Central province sets new course for investment attraction

Thursday, Mar 07, 2019 08:12

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre) witnesses a co-operation deal between Quang Ngai Province and Hoa Phat Group at an investment promotion conference in the province. VNS Photo Tu Truc

Despite reaching US$1 billion in annual revenue and recording 9.6 per cent growth, the central province of Quang Ngai was facing a series of challenges due to unstable socio-economic development, small scale investment, slow economic structure change, an unskilled labour force and poor urban development.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the statement at an investment promotion conference in the central province yesterday, stating that poor households still accounted for 22 per cent - a high ratio compared to other provinces.

Phuc said the province had yet to promote its investment environment while its provincial competitiveness index (CPI) ranked 41st among 64 provinces.

He said the provincial economic structure relied too heavily on the oil refinery industry, while the private sector and household businesses were not contributing to provincial economic growth.

The PM also applauded the province’s efforts on the 30th anniversary of re-establishment of Quang Ngai Province since it was merged with Binh Dinh Province in the name of the former Nghia Binh Province 30 years ago.

Phuc expressed his happiness that top investors had flocked to the conference seeking investment opportunities, and he also witnessed investment licences granted to 15 projects worth VND14.54 trillion ($643 million).

“Quang Ngai has great potential for rapid growth in terms of strategic position with its 130km coastline and favourable road, railway, seaport and airport connections. The province was only 30km from Chu Lai Airport and one hour from Da Nang international Airport,” Phuc said.

“The Dung Quat Economic Zone was one of five key zones in Viet Nam the Government has offered the best preferences to in terms of infrastructure development. Dung Quat deep sea port could allow access to ships with 100,000 DWT(Deadweight tonnage),” he said.

He added that the province had a smooth connection with the East-West Economic Corridors linking Thailand, Laos and Myanmar through the Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway.

Phuc said the province should improve administrative reforms and promote transparency as well as speed up procedures for investors.

A corner of the Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP). Quang Ngai and VSIP Quang Ngai have invested more than US$700 million in creating infrastructure for investors flocking to the province. VNS Photo Quynh Thanh

Quang Ngai should be leading the way in management to ensure stable economic growth, while improving the control and management of pollution and plastic waste.

At the conference, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee Tran Ngoc Cang said the province had attracted 581 projects with total investment of $12 billion, of which foreign direct investment had reached $1.8 billion,

He said the province had called for investment in hi-tech farming, seafood processing, sea ports and logistics at the Dung Quat Economic Zone and 18 other industrial parks.

General director of the Korean Trading and Investment Agency (KOTRA) Lee Sungny Ung said investment in six central provinces from Quang Binh to Kon Tum was only 10 per cent of the total Korean investment in Viet Nam.

He said Viet Nam and Quang Ngai had the chance to speed up investment amid the ongoing US-China trade war.

Lee said KOTRA had been building a bridge to bring Vietnamese and Korean investors closer than ever before in the 26 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

General director of Hoa Phat Dung Quat Tran Tuan Duong said it had registered six projects in logistics, sea ports, steel and an iron complex in the Dung Quat Economic Zone.

Duong said the group had urged the province to increase steel production capacity from 5 million tonnes per year to nine million tonnes.

Gil Farias, general director of Hoya Lens Viet Nam under Hoya Corporation Japan, said Quang Ngai’s Dung Quat Economic Zone was the second site in Viet Nam it had invested in.

He said the company had poured $138 million in the province, and expected to start production of medical ware and healthcare service products this November.

He said the company would produce 130 million products per year and employ 2,500 local workers to supply the global market from the Quang Ngai-based plant.

Anthony Tan, general director of the Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), said it had invested more than $700 million in VSIP Quang Ngai since 2013 to create infrastructure space for investors flocking to the province.

The province was a favourite destination for Korean Heavy Industries Doosan Vina, which has poured more than $300 million into the locality since 2009.

Last year, six new investors from Korea – Kwang Jin Vietnam; Samshin Valve Vina; Wookwang Viet Nam; Yoobong Vina; Hanbit P&L Vina and Nasan Electric Industries – commenced construction of factories covering 6.5ha with total investment of more than $11 million in the Dung Quat Economic Zone.

These projects should act as the first support and service industry facilities in the central province, providing industrial equipment and facilities for foreign investors in the Dung Quat Economic Zone and nationwide, as well as for export.

The six plants are designed to produce industrial steel valves, boiler tubing, spring suspension and metal pipe support, freight services and warehousing, customs clearance, storage and delivery, packaging and manufacturing and electrical control.

It’s expected that 80,000 components and 400,000 tonnes of equipment will be produced by these factories for domestic use and export.

Head of Dung Quat Economic Zone's management board Nguyen Minh Tai said the new projects would create more jobs for local people and economic growth for the province.

Also yesterday, the province commenced construction of the Tra Khuc Dam to serve water management and irrigation with total investment of VND1.5 trillion ($66.4 million) — VNS

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