HCM CITY (VNS)— The year 2012 wasn't a good one for Binh Duong Province, which welcomed more than 2,000 foreign-invested projects from 36 countries.
|Bicycle tyres are produced by the Yokohama Company in the southern province of Binh Duong, which has welcomed over 2,000 foreign-invested projects this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Quach Lam
A Nhan Dan (People) newspaper report quotes Pong Kok Tian, Singapore's Consul General in HCM City, as saying it is one of the five leading provinces and cities in the country in terms of competitiveness.
The report also cites Do Nhat Hoang, director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency, as saying several positive changes effected by the provincial administration had enabled Binh Duong to take the lead in attracting FDI.
Before 1995, FDI inflows were not remarkable, but from around US$382 million, it soared in the 1996-2006 to $1.6 billion. One year later, it was $2.9 billion.
This year, despite the volatility of the domestic and global economies, FDI inflow for Binh Duong has remained high, topping the national list with $2.6 billion, higher than in HCM City.
This is an impressive result that few provinces can match, the Nhan Dan report says, adding that it reflects the dynamism of the province and its ability to attract and retain competent investors.
Binh Duong People's Committee chairman Le Thanh Cung said all doors are always open to welcome investors and workers coming to Binh Duong.
Explaining the province's success in attracting FDI, Cung said that over the past several years, Binh Duong spent thousands of billions of dong to develop its industrial and urban infrastructure. This year alone, infrastructure investment was VND3.8 trillion ($182.6 million).
Cung said infrastructure was key to promoting industrialisation and urbanisation.
While maximising its existing strong points, local authorities have paid due attention to improving local services and the quality of human resources. It also simplified administrative procedures to make it easier for investors.
Previously, Binh Duong was primarily an agricultural economy, but the industrial and service sectors dominate now.
The local traditional agricultural sector is now shifting to a high-tech mode.
Cung said the province wanted to attract more investment into the hi-tech agricultural sector and focused on building industrial parks for developing supporting industries.
It aimed to decrease dependence on imports, especially in textiles and garment, wood processing and leather industries, he said.
In 1997, FDI enterprises contributed VND817 billion ($39.2 million) to the local budget. This year, this has increased to more than VND7.5 trillion ($360.5 million).
This year, despite the negative impacts of the global economic downturn, Binh Duong's exports reached $12.2 billion and it was the only province with a trade surplus of $2 billion. Products made in the province are consumed by 193 countries and territories. — VNS