Chu Lai EZ clears the way for investors

Friday, Oct 16, 2015 10:37

In the first six months of this year, the EZA has drawn FDI projects worth more than $150 million, a 150 per cent increase in comparison with 2013-14. — Photo ndh

QUANG NAM (Biz Hub) – Positive measures such as the development of infrastructure and administrative reforms are seen as key factors that attracted investors to the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone over the past decade.

Director of Chu Lai Open Economic Zone Authority (EZA) Do Xuan Dien told Viet Nam News that quick land clearances and administrative reforms have persuaded investors to pour money into the economic zone.

The 32,400ha zone has 109 investment projects, of which 29 are FDI projects with a combined registered capital of more than US$1.52 billion. Sixty-six projects, worth more than $837 million, are in operation, creating 12,000 jobs for the local people.

In the first six months of this year, the EZA has drawn FDI projects worth more than $150 million, a 150 per cent increase in comparison with 2013-14.

Overall, the zone has drawn $252.47 million in FDI projects.

Investment projects in the zone contributed VND5.3 trillion ($252.3 million) to the local state budget last year, accounting for 64.1 per cent of Quang Nam Province's budgetary income.

"It's a significant figure in terms of foreign investment this year. Two Korean companies – Panko Tam Thang and Duck San Vina – and the Hirdaramani Group from Sri Lanka are investing $130 million in garment and textile projects," Dien said.

"This resulted from good planning and the development of infrastructure as well as quick administrative procedures by introducing a one-stop shop in the zone," he said.

"We offer infrastructure readiness for investors, such as waste treatment, apartments and link roads to national highways as well as support in human resource training," he said, adding that investors came just to build factories.

He said VND300 billion ($14.3 million) was being invested in infrastructure development annually.

"Investors in the zone will be supported with human resources training at the Vocational Training College in the Chu Lai-Truong Hai Industrial Complex, which can train 8,000 skilled workers," he said.

The managing board of the EZA assigned a team to help investors with investment licences, land certificates, wastewater treatment and power issues, besides legal assistance and banking operations at the site. Investors can get investment licences and planning certificates within a week.

A 41km, four-lane coastal road, connecting the provincial capital of Tam Ky City and Hoi An, is likely to be ready by the end of this year.

The Truong Hai Automobile Company invested US$400 million to build the Chu Lai-Truong Hai Industrial Complex – which has the first logistics centre, car production factories, a sea port and storage system, besides a shipping service -- in the zone.

The Tan Hiep Phat Group also invested $400 million to develop a new seaport and industrial park over an area of 350ha.

Sea ports

The province invested VND825 billion ($39 million) to dredge two main ports of Tam Hiep and Ky Ha, to help cargo ships with a capacity of 10,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) and 20,000 DWT reach them.

However, lack of direct sea routes from Quang Nam to international ports is seen as a major disadvantage for attracting investors.

Investors often pay more US$30 or $50 as the fee to transport cargo by road from Quang Nam to HCM City's ports for export, while railway and expressways are yet to meet the demand of large cargo quantities.

Chu Lai Airport plans to handle 2.3 million passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo by 2025.

Planning and Investment Vice-Minister Dang Huy Dong also said the zone needed accommodations for workers.

Pham Van Tai, vice-general director of Truong Hai Automobile Company, the country's largest car maker and the largest investor in the zone, said convenient accommodation was a vital factor for attracting investors.

"Investors in HCM City, for example, would not invest here if the living standards were behind those in HCM City," Tai said.

"However, I believe investment in accommodation should be carried out gradually, following the actual demand of investors to avoid risks," he said.

The Chu Lai Open Economic Zone authorities have been asked to develop a 10ha coastal urban and tourism area in Duy Xuyen and Thang Binh districts.

Dien said the EZA was designed for hosting textile, garment and supporting industries, besides automobiles, logistics and exports for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as investment flows from Korea and Japan.

Chu Lai EZ, which is one of five coastal economic zones in the country, in co-operation with the Korean Textile Association has drawn investment from the textile and tourism industries in Korea.

The zone also plans to open sea routes from Ky Ha to Busan, Hong Kong and Singapore in 2016-17, and to upgrade Chu Lai Airport to allow more international flights. — VNS

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