|The Tân Thuận Exporting and Processing Zone in HCM City’s District 7. The city is improving infrastructure and administrative procedures at its processing zones and industrial parks to attract hi-tech investors. — Photo sggp.org.vn
HCM CITY — After decades of promoting labour-intensive industries, HCM City is intensifying its focus on attracting hi-tech businesses into its industrial parks and export processing zones.
In tandem, it is also improving facilities at the industrial parks and export processing zones to attract more investors as well as improving them to draw in more investors.
Hứa Quốc Hưng, head of the HCM City Export Processing Zones Authority, said that the city has 17 export processing zones and industrial parks, with a total of nearly 1,900 hectares of land for rent.
The city continues to attract investment into labour-intensive industries with low added value, but this has some adverse consequences, he said.
Many businesses in the city’s industrial parks and processing zones are still using old technologies with high risk of environmental pollution, he explained.
Other problems include an under-developed supporting industry; poor infrastructure affecting production; and the lack of large land plots for investors looking for them.
Nguyễn Văn Bé, chairman of the HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority Business Association, touched on another aspect of attracting investment that had not been paid much attention to date.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed a lack of housing for workers at the city’s industrial parks and industrial zones.
“If this problem is not dealt with, attracting investment will be very difficult,” he said.
Local businesses have also complained about complicated administrative and legal procedures to get their investment permits at the city’s industrial parks and processing zones.
Trần Việt Hà, deputy head of the authority, said that HCM City was striving to improve its investment climate, including formulation of new policies to support the application of science, technology and innovation.
The city will further speed up administrative procedures and introduce appropriate land lots for investors of hi-tech projects to encourage them to expand, he said.
It will also urge businesses using old technologies to switch into new ones; failing which it will refuse extensions of business permits and/or applications to expand production and other activities.
The city plans to make preferential loans (part of the city’s investment stimulation programme) accessible to more businesses and to bring businesses together to facilitate technology transfer.
The city administration is also helping upcoming industrial parks and processing zones projects with legal procedures so that they can start construction, especially the 668 hectares Phạm Văn Hai Industrial Park in Bình Chánh District, which aims to attract hi-tech businesses in the fields of electronics, automation and supporting industry.
The city’s industrial parks and processing zones hope to attract investment worth US$500 million this year.
They attracted $600.79 million last year, including foreign investment of $220.26 million. — VNS