Viet Nam News
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks at an investment promotion conference held on Mar 27 in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vĩnh Long. — VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
VĨNH LONG — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vĩnh Long to call for more investment in smart agriculture, logistics services, roads, and eco-tourism.
Phúc spoke at an investment promotion conference held yesterday in the province attended by 750 officials from ministries, agencies and international organisations as well as local and foreign investors.
Noting the province’s potential for industry, hi-tech agriculture and tourism, he urged officials to offer individuals and enterprises access to loans at preferential interest rates.
To shorten travel time between HCM City and the Mekong Delta, he said the province must speed up construction of the expressway running through HCM City, Trung Lương, Mỹ Thuận and Cần Thơ.
The PM also emphasised the importance of education in contributing to high-quality human resources for the region.
Nguyễn Văn Quang, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said that Vĩnh Long would seek investors for 67 projects worth a total of VNĐ27.5 trillion (US$1.2 billion) during the 2017-20 period.
The projects are mostly in rural agriculture, transport and industrial complex infrastructure, urban housing, trade services and culture/tourism.
At the event, the province presented certificates of investment registration to and signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with investors of 25 projects that have a combined capital of VNĐ12.433 trillion ($544.85 million).
Co-operation documents for a project on coastal connectivity between Vĩnh Long, Bến Tre, Tiền Giang and Trà Vinh provinces were also signed, with the aim of boosting investment, trade and tourism.
On the occasion, six commercial banks signed credit-funding contracts with 12 businesses to implement several large-scale projects expected to fuel development.
Guests visit a booth displaying a model of hydroponic vegetable cultivation used in Vĩnh Long Province. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
Chairman Quang said the region offered a stable, transparent business environment and incentives to investors.
Dương Thanh Thuỷ, chairwoman of the Trung Thuỷ Group, agreed. She told Việt Nam News that local authorities in Vĩnh Long had always created favourable conditions for investors. “For infrastructure such as roads and bridges, the province cannot do much because those projects are decided by the central government,” she said.
Gabor Fluit, CEO of the Netherlands-based De Heus Co. Ltd., said waterway transport on two major rivers, the Tiền (Front) and Hậu (Rear), in the province, could reduce road transport expenditures.
Highways like the Trung Lương Highway which extend to Vĩnh Long are especially important, but provincial roads also need to be improved and widened, he said.
“I also think the government should try to focus on certain areas. For example, try to attract companies that are active in agriculture or food processing. Try to be the best in one or two fields and attract specific companies rather than try to invite everyone,” Fluit told Việt Nam News.
“Vĩnh Long is big in rice, food and fish, so they can try to attract businesses that specialise in processing these goods,” he said.
Timmy Thục Trương, financial director at IGH Technology Development and Finance Investment, said in addition to FDI the government should also focus on Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises to further cement their importance to the country’s economy.
Guests visit a booth displaying products of Vĩnh Long Province. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
Vĩnh Long recently announced a zoning plan to develop nine industrial clusters with a total area of 492.5ha from now to 2020, and another five industrial clusters with a combined area of 165.49ha during the 2020-30 period.
The industrial clusters will contain modern facilities with long-term value, create jobs, raise incomes, and meet demand for land sites and infrastructure for industrial production, Quang said.
To achieve the targets, Vĩnh Long will focus on a range of measures, including trade promotion and administrative reform, and human resource development and training.
For enterprises that build infrastructure, the province will develop an incentive policy for investors that will allow them to access preferential credit or loans at subsidised interest rates. Tax reductions and exemptions will also be offered, Quang said.
Vĩnh Long has two industrial parks with a total area of 386ha, with 70 per cent already leased to businesses, according to Quang.
In addition to developing 14 new industrial clusters by 2030, the province is also calling for investment in another three new industrial parks with a combined area of 950ha, a plan that has been approved by the Government, he said.
Located about 130 kilometres from HCM City, the province is in the heart of the Mekong Delta, the country’s agriculture hub. It has convenient transport links with southwestern provinces and cities.
Besides agriculture, Vĩnh Long is known for famous traditional craft villages that produce bricks and tiles, porcelain and pottery, embroidery, and woven sleeping mats, many of which are exported. — VNS