Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Southern Key Economic Zone needs more robust policies and mechanisms for attracting resources and foreign direct investment and enhancing linkages between localities to enable the region to develop faster and sustainably, according to experts.
The zone, which consists of HCM City and the seven provinces of Bình Dương, Tây Ninh, Bình Phước, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu, Long An, Tiền Giang, and Đồng Nai, accounts for only 8 per cent of the country’s area but plays a leading role in its economic development, accounting for 60 per cent of the Government’s revenues.
The region also tops in FDI, accounting for 50 per cent of the capital and 60 per cent of projects, Nguyễn Thị Minh Châu of the Banking University in HCM City told a workshop held in Bình Dương last week.
But FDI flows to the region lost steam in 2015-17, she said.
For instance, they increased by 11.8 per cent in 2016 and 8.4 per cent last year, she explained.
She blamed it on the lack of linkages between localities in the region.
There is a lack of co-ordination between management agencies as well as between enterprises, she said.
Creating regional connections and supply chains from the input to output stages would help better exploit the competitive advantages of each locality in the region, she said.
Prof Dr Bùi Văn Trịnh of Cần Thơ University said that to attract more FDI the Government needs to complete zoning plans for the region and, based on that, for each locality in there.
The Government should vest authority in the management of key economic regions in general and the southern key economic zone in particular, he said.
Localities need to closely co-operate to spell out objectives and policies for attracting FDI on the basis of the overall regional benefits, he said.
Dr Phạm Phú Quốc, general director of the HCM City Financial Investment Company, said the region needs a total VNĐ4,650 quadrillion for economic development in 2015-20.
This means there is an urgent need to frame policies and create mechanisms to attract sufficient resources to develop the entire region, he said.
He also suggested measures to enhance links and attract capital for developing the region.
They included making zoning plans for the region based on its socio-economic needs and developing value chains for the region’s products.
In addition, the Government should concentrate its own resources and mobilise them from all sectors to invest in local socio-economic development, and at the same time have policies and mechanisms to attract all economic sectors to participate in developing the region’s economy, Quốc said.
The workshop’s recommendations will be forwarded to ministries and localities to develop appropriate mechanisms and policies. — VNS