After 30 years of development, industrial zones and economic zones in Hai Phong City have powered socioeconomic development and basically fulfilled its responsibility of laying the foundation for FDI attraction, employment, export growth and urbanization. The city has gradually built sea-facing industrial urban areas, high-tech parks, and an international-class seaport and logistics system.
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Magnets to investment flows
Hai Phong Economic Zones Authority (HEZA) was established in 1993. After 30 years of development, HEZA has formed 14 industrial parks covering 6,080 ha, which have an average occupancy rate of over 61%, and the 22,540-ha Dinh Vu - Cat Hai Economic Zone with synchronously invested, constructed and developed industrial parks, urban areas, commercial centers, seaports and logistics centers of world class. HEZA has licensed nearly 800 investment projects in economic zones and industrial parks, including 503 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with US$25 billion USD and remaining domestic direct investment (DDI) projects with US$13.2 billion. Hai Phong ranked 6th in the country and 2nd in the north in investment attraction.
From 2020 to now, the city has attracted over US$11 billion of investment capital, including nearly US$3 billion in the first nine months of 2023, higher than the yearly plan.
The business investment environment continues to improve and create solid confidence for investors, making Hai Phong a top-choice investment destination for giant multinational corporations. Industrial parks and economic zones have created stable full-time jobs for nearly 200,000 workers (accounting for two-thirds of total workers in the city) whose average monthly income is VND10.2 million, 1.46 times higher than the national median.
In the economic zone, two worker housing areas were constructed to provide accommodations for nearly 5,000 experts and workers, and two more with nearly 8,000 apartments were to be built for 26,000 residents by 2025. The Party Committee at HEZA has been upgraded with five affiliated Party Committees and 863 members.
After 30 years of development, HEZA has affirmed its position, role and growing contribution to the city's development, especially in industrialization, modernization, urbanization, international economic integration, employment, budget payment and export-import value.
Expectations for the new era
Compared to other localities, Hai Phong City is endowed with a lot of advantages for socioeconomic development. To become a leading national and international marine economic center in Southeast Asia and a driving force for Northern development, the city will adopt innovative solutions, consistent with new trends, to develop its industrial parks and economic zones in the coming time.
Regarding industrial and economic zone development orientations, HEZA will seek new industrial and economic zone models. Accordingly, the authority will focus on fostering the development of ecological industrial parks and green industrial parks, including high-tech and innovation hubs.
Currently, the city is working on a project for development of South Hai Phong Economic Zone where the core free trade zone will unlock maritime economic strengths to meet domestic and international economic integration requirements. The Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) appreciated this new, enterprising and visionary approach. The ministry will coordinate with relevant bodies to research, evaluate, appraise and submit the project to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision. In the coming time, MPI will coordinate closely with the city to provide the most favorable conditions for industrial parks and economic zones across the country, including those in Hai Phong City, to develop quickly, sustainably and effectively.
HEZA Director Le Trung Kien said: In the new development era, HEZA continues to reinforce and promote its role as a locomotive, a main driving force in leading the current development of Dinh Vu - Cat Hai Economic Zone; coordinate with relevant agencies to make more efforts to establish Hai Phong South Economic Zone - a central strategy of the city, revise the master plan for construction of Dinh Vu - Cat Hai Economic Zone and construction of new industrial parks. HEZA must be the backbone in the city’s growth model and economic restructuring based on three main pillars: High-tech industry, seaport - logistics and tourism - trade; and become a new driving force and a new resource for the development of the city as well as the Red River Delta region.
In addition, HEZA continues to entice new large-scale, high-tech projects in global value chains that uphold four major approaches: Quality, performance, sustainable development and commitments to technology transfer and expertise; gradually build a circular ecosystem for FDI firms and local companies; propose policies to strongly improve the business investment environment to facilitate investors to work well in accordance with Vietnamese laws and international conventions.
The authority will collaborate with businesses, especially FDI firms, in training and developing human resources and focus on building social housing to meet workers’ needs.
The authority will strengthen its cooperation with relevant agencies and localities to speed up site clearance, and build transportation infrastructure systems to industrial parks and urban areas hubs to ensure safety, convenience, economy and efficiency for investors. Core projects include Nam Do Son Port, an airport construction investment project in Tien Lang district, Tan Vu - Lach Huyen Bridge and Road 2 and Ninh Binh - Hai Phong Expressway.
“We will pay special attention to building and enforcing coordination regulations in State management between HEZA and other agencies to speed up decentralization and authorization for better service to businesses and investors seeking to invest in industrial parks and economic zones, expecting to create one contact point for all projects,” Kien emphasized.
By Ngoc Tung, Vietnam Business Forum