Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will help Việt Nam become the regional hub for many foreign manufacturing companies, promoting the development of industrial parks (IPs) in the country, said Gellert Horvath, vice chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham).
According to Gellert the EU is currently Việt Nam’s second largest export market and Việt Nam is the EU’s 11th largest source of imports. About 900 European enterprises have invested in Việt Nam – the highest in Southeast Asia.
The EU’s total registered capital till December 2016 reached US$21.5 billion. In the first quarter of the year, it reached $96.29 million.
EU companies have invested in 18 sectors, focusing on manufacturing and processing (34.7 percent), power distribution (14.8 percent) and real estate trading (11.9 percent).
He said that Việt Nam had the advantages of having favourable political and geographical location in comparison to other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. In addition, the Government made efforts in its international integration process.
He added that Việt Nam was a great location for EU manufacturers to export their goods to Asian countries. Its industrial park network was therefore expected to grow strongly over the next few years.
According to Nguyễn Nội, deputy head of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Việt Nam has 324 IPs, 16 seaside economic zones and three hi-tech parks. The Government is set to increase the number of hi-tech parks to six by 2030, while developing three special economic zones in Vân Đồn, Cam Ranh and Phú Quốc.
Nội said Việt Nam had signed 66 Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPA). The country would have free trade relationships with 55 partners and 15 members of G20, which accounts for three-fourth of the world’s GDP.
He explained that the investment inflow into Việt Nam, especially garment and textile, leather shoes, wooden furniture, electronics and information and technology would increase thanks to deep integration and zero export taxes.
The country’s northern region has the advantages of abundant labourers, big market and improved infrastructure, and more particularly, integrated IPs system and high tenant rate, according to Nội.
The region has been the country’s biggest industrial manufacturing hub, with the establishment of a supply chain in the electronics sector from companies such as Samsung, LG, Canon and Kyocera and automobile makers including, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Ford, since 2008.
Victor Lim, deputy director of Việt Nam – Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) Bắc Ninh, said that they planned to build a smart city near the IP called the VSIP Bắc Ninh Township Development Master Plan, which is a combination of manufacturing and residential.
The move was taken by many IPs to boost investment in infrastructure and welcome more foreign manufacturers into Việt Nam.
The master plan includes many categories, such as a sports hub, a golf driving range, the Belhomes landed housing project, a business hub cluster and park, a wet market, a shopping mall, a hotel, mid-end landed properties, a school complex, and worker housing. He noted that many of these were calling for investment.
Horvath said Việt Nam should develop the complex model in the future.
Chua Ah Lay, Chairman and CEO of Santomas Việt Nam, which has been in Việt Nam for nearly 20 years, said his company was providing transport for workers from neighbouring towns to IPs.
“If there was workplace accommodation next to the IP, it would be very good for us,” he said.
Over the last two decades, VSIP has become one of the largest developers of integrated IPs and complexes in Việt Nam. It has operations in the southern, northern and central economic zones of Bình Dương, Bắc Ninh, Hải Phòng, Quảng Ngãi, Hải Dương, and Nghệ An.
VSIP has about 690 companies from 30 economies, attracting an investment capital of $9.1 billion and generating about 180,000 jobs from operating tenants.
VSIP was established in 1996 based on mutual co-operation and support between the two governments of Việt Nam and Singapore. — VNS