Hau Giang ProvinceDrawing Investment Capital into Industrial Parks

3:43:07 PM | 2/3/2007

The agriculture-reliant Hau Giang Province has a population of some 800,000 people, including up to 50,000 people with unstable employment. In the coming years, Hau Giang will rapidly develop its industrial and handicraft sectors to create jobs for these people and increase local living standards. 
Hau Giang holds great potential in agriculture with an annual output of one million tonnes of rice, 1.3 million tonnes sugar cane and 10,000 tonnes of pineapple. Recently, the province has been developing trademarks for key farm products and is planning the expansion of 500-ha orchards and 200-ha aquaculture areas. These will be abundant material sources for the processing industry. Besides, Hau Giang Province has more than 2,605 industrial and handicraft production units employing 20,000 labourers. The processing industry is the backbone of the industrial sector. The rice processing industry can handle more than one million tonnes a year, sugar processing industry, more than 60,000 tonnes and aquatic processing industry, 19,000 tonnes.
In 2003, the former Can Tho Province ratified a project to build 24.6-ha industrial and handicraft centre in Phu Hiep Town, including 13 ha for industrial purposes. The location is near Phung Hiep River and National Road 1A, providing easy access to transport systems. After splitting from former Can Tho Province, Hau Giang continued developing this project. Vi Thanh Industry and Handicraft Complex is under quick construction. To date, major roads leading to the complex have been basically completed and the electricity grid has reached key points. Mr Le Hoang Tho, Director of Vi Thanh Industry and Handicraft Complex said 12 companies have registered for leasing 25 ha, accounting for 65.7 per cent of land for industrial purposes. The Vi Thanh Industry and Handicraft Complex is open to expansion but currently covers 52.5 ha, including 38 ha for industrial purposes, cost VND120 billion for construction. To date, the project has completed more than 70 per cent of infrastructure construction. The management unit is asking for expansion of 30 ha in order to meet the leasing demand by investors. By October 2004, Hau Giang Province set up Tan Phu Thanh Industrial Complex covering 224.18 ha. By late 2006, more than 32 investors registered for leasing 121 ha in this complex.
In 2005, the province advocated a policy to build a key 578.79-ha industrial park, including 290.79 ha in the first phase. Initially, this park attracted seven investors. Mr Pham Thanh Binh, General Director of Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) thought, with its favourable advantages such as adjacency to Can Tho City, Hau River, Nam Song Can Tho Road and Can Tho Bridge, this industrial park would be an ideal destination for investors. In the short term, Vinashin registered for 100 ha and kicked off construction on its factories in late 2006.
However, Mr Chau Ngoc Triem, Deputy Director of Department of Industry and Director of Hau Giang Industrial Zone Authority, said moving through the stages from planning to housing investors is a difficult process, even though the province holds great potential and advantages. The hardest difficulty is site clearance and building investment. Other hardships lie in cumbersome paper work. Hau Giang is focusing its efforts to resolve these difficulties. Mr Tran Quoc Thanh, Director of Department of Industry added, to resolve capital difficulties his department is concentrating on several measures like taking full use of state-funded and local budgets, and bank loans. The department is determined to speed up the construction of infrastructure systems in approved industrial zones.
The quick development of industrial zones and complexes will help Hau Giang attract investment capital and make a breakthrough in industrial development. However, apart from central government supports, Hau Giang also needs to apply a more dynamic investment attraction mechanism with special treatment policies to draw more investors to exploit the potential of Mekong Delta province.
Hoang Tho