|Workers operate machines at the Southern Rubber Industry Company (Casumina) in Dong Nai Province. The province will focus on developing key infrastructure projects this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
DONG NAI (VNS) — The southern province of Dong Nai will set aside VND3 trillion (US$143 million) this year to develop key infrastructure projects to attract foreign investors.
The statement was made by provincial People's Committee chairman, Dinh Quoc Thai.
In spite of the province's encouraging results in attracting foreign investment in recent years, the lack of adequate infrastructure remains a problem, local authorities said, adding that a paucity of investment is to blame for the poor infrastructure.
The Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review) newspaper quoted the vice chairwoman of the French-owned Scavi Group, Tran Thi Moc Lan, as saying that Dong Nai's infrastructure, particularly transport, has lagged demand.
"It often takes four hours to reach HCM City from our factory in the province, even though the distance in kilometres is not that long. That has influenced not only our delivery schedules for partners but also our business plans," she told the newspaper.
Yamaguchi Kimio, chairman of the Japanese Business Association in HCM City, agreed. He told Dau tu that several of the association's 600 members had ongoing projects in the province and that they are also concerned about the difficulties in transportation.
In order to deal with the problem, Dong Nai is undertaking efforts to attract investment for infrastructure development, besides receiving funds from the provincial budget, the Department of Planning and Investment director, Bo Ngoc Thu, said.
Dong Nai has set a goal of attracting $700-$900 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) this year, with a focus on infrastructure construction, high technology products, ancillary industries and the services sector, she added.
Last year, the province attracted $1.35 billion in FDI, 35 per cent higher than the annual target and 20 per cent higher from 2012, according to the department.
It licensed 67 new projects with a total registered capital of $651.3 million, while 68 existing projects were allowed to increase investment by a cumulative $700 million.
The FDI disbursement in 2013 increased to $970 million, 7.8 per cent higher than the annual target, and raised the province's cumulative disbursements to over $13 billion, or 67.6 per cent of the total registered investment.
Increased investment promotion activities in Japan turned the country into the leading investor in the province, with newly registered additional investment of $465.7 million.
By December, the province had 1,059 approved projects worth $19.5 billion, it said. — VNS