Turning Industrial Parks into Development Engines

9:59:07 AM | 9/8/2022

While attracting investment capital into industrial zones, Can Tho City is pushing the plan to establish the 500-ha Mekong Delta Center for Agricultural Cooperation, Production, Processing and Consumption to draw more investment funds, turn industrial zones into a true driving force of the city's development in the coming time. Mr. Pham Duy Tin, Director of the Can Tho Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority, gives our reporter an interview on this matter.

Could you please briefly introduce industrial zones in Can Tho City?

Can Tho City is a centrally governed first-grade urban area, a center and an important traffic hub of the Mekong Delta region. Can Tho City-based industrial zones are planned along the southern bank of the Hau River in parallel with National Highway 91 from Can Tho to An Giang province and a different route from Can Tho to Soc Trang province. So, this is convenient for tenants in industrial zones to run their business.

By mid-2022, Can Tho had six active industrial zones: Tra Noc I (130.84 ha); Tra Noc II (157.76 ha), Hung Phu 1 (262.38 ha), Hung Phu 2A (134 ha), Hung Phu 2B (67.27 ha) and Thot Not (106.96 ha).

The industrial zones have a combined area of 859 ha, including 569 ha of rentable industrial land, of which 394 ha was leased, reaching an occupancy rate of 69%. Can Tho also has two industrial zones approved by the Prime Minister to be added to the Vietnam Industrial zone Development Plan, including O Mon Industrial Park (500 ha) and Vinh Thanh Industrial Park (900 ha).

By June 2022, Can Tho-based industrial zones housed 256 valid projects with a total registered capital of US$1.794 billion, of which 64.67% or US$1.16 billion was disbursed. In 2021, tenants in the industrial zones made total revenue of US$2.044 billion, paid VND1,800 billion in taxes and created jobs for 43,000 workers, including 20,000 workers hired by FDI enterprises.

How have you supported tenants in industrial zones and export processing zones?

We have supported enterprises to bolster their business operations. Besides further informing legal regulations on investment, construction, fire prevention and the environment, we have accelerated administrative reform and information technology application to facilitate businesses.

Specifically, we have completed adopting ISO 9001: 2015 quality management system; stepped up information technology (IT) application to effectively carry out IT application projects; successfully integrated all administrative procedures of Level 3 and Level 4; and implemented online payment of two administrative procedures at the National Public Service Portal.

Reforming administrative procedures and applying the electronic single-window software has helped solve work quickly and efficiently and reduce time and costs for businesses. We have also built a website to promote investment online, provide information on mechanisms and policies to support and remove difficulties for businesses as well as information on domestic and export markets, thus enhancing corporate competitiveness in international economic integration.

During the COVID-19 pandemic time, we actively coordinated with relevant agencies, Can Tho Center for Disease Control and Prevention and district-level People's Committees to inspect and guide pandemic prevention measures to each business, helping ensure safe production and business activities.

We also established a working group responsible for supporting businesses to deal with their emerging difficulties. Its members are tasked to work together with every enterprise to promptly help them tackle their difficulties and facilitate them to stabilize their production operations. In addition, we took good care of workers.

Resolution 45/2022/QH15 on piloting several specific mechanisms and policies for Can Tho City development is opening up development opportunities for industrial zones. Would you concretize relevant contents?

Clause 1, Article 4 of Resolution 45/2022/QH15 states that “The Municipal People's Council decides changes of the purpose of using land for wet rice cultivation from two crops or more with an area of less than 500 ha as authorized by the Prime Minister, consistent with the master plan on land use approved by competent authorities”. This content will help investment projects in building and operating industrial park infrastructure more conveniently and speeding up the change of land-use purpose for 2-crop rice land.

Article 07 of Resolution 45/2022/QH15 on dredging Dinh An - Can Tho Canal to remove waterway traffic “bottlenecks” for commodity import and export. When Dinh An - Can Tho flow works smoothly, it will open up opportunities to develop logistics services and attract key projects. This is a condition for Can Tho to attract VSIP to develop and operate the infrastructure of Vinh Thanh Industrial Park. At the same time, many investors have shown their keen interest in investment opportunities in industrial parks. Can Tho Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority has actively supported and provided information for them to learn and carry out necessary procedures.

Article 8 of Resolution 45/2022/QH15 on the development of the Mekong Delta Center for Agricultural Cooperation, Production, Processing and Consumption in Can Tho City is expected to attract many investment projects of technology research and application, production and processing, service and export of agricultural and aquatic products. Companies investing in the center will be entitled to many tax incentives and land rent exemptions to create opportunities for Can Tho to attract more investors.

The Mekong Delta Center for Agricultural Cooperation, Production, Processing and Consumption in Can Tho City is expected to strongly foster the industry and economy of Can Tho in the future. As the Deputy Director of the Working Group of the Municipal People's Committee, what do you think about this?

Resolution 45/2022/QH15 includes the Mekong Delta Center for Agricultural Cooperation, Production, Processing and Consumption in Can Tho City. This is a new and challenging task but also a great development opportunity for Can Tho in the coming time.

To materialize the above policy, the City People's Committee issued a decision to establish a working group to advise on the implementation of center mechanisms and policies and to support the formulation of the center establishment project; introduced plans and assigned specific tasks to related departments and agencies to implement them.

As the Deputy Director of the Working Group, we advised the Director of the Working Group and the City People's Committee to direct relevant departments and agencies to urgently implement approved plans with the highest sense of responsibility in order to put the resolution into practice soon. By June 2022, the progress of implementing the resolution was basically completed (although slower than the plan): Approving the project on the center establishment, a draft decision detailing regulations on the center establishment, organization and operation to submit it to the Prime Minister for consideration and approval; drafting a decision on promulgation of the Working Group's regulations and sent it to relevant departments and agencies for comment. In June 2022, it will be submitted to the City People's Committee (Director of the Working Group) to issue the official regulations on center operations.

The center establishment is expected to bring practical effects to stabilize output and increase the value of agricultural products of the Mekong Delta. The early operation of the Center will strengthen connectivity among localities and between producers and enterprises in production, preservation, processing and consumption, thus helping stabilize output and improve the value chain of agricultural products.

Can Tho City is committed to supporting and facilitating investors to start their business with the center for a long time. The city also proposes more mechanisms and policies and properly implements incentives for them to operate effectively.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum