|Chairman Le Thanh Cung
The southern province of Binh Duong announced it exceeded its foreign-direct-investment (FDI) target for 2014 by 65 per cent, despite many difficulties. Viet Nam News talked to chairman Le Thanh Cung to find out how the province became so successful.
Binh Duong Province has attracted FDI worth US$1.65 billion in 2014. How did you achieve this success during a very challenging year?
This was a very tough year for Binh Duong. The nation's difficulties, and especially the riots on May 13, had a strong impact on investors operating in our province.
Besides following the Government's guidance, provincial leaders also listened carefully to proposals and petitions from investors and companies, so they could come up with suitable measures to help enterprises overcome their difficulties. With these efforts, in 2014, the province has had fruitful results in all fields, especially in attracting FDI and domestic investments.
FDI exceeded the annual target by 65 per cent this year. This is a very meaningful achievement, as it has had affected the investment environment in Binh Duong, as well as in the whole country. FDI also played an important role in the province's growth this year.
The province has helped companies solve difficulties to effectively resume production and fulfill all orders for 2014. It also assisted local workers.
The province proposed using a credit package of VND1 trillion ($48 million) to give interest support (about 50 per cent) to companies needing loans to resume production after the riots in May. Thanks to this support, companies have resumed their production in the third quarter. Growth in the third quarter has been better than the second quarter, and the fourth quarter has improved over the third.
What will the province do to attract more projects in 2015?
This year is the last in our five-year plan. In the next year, 2015, we will focus on developing infrastructure, to connect the province with others in the region and create more conveniences for investors.
Binh Duong will continue to expand National Road No. 13, connecting the province to HCM City. We will also widen My Phuoc – Tan Van Road. Infrastructure will be upgraded in Bau Bang District, considered the province's central economic and urban development zone.
Traffic will be improved in Song Than, so investors can easily carry their products to ports and airports in the region.
Services, especially luxury services, will be developed. Our province will also take care of its workers, giving them enough opportunities for education, health care and entertainment.
We have encouraged domestic and foreign investors to share this concern with us so we can offer a better contract to 860,000 workers.
Back to the investments: The province has currently completed plans to welcome more projects, following a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and free trade agreements the Government has signed with other countries.
We have designated a 30ha area for future investors. Infrastructure in this area is complete, so it is just waiting for investors to come and use it.
Which sectors and investors will you focus on in 2015?
In 2015, we still target traditional partners such as South Korea, Japan, Singapore and some other EU countries with which the province has signed co-operation agreements.
Up to now, many big groups have invested in and expanded their operations in the province. For example, the Japanese company Tokyu has invested over $1.2 billion and is planning to expand.
There are many big investors in the service sector, as well. Japanese retailer Aeon has just opened a new outlet, and more than 40 days away from the opening, it has received good signals from many possible customers.
In the future, we hope to attract more big groups to invest in our province and expand their businesses.
We predict that FDI next year will total more than $1.5 billion. — VNS