The Hanoitimes - Industrial and processing zones in Ho Chi Minh City has so far attracted nearly 1,500 projects worth US$10 billion, the city’s Export Processing Zones and Industrial Parks Authority (Hepza) announced on January 18.
Among the total, 564 projects are invested by foreign firms, valuing at US$5.6 billion, and 931 projects worth more than US$4.2 billion belong to Vietnamese firms.
Last year alone, export processing zones (EPZ) and industrial parks (IP) of the country’s economic hub lured more than US$840 million, increasing 68 percent against 2016 and also surpassing the yearly target of 68 percent.
More than 60 per cent of the projects was targeted in four technology-oriented industries — food processing, chemical-rubber, mechanical, and information technology and supporting.
Hapza hopes to attract new investment worth US$900 million in 2018
Dao Xuan Duc, deputy head of Hepza, said simplification of administrative procedures related to investment, labor and construction in the city including Hepza helped attract investments last year.
“Investors and enterprises have seen progress in [streamlining] procedures, so they continued their investment and many of them increased their investment.”
Investment by domestic companies was higher than foreign direct investment last year, he said, describing it as a “new thing.”
This year Hepza would continue to reform administrative procedures, he promised, adding that it hopes to attract new investment worth US$900 million in 2018.
Hepza is working with the city’s Department of Science and Technology to deploy IT in investment and information management, he said.
The city plans to set up a facility in Binh Chanh District mostly for start-ups, he said.
Also this year, Hepza will continue to provide assistance to companies in the city’s industrial parks and export processing zones like introducing them to a city program that helps them invest in various sectors and pointing to labor sources.
It will co-operate with relevant agencies to resolve strikes in time to avoid adverse effects on the investment environment besides safeguarding the benefits of workers in EPZs and IP.
Ho Chi Minh City now has 17 EPZs and IPs in operation with a total area of more than 2,570 hectares.
Under a plan released late last year, Ho Chi Minh City targeted to have 23 green and high-tech EPZs and IPs in an area of roughly 6,000 hectares by 2020. The zones will attract some US$6-8 billion of investment capital during 2016-2025
Nguyen Hoang Nang, Head of Hepza, said that the city would transfer existing zones into green, clean and hi-tech ones by 2025 and developing new hi-tech zones for part-supplying industries.
Priority would be given to investments of existing investors into hi-tech development, 4.0 industry technologies and part-supplying industry which would generate high added value.
According to experts, while the city’s empty land is exhausting, it is critical to improve the efficiency of land use to lower land leases.
Besides, experts said that to attract large-scale and hi-tech investments, the city needed to prepare the human resources with knowledge and skills meeting investors’ demand.
The city also needed to hasten the administrative reform, improving the transport infrastructure system and logistics services.
Besides, it is also necessary to enhance linkage with others in the city as well as with other zones in the southern region, they said.