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According to the city's Department of Planning and Investment, 78 FDI projects with a total investment of nearly $160 million were licenced during the first quarter.
The profitable operation of companies in the city's Export Processing Zones and Industrial Parks, especially foreign-invested enterprises, was behind the rising investment trend, said Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing Zone Authority (HEPZA).
This year, Dinh said that HEPZA would take measures to attract even more investment to the city's EPZ and IPs.
Focus will be on hi-tech industries that have high added value: mechanics, electronics/information technology, chemicals, and food and foodstuff processing. In addition, the city will map out a plan to build an industrial area for support industries within the Dong Nam Industrial Park, and is seeking Japanese investment for infrastructure construction.
Promotion campaigns in other countries will also be held in an aim to attract investment to local IPs.
Ho Chi Minh City Trade and Investment Promotion Centre, the Department of Planning and Investment, and the IP and EPZ Infrastructure Development Company will organise investment promotions in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, the US and Canada.
Among the licences granted in the first quarter, the municipal People's Committee in late March approved a third plant to be built by Sanofi Viet Nam, a subsidiary of the Sanofi Aventis Group, with a registered capital of $75 million. It will be located in the city's Hi-Tech Park in District 9.
Authorities also granted a licence for capital expansion of $95.8 million to Nidec Tosok Viet Nam, a subsidiary of the Japanese Nidec Group. That brought the total capital investment of the plant, located in Tan Thuan Industrial Park in Ho Chi Minh City's District 7, to $205.6 million.
In addition, 26 FDI projects in the city were licenced for capital expansion of $175.3 million.
According to HEPZA, the city's EPZs and IPs in the first quarter mobilised a total investment of $144.5 million, up by 21.4 per cent compared with the same period last year.
That included FDI of $122.65 million, an increase of 57.35 per cent, and domestic investment of $21.83 million, down by 57.35 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.