|A worker at Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd in central Quang Ngai Province checks firefighting equipment. The province is expected to attract US$12 billion in foreign direct investment by 2015. — VNS/VNA Photo Tuan Anh
HCM CITY (VNS)— The central province of Quang Ngai is confident that it will reach its goal of attracting US$12 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) by 2015, local officials have said.
Pham Nhu So, vice chairman of the province's People's Committee, said that negotiations were underway on major projects that would help lure investors to the area.
"We are now conducting negotiations to build the Dung Quat Thermo-Electric Plant and increase the capacity of Dung Quat Refinery from 6.5 million tonnes to 10 million tonnes per year," he said.
So spoke at a conference held yesterday in HCM City about new investment opportunities in Quang Ngai Province.
In addition, the Viet Nam–Singapore Industrial Park's expected opening would also help the province meet its investment target, So told Viet Nam News.
"The park project was carried out in a short time," he said. "The province handed over 140ha of cleared land, and that amount will increase to about 600ha for the first phase by year-end or by the beginning of 2014."
When the park opens, it is expected to bring multiple sources of FDI to the province.
To reach its goals, Quang Ngai authorities are encouraging investment in seven fields.
The first priority will be in oil-refining and petrochemicals, and the other areas of expected investment would include metallurgy, shipbuilding and the mechanical and support industries.
The power industry is another field that has received encouragement.
Other industries that will be courted for investment are food-processing, consumer goods, textiles, packaging, agro-forestry and high-tech agricultural products.
Investment in seaport-related businesses, logistics services, tourism, and residential and commercial housing will also be sought.
During the conference, provincial authorities admitted that, along with advantages like a good location, land and abundant human resources, as well as the Dung Quat Deep Seaport, the province has several shortcomings that should be addressed.
"We admit that we are now weak in human-resource quality, and in supporting companies," said Vo Van Thuong, the province's Party Committee general secretary.
Provincial authorities, however, said that all of these weaknesses would be resolved or improved in the near future.
"Investors' success is Quang Ngai Province's success," he said.
As for human resources, the province has promised to offer financial support to workers to attend training courses, with monthly allowances of VND1.5 million ($71) to VND2 million ($95).
This year, the province targets offering 156,000 high-quality workers to investors. The figure would increase to 308,000 by 2015.
As for land-clearance, Quang Ngai also plans to pay VND100 million ($4,700) per hectare.
"In addition to this support, we'll try to fulfil land clearance in industrial zones so that investors will not have to worry about this matter," So said.
The investment environment will also be improved by speeding up reform of administrative procedures.
A "one-stop service" will be used to grant investment certificates and construction permits as well as register business licenses and resolve land-related issues.
In recent years, Quang Ngai, with its four industrial zones, and its Dung Quat Economic Zone, has attracted many investors.
The province has granted investment certificates to 289 projects, worth a total of VND177 trillion ($8.4 billion). Of those, 22 are FDI projects worth a total of $3.9 billion.
This year, the province aims to attract five FDI projects with a total capital of $500 million.— VNS