Danang uses APEC to lure investors

The south-central city of Danang is stepping up its investment promotion to lure more investors in the wake of next month’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017.

Sun Group’s Ba Na Hills development has put Danang’s tourism industry on the map

Over the past few months, city leaders and the management board of Danang Hi-Tech Park (DHTP) made several working trips to Europe and Asia in an effort to woo more investors to the city. Seminars on investment held in Korea’s Daegu have attracted 40 Korean companies in various fields, particularly in technology and energy.

The city has also promoted investment in Danang Software Park and Danang Information Technology Park.

Huynh Lien Phuong, deputy director of the provincial Danang Investment Promotion Agency, said that Korean investors have expressed interest in the city’s administrative procedures for investment licensing and land leasing, as well as policies to support market access.

Aside from Korea, the delegation also paid a working visit to Japan. During their meeting with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Akio Nekoshima – chairman of the Japan-Mekong Region Business Cooperation Board and CEO of Kawasaki Heavy Industries – said he is impressed by the growth of Vietnam and Danang.

Professor Tran Van Tho said that Danang will attract a great deal of attention in the future as an economic hub of the central region, thanks to a number of advantages. These include abundant tourism resources, a strategic location at the eastern end of the East-West Economic Corridor, a terminal for the import and export of goods in Danang port, and industrial development in the Chu Lai and Dung Quat Industrial zones of the neighbouring provinces.

Commenting on the investment climate in Danang, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Vietnam Tetsu Funayama said that the city is a “representative city” for Japanese investors looking at Vietnam.

“With its emphasis on luring investment in infrastructure, tourism, technology, and green industries, Danang is a potential destination for companies like Mitsubishi to invest in public-private partnership projects relating to railways, education, and public health, as well as investing in IT, electric cars, and hybrid electric motors,” he said.

Ho Ky Minh, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, called for investment in industrial parks, high-tech parks, and Lien Chieu Seaport, while highlighting Danang’s advantages in socio-economic infrastructure and preferential investment policies in transport infrastructure construction, healthcare, and education.

In addition to Asian investors fromKorea and Japan, European investors have also expressed interest in investment opportunities in Danang. Eric Berger, chairman of Movement of the Enterprises of France, believes that Danang has a real advantage, cultivated over the past 15 years of reform and progress. He was particularly impressed with the city’s Administrative Centre model, which made him change his mind about Vietnam’s bureaucratic procedures.

He said that the ball is now in the French investors’ court, and that the speed of investment into Danang now depends solely on investor decisions. Berger also promised to actively support the DHTP Management Board in providing information to the enterprise community of France.

Representatives of the Bekaert Group from Belgium have visited Danang to examine and evaluate the city’s investment environment. The group is eyeing an investment project in DHTP on the scale of hundreds of millions of dollars, delivered in two phases with around 10,000 employees in total.

The Germany-based Ebm-papst Group has also visited and surveyed DHTP to select an investment location for its largest project in Asia. Ebm-papst Group is a world-leading manufacturer of motors and fans, and provides advanced solutions for companies in IT, telecommunications, ventilation, air-conditioning, automobiles, and windmills.

According to Rainer Zierlein, Ebm-papst’s director of Global Services and Production, Danang is a location with great potential thanks to a wide range of attractive incentives, a cheap labour force, an open investment environment, and a dynamic city government.

In response to growing interest among foreign investors, the city held the Danang Investment Forum 2017 from September 29 to October 1 to deliver specific information on the local economy, the city’s strategic aspects, and its preferential policies. The forum highlighted aspects in which the city boasts great strengths and future potential, including startups, IT, infrastructure, high-tech and supporting industries, heathcare, education and training, high-tech applied agriculture, tourism, and real estate.

According to the Danang Investment Promotion and Support Agency, the city has lured 43 new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth $60 million in this year’s first nine  months, 4.6 times higher than the attracted FDI of the same period last year. Besides, five FDI projects raised their capital by  nearly $900,000. Tourism, real estate, and service projects made up 60 per cent of the new FDI projects, while manufacturing projects attracted 40 per cent.

Danang now has 461 FDI projects worth over $3.6 billion. Singapore is the biggest investor in the city, with 23 projects worth $717 million, while Japan has 134 projects for $598 million. The US ranked third, with 46 projects worth $517 million, followed by Korea, with total investments of $244.6 million.

By Thanh Van