BIDV pledges loans worth $1bn to Hue investors

Monday, Aug 08, 2016 16:30

Tourists visit the Imperial Citadel in Hue. Tourism is one of key economic sectors in central Thua Thien - Hue Province. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
THUA THEN - HUE (Biz Hub) — The Bank for Investment and Development for Viet Nam (BIDV) has pledged loans worth $1 billion to those who invest in the central Thua Thien - Hue Province.

BIDV Chairman Tran Bac Ha said this at an investment conference held on August 8 in the province.

Ha also committed to give loans for economic planning. "The locality has strong natural potential, and local authorities should have good planning for tourism, services and healthcare to make these key economic sectors," he said.

According to him, the province's 590 businesses had low financial and competitive capacity, with 55 per cent of them having less than VND5 billion (US$225,000) in capital, and the remainder having less than VND1 billion (US$45,000).

The province had received a low proportion of foreign investment as well, he said.

There is strong potential to develop tourism, education and healthcare in Thua Thien - Hue, but the province's industry and agriculture are weak due to its topography, weather and labour force.

Participants at the conference said the vision of local authorities would be the key to improving the province's lacklustre economy.

"The key to attracting investment is not land, but commitment from local authorities. Their vision will change the investment environment," Nguyen Van Trung, deputy minister of planning and investment, said.

Trung said development projects that overused natural resources had gone out of fashion.

However, local authorities had ideas that were different from those of the experts at the conference.

Nguyen Van Cao, chairman of local people's committee, delivered a speech saying that the province picked tourism, the hi-tech industry and hi-tech agriculture as strategic sectors to boost the economy.

Cao said the marine economy had been developed to utilise the local Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone, but it did not attract qualified investors to cover half of the planned area since its formation in 2006.

In tourism, the province has diverse potential that no other localities in the country could compete with, including a complete set of imperial monuments and culture of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) and great natural landscapes.

But local authorities have struggled to exploit this potential.

The province is also a centre for healthcare services, with the country's best medical resources being in Hue Central Hospital and Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital.

Thousands of patients from across the country come to Hue each month for treatment and complicated surgeries. Many of them demand better services, but the locality still uses old buildings and provides slow services.

The local authority's poor reputation for site clearance and resettlement compensation also hinders investment in the province. — VNS

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