Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority: Wholeheartedly Supporting the Business

4:08:13 PM | 1/10/2018

In recent years, industrial zones and border gate economic zones have achieved an impressive makeover in both quality and quantity. This success is considerably contributed to by the Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority. Nearly 10 years siding with construction and development of industrial zones and export processing zones in the province, the authority has been highly appreciated by investors for its wholehearted support for enterprises. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr Tran Van Tan, Deputy Director of the Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority. Cong Luan reports.

Could you please introduce some outstanding results that the Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority achieved in State management and endeavoured to overcome hardships in business support in the past nearly 10 years?
At present, Dong Thap province is home to industrial parks (Sa Dec, Song Hau and Tran Quoc Toan) and one border gate economic zone (including two international border gates of Thuong Phuoc and Dinh Ba). Local industrial and economic zones have attracted four investment projects with a total registered capital of VND154 billion (US$6.6 million) and US$1 million since early 2018, totalling 61 projects with VND5,178 billion (US$220 million) and US$109.9 million. The average occupancy rate of active industrial zones is 94.5 per cent.

Recently, the Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority drafted and submitted a decision to the Provincial People’s Committee on order and procedures for project deployment in industrial and economic zones for investors with the main goal of reducing the time limit for settling investment registration procedures at industrial parks from 15 days (according to central regulations) to five days. This helps reduce travel and time costs for businesses.

Administrative reform and procedural simplification are also leading concerns of the authority. Every year, we review and reform current administrative procedures under our jurisdiction to timely update, adjust and reduce the duration needed to settle procedures for investors. We apply electronic administrative procedure settlement and provide more than 20 per cent of public services at Level 3 and Level 4. In addition, the authority is sticking to ISO 9001: 2008 standards in handling administrative procedures to minimise errors.

At the same time, following the guideline of the Provincial People’s Committee: “The government sides with the business,” the Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority always strives to support and solve emerging obstacles faced by investors, from the first contact to later work, like access to land, investor advice for best locations in industrial and economic zones, investor recommendations to support policies, labour supply and procedures. When there is any case beyond the jurisdiction, the authority will coordinate with relevant bodies to propose solutions to such case or promptly report it to the Provincial People’s Committee for resolution. We always try to create favourable conditions and serve investors when they invest in Dong Thap province.

How has the infrastructure system in industrial and economic zones been invested in the past time? How has the investment been supplemented to attract investors every year?
At present, the infrastructure system in the industrial parks is basically completed to meet investor needs. National and provincial roads connected to industrial parks are being constructed or upgraded to ensure better cargo transportation. Every year, the maintenance of infrastructure systems in industrial zones is always monitored by investors and timely addressed in case of damage or degradation. At present, two-thirds of industrial zones have wastewater treatment plants and the authority is submitting to the Provincial People’s Committee for approval the second-phase infrastructure project at Song Hau Industrial Park to proceed with the wastewater treatment plant and complete some other infrastructure items there.

Particularly in border gate economic zones, technical infrastructure development investment has always been focused on by the province. Completed key technical infrastructure items include the road to Dinh Ba International Border Gate (Road No. 1), the road to the Dinh Ba Resettlement Area and Industrial Zone (Road No. 3), the road to the Dinh Ba Wharf (Road No. 2), the control station at the Dinh Ba International Border Gate and Dinh Ba Market. Therefore, the infrastructure system has been clearly defined and is ready to invite investors.

Annually, the Dong Thap Economic Zones Authority devises and submits to the Provincial People’s Committee for approval of infrastructure investment plans and budget estimations for Dinh Ba and Thuong Phuoc international border gates. The total budget was VND159 billion since 2013. According to the approved plan, from 2018 to 2020, the authority will commence construction on the second-phase Dong Thap Border Gate Economic Zone Infrastructure Project at Thong Binh and Binh Phu secondary border gates at a total cost of VND132 billion.

To increase investment capital, particularly big projects, each locality must have strategic, sustainable industrial park development plans. How about Dong Thap province? Do you think this is a core factor to enhance investment attraction into local industrial and economic zones?
I personally think that development planning for industrial parks and border gate economic zones plays a very important role in investment attraction. In this work, the province always attaches it to socioeconomic development planning, defines suitable industries and projects with local socioeconomic development conditions to ensure strategic sustainability like meeting local short-and long-term input supply sources, utility infrastructure and human resources.

In my opinion, to improve the outcome of investment attraction into local industrial and economic zones, strategic and sustainable planning is not enough, because we know that Dong Thap province does not have as many comparative advantages as other localities. For that reason, we effectively realised the guideline stressed by the Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee at the 7th meeting of the Provincial People’s Council: “Eagerness to learn, readiness to change, administrative response and consensus of the whole system; sense of responsibility and working attitude of public officials and employees are invisible values!” Indeed, many potential investors show that they care for these more than tangible assets.

Thank you very much!