reports.
Could you briefly introduce some remarkable results in investment attraction in the province?
Hai Duong province achieved good results in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in the first months of 2015. Foreign investors were estimated to disburse a total of US$3,050 million and employ over 142,000 full-time workers, in addition to thousands of other indirect workers. Newly-licensed projects are engaged in footwear, engine parts and metal structure, invested by investors from Hong Kong, South Korea and Brunei.
In the first six months of this year, the licensed FDI value was US$294.4 million, equal to 74.9 percent of the same period last year (US$393.3 million). Although the fresh capital decreased from the same period of 2014, the FDI capital added by existing projects rose 60.8 percent year on year. This proved that investors became more comfortable and confident with the local investment environment.
Investors have actively carried out their licensed projects and brought them into effective operation. Typical projects include Facific Textile (US$303.4 million), Tinh Loi 2 Project invested by Tinh Loi Textile Co., Ltd (US$60 million), and a footwear production factory invested by Regina Miracle Group (US$88 million). Meanwhile, Toyo Denso Vietnam Ltd and Brother Vietnam Ltd added US$31 million and US$35 million to their projects, respectively.
Additionally, in the first six months of this year, the province granted 447 business start-ups, an increase of 113 units from the same period of last year, while corporate bankruptcies declined. So far, the province has 7,853 enterprises with a combined registered capital of VND50,059.3 billion.
You have said that Hai Duong province saw an increase in additional FDI capital of existing projects, but a decline in registered capital of new projects. Why?
There are many reasons behind the decrease in new FDI capital. The past economic crisis made investors and businesses more cautious with new investment. Subjectively, Hai Duong province also has some limitations like insufficient infrastructure, particularly industrial zone infrastructure; slow settlement of administrative procedures, especially procedures for site clearance, land lease and land allocation to investors; ineffective coordination of investment promotion agencies and some countries; insufficient skilled labour; and sluggish settlement of difficulties and problems of enterprises.
In recent years, Hai Duong province has paid more attention to criteria of investors, streamlined investment project appraisal, and removed substandard investment projects in Hai Duong province. However, the province is yet to attract big corporations with great influence on local socioeconomic development.
Nowadays, provinces and cities are smarter in selecting investors and investment fields towards "green and smart investment" to minimise environmental impacts. So, how has Hai Duong province selected investors and investment fields for the coming time?
Hai Duong has officially announced the list of projects calling for investment capital and pausing investment attraction in 2015. Accordingly, the province has suspended attracting investment capital for six fields: Textile dyeing; leather and footwear production and related products; synthetic resin, composite, paper and rubber production; construction material production like cement, brick, lime and roofing tiles using asbestos; chemical production; and mineral production.
Together with announcing six fields suspending investment attraction, the province also issued a list of 41 projects calling for investment capital, including six industrial and construction projects, two transport projects, and seven medical and education projects. The list will help domestic and foreign investors when they explore investment opportunities in the province. However, the list is only directional. Investors can choose projects not in the list.
What solutions has the province introduced to help investors feel at ease when doing business in the province?
Implementing the Government’s Resolution 19/NQ-CP dated March 12, 2015 on tasks and solutions on improving the business environment and enhancing competitiveness, Hai Duong province continued to issue action plans to improve the local business and investment environment and enhance the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) in 2015-2016 and subsequent years to build up and maintain the image of dynamic and attractive Hai Duong which always makes every effort to make breakthroughs and create competitiveness. To achieve these goals, the province has launched a lot of solutions as follows:
Firstly, the province accelerates administrative procedure reform. This is very important to investors in the province. Hai Duong reviews existing legal documents to make prompt amendments and supplements to avoid replication and overlapping, shorten the time required for settling administrative procedures, apply the single-window mechanism, especially for procedures concerning land granting, site clearance, asset valuation, tax declaration and payment, customs clearance and work permit granting to foreigners.
Secondly, Hai Duong intensifies information technology application to administrative procedure settlement like electronic transactions and websites to help investors and business reduce time and expenses for handling procedures relating to tax and customs. The province publicises all administrative procedures for business to easily follow and make timely adjustments.
Thirdly, the province raises awareness of responsibility and discipline, strengths working style and manner of civil servants in State agencies, fully and seriously implements functions, duties and responsibilities assigned, and create dynamic and responsible people. Any acts of hampering businesses will be strictly handled.
Fourthly, the province timely resolves difficulties and problems, especially those relating to capital source, for investors to feel assured when they do business in the province. Currently, Hai Duong has successfully cooperated with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and credit institutions to ensure sufficient capital supply for enterprises. Provincial authorities host meetings with businesses every six months or one year to promptly grasp their thoughts and aspirations, settle their issues and listen to their opinions for a better investment and business environment.
Fifthly, the province organises investment and trade promotion programmes in 2015, supports farmers to sell their products like lychee and vegetables in the local market and for export, and encourages local consumers to use made-in-Vietnam products.
Sixthly, Hai Duong continues to improve the management and administration efficiency of all tiers of government and regulate budget expenditures towards saving and efficiency.