|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (fourth, left) and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (third, left) yesterday attend the ground-breaking of an integrated township and industrial park in the central province of Quang Ngai. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
QUANG NGAI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong jointly officiated the ground-breaking of the Viet Nam-Singapore Integrated Township and Industrial Park (VSIP) in the central province of Quang Ngai yesterday.
It is the fifth VSIP in Viet Nam after those located in Binh Duong, Hai Phong and Bac Ninh, and marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Viet Nam and Singapore.
The 5th VSIP covers 600ha of industrial zone and 520ha of urban area at a total investment of US$337.8 million.
"It gives me great pleasure to attend today the ground breaking ceremony of the fifth Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Park in Quang Ngai Province. This is the third time I have had the honour to join Singapore's Prime Minister Lee in breaking ground at the VSIP," Dung said.
"Viet Nam-Singapore relations have been developing strongly and effectively since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973. Singapore has always been one the leading trade and investment partners of Viet Nam over past years," he said.
Dung said the VSIPs, since the first establishment in southern Binh Duong Province in 1996, have become a brand and the symbol for the two nations' successful and productive economic co-operation with significant contributions to the social-economic development of Viet Nam over the last 17 years.
The Vietnamese PM also hoped that the successful VSIP in Quang Ngai will become the evidence for enduring, reliable and effective Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
Dung also said the Vietnamese Government always offers the most favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from Singapore.
"We are working actively to improve the infrastructure, complete the legal system and reform administrative procedure to create the best possible environment for foreign investment."
VSIPs nationwide have attracted 490 investors from 22 countries and territories with total investment capital of $6.4 billion, creating 140,000 jobs.
At the ceremony yesterday, VSIP Quang Ngai officially granted investment licenses to three first investors including URC Central from the Philippines; King Riches Footwear Viet Nam and Hebei Xindadong from China with total investment of $115 million.
For his part, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee stressed that the VSIPs are concrete symbols of the excellent economic co-operation between Viet Nam and Singapore.
"They bring together Viet Nam's vast industrial land and manpower resources and Singapore's experience with industrial park management and integrated urban infrastructure solutions," Lee said.
"VSIP Quang Ngai will set a new standard for the quality of its infrastructure and environment. The empty site we see here today will soon be bustling with activities as the industrial park commences operations," he said.
He also added the VSIPs fit within the larger context of Singapore's border relationship with Viet Nam.
"I'm delighted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, and to raise our ties to a Strategic Partnership. Many Singaporeans look forward to even closer collaboration with Viet Nam in the years ahead, to bring progress and prosperity to both our people."
At the ceremony, Sembcorp Development, a partner of VSIP Group joint-venture with Becamex IDC, said it plans to build a 1,200-megawatt coal-fired plant in Quang Ngai under a 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) arrangement.
Kelvin Teo, co-chairman of VSIP Group said the Sembcorp-VSIP Water Initiative project will provide filtered water for daily use to over 14,000 people in Son Tinh and Binh Son districts.
Also yesterday, PM Dung asked the central province of Quang Ngai to focus on attracting investment, especially foreign support, to develop industrial clusters and parks to stimulate socio-economic development in the locality.
During the working session with key leaders from the province, Dung said that besides boosting industry, Quang Ngai should also advance the agricultural sector through increasing the application of technology in production to enhance the productivity, quality and competitiveness of products.
Noting that the ratio of poor households in Quang Ngai remains high at 17 per cent, the PM urged the locality to pay more attention to poverty reduction measures, while focusing on vocational training and human resources development to meet the labour requirements of local industrial parks.
In addition, he asked the province to continue implementing the programme of building new-style rural areas, thus increasing local people's income, while improving its investment environment, intensifying administrative reforms and ensuring social welfare.
Dung also gave his opinions on the proposal to develop Ly Son island district and the construction of Tri Binh-Dung Quat road, a key transport project.
Praising the efforts that the province has made over the past years, PM Dung said its comprehensive achievements seen in all fields have made positive contributions to the socio-economic development of the whole country.
Secretary of the Quang Ngai provincial Party Committee Vo Van Thuong reported that in the first eight months of this year positive changes have been seen in all areas.
Specifically, the total GDP of the province in the January-June period rose 13.6 per cent year-on-year, industrial production increased 27 per cent, while export earnings were up 40.43 per cent, he said.
In the last months of this year the province would continue fulfilling its set targets, focusing on boosting the economy, helping businesses remove obstacles, improving its provincial competitiveness index (PCI), and creating a favourable environment for investors, he further said. — VNS