Problems plague economic zones

Update: February, 26/2014 - 08:26

Workers produce packaging at the Kohsei Multipack Viet Nam Company at Binh Xuyen Industrial Park in Vinh Phuc Province. The country's EZs and IPs still faced problems with inconsistent management models, overlapping inspections and low occupancy rates. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

HA NOI (VNS) — Over 700 projects in economic zones and industrial parks across Viet Nam had their investment licences revoked or stopped operation last year.

According to the National Steering Committee for Economic Zones and Industrial Parks Development, these projects accounted for about 10 per cent of total investment projects in economic zones (EZs) and industrial parks (IPs) across the country.

According to the committee's report last year, as many as 161 projects worth US$488 million had their licences revoked, with a further 203 projects worth $637.7 million stopping operations. Another 343 projects did not start or were unable to begin operations.

Speaking at a meeting of the committee yesterday to discuss measures to develop the zones, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai, who is also head of the committee, said the country's EZs and IPs still faced problems with inconsistent management models, overlapping inspections and low filling rates [the rate indicating how much approved land is in use].

Among 289 industrial zones in the country, 149 have a filling rate of 60 per cent, 117 have the filling rate between 20 per cent and 60 per cent and the remaining 23 industrial parks are in the stage of seeking investment projects.

Hai said that a more sufficient database of EZs and IPs was needed to tackle the problems and would help them to operate more effectively.

The data would be concentrated on investment projects, land use, waste treatment, labour issues as well as tax incentives and technological applications.

Hai requested the ministries of Planning and Investment, Industry and Trade and Construction to review planning and co-operate with local authorities where the EZs and IPs were located.

Central and local authorities were also asked to support industrial zones with high rates of delayed projects.

At present, Viet Nam has 289 industrial parks with total area of 81,000ha and 15 economic zones with area of 697,800ha. The parks attracted 5,075 FDI projects with a registered capital of $75.8 billion and implemented capital of $41.69 billion. They also attracted nearly 5,500 domestic projects with a registered capital of VND542.2 trillion ($25 billion) and disbursed capital of $11.7 billion.

The EZs and IPs have provided jobs for around 2.1 million people.

Inspections of processing companies

The Government Inspectorate has announced the results of an inspection at processing zones and processing companies in Ha Noi, HCM City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

Processing zones and processing companies contribute to industrial growth and export value by mobilising high levels of foreign investment, improving infrastructure and creating jobs.

Tax and customs offices in the localities have allegedly failed to identify the taxable value of goods and market prices of goods imported by foreign invested companies, facing difficulties in detecting and tackling price transfers.

Inspectors have recommended to collect arrears of VND8.4 billion ($400,000) from companies and financial penalties of over VND58.8 billion ($ 2.8 million) including VND38 billion for processing zones and companies in HCM City, VND14.2 billion and $1,350 in Dong Nai, VND1.25 billion in Binh Duong and over VND5.19 billion in Ha Noi. — VNS