Viet Nam News
Phạm Đại Dương, deputy minister of Science and Technology, speaks to the Nhân Dân (People) newspaper about a newly enacted decree to accelerate the long-delayed Hòa Lạc high-tech project.
Initiated 20 years ago, the Hòa Lạc Hi-tech Park project has experienced very slow progress. Do you think the new decree can accelerate implementation of the project?
Decree 74 has solved four fundamental issues. First, it provided regulations to solve hurdles relating to land clearance and investment in infrastructure. Second, it gave the Management Board more authority to handle administrative procedures. Third, it issued preferential investment policies to attract investors. Fourth, it created a legal framework to mobilise social funding for land clearance and infrastructure building, which is particularly important given the tight State budget.
One financial obstacle has been an unattractive investment environment. When the park was established in 1998, the area belonged to Hà Tây Province. During the process of land clearance, however, Hà Tây was annexed by Hà Nội and the land price changed. The adjustments to the Land Law and other related documents also impacted the land clearance process. In 2000, the construction of a number of infrastructure projects began, using the State budget. But due to limited funding, the progress and quality of the projects were limited.
The decree also put forth mechanisms to mobilise social funding to build infrastructure and supporting construction in the park, such as schools, hospitals, apartment complexes and restaurants. This is the tipping point to remove the hurdles for investors in these kinds of projects.
Hòa Lạc Hi-tech Park is supposed to be completed by 2020. What is the most important focus area in order to reach this target?
To make the decree really effective, detailed instructions on its implementation must be issued quickly. For example, to attract more high-tech investment, we should field investors’ queries about the kind of incentives available, how long it would take for their documents to be processed and where to submit them. The Management Board is working with related State agencies, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Construction and the city authorities of Hà Nội to compile these detailed instructions and action plans.
Suppose you are attending a conference to attract investment to the park. What would you say to investors?
Since the beginning of this year, Hòa Lạc Hi-tech Park has attracted investments worth up to VNĐ5 trillion (US$220 million) in three projects. The park has also been home to big universities and research institutions applying advanced models sponsored by the Japanese, South Korean and French governments. Investments not only come from foreign enterprises, but also from big domestic corporations, such as FPT, VNPT and Viettel. The Management Board is also negotiating to attract a project worth more than $500 million from a Japanese business and some large-scale high-tech projects by domestic investors.
Past and ongoing projects, especially large-scale high-tech ones, will play an important role as the country enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution — a development that encompasses the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, new-generation automation, and virtual technology. The Ministry of Science and Technology commits to creating favourable conditions to facilitate the implementation of the projects in the park. — VNS