HCM CITY — The lack of a practical vision and short-sighted planning have restricted development of industrial parks (IPs) in the central region, experts say.
|Workers at Quan Ngang Industrial Zone in the central province of Quang Tri. The central area is said to face a lack of practical vision in its development of industrial zones. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau
Too many provinces in the region with the same conditions have set up identical industrial parks that have forced them to compete fiercely against each other in attracting investments, they said at a seminar in Quy Nhon City on Thursday.
The seminar was titled "Experiences in attracting investment and developing infrastructure for industrial parks."
Dr. Tran Du Lich, head of the regional consultancy group, said "the same IP has been set up in different provinces, forcing fierce competition and wasting resources."
Lich said 24 out of 42 IPs in the region have become operational, accounting for 13 per cent of the national figure. But they have attracted a low proportion of foreign direct investment at just 2.33 per cent.
He explained that many provinces have the same potential, so the investment attraction has been diffused.
Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, head of the Viet Nam Economic Institute, said a "national model" for IPs with all kinds of production activities was "very popular" and the central provinces had adopted it.
But "these IPs can't link and support each together to meet the international trend of chain production," Thien was quoted as saying by the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
Instead of focusing on the number of IPs, provinces in the region should have identified ways to be different, he said.
Chairman of the Binh Dinh People's Committee, Le Huu Loc, admitted that developing industrial production in the central province proved very difficult.
He also conceded that provinces in the region had shown no creativity in their choice of IP models.
Nguyen Duc Hai, Party secretary of Quang Nam Province, said the region lacked inter-provincial co-operation and co-ordination.
He also highlighted a failure in planning at the central level, saying ministries and concerned agencies should have identified the key strengths and advantages of each locality and steered development focus accordingly.
Dr. Lich suggested that a highway express be built from Thua Thien Hue to Khanh Hoa in order to draw the provinces closer together.
"We should discuss it together and come up with a common investment policy," suggested Party Secretary of Da Nang City Nguyen Ba Thanh.
The 42 IPs planned for the central region cover a total area of 17, 800 ha. Of these 24 with an area of 5, 430 ha have begun operations, attracting 943 projects.
In 2011, the industrial value of IPs in the central region reached VND36 trillion (US$1.8 billion) with an expert turnover of $1.2 billion, according to the regional consultancy group. The IPs created jobs for 150,000 local workers. — VNS