Thanh Hoa enthusiastic over fated investments

Nguyen Dinh Xung, Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of Thanh Hoa People’s Committee, seeks to promote the province as a top tier destination for investors.

Thanh Hoa invites local and foreign investors to the province and is committed to offering them the best conditions to operate their businesses.

The province aims to, by 2020, be among the localities taking the lead in three aspects: having a comprehensive infrastructure system to satisfy investors’ needs; giving investors most competitive land rental and labour cost; and always tackling investors’ proposals in a timely manner.

This is the key message for investors and will be presented at the upcoming Thanh Hoa national investment promotion forum, the second of its kind, slated to take place late this week in the province.

An attractive investor spot

Thanh Hoa provides a gateway linking the northern and the central region. It is about 150 kilometres from Hanoi, and a key northern economic zone, featuring a 192 kilometre border line and 102km coastal stretch.

With over 3.5 million residents and 27 administrative units (including two cities and one town), Thanh Hoa is the third most populous province in Vietnam, behind Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The province consists of diverse terrain and ecosystems with plentiful natural resources, coupled with a favourable climate, conducive for crop farming serving domestic and export demands, such as rice, sugarcane, rubber, and raising cattle and aquaculture.  In addition, Thanh Hoa is abound with mineral resources, including large deposits of granite and marble (2-3 billion cubic metres of reserves), limestone (more than 370 million tonnes), clay for cement production (85 million tonnes), and chrome (about 21 million tonnes). These are favourable for industrial uses, particularly for cement works, building materials, power, petrochemical, and oil refinery industries.

Thanh Hoa also has an abundant human resource and currently stands at a golden demographic structure era, with 2.3 million labourers. It is one of four localities nationwide taking the lead in the number of students winning national and international awards. Trained labourers held 58 per cent of the province’s total labour force last year.

Throughout Vietnam’s four-thousand year history as a nation, Thanh Hoa has always played an important role – politically, militarily, economically, and culturally.

Even today, the province is still home to numerous sites of historical and archaeological value, such as Do mountain cultural relic from the Stone Age, Ba Trieu Temple, Lam Kinh relic; and well-known natural attractions such as Sam Son beach, Ben En national park, Xuan Lien, Pu Hu and Pu Luong nature reserve sites, and Ho Dynasty Citadel world cultural heritage site. All these sites have great potential for tourism development, particularly hi-end tours.

Thanh Hoa is replete with many attractive features that would make any investor’s mouth water

Complete infrastructure, convenient transport

Thanh Hoa is easily accessible via land, railway, waterway and airway. It shares an international border crossing with Laos, and also accommodates Nghi Son deep-water port which can be accessible to 100,000 deadweight tonne ships. This is also the largest gateway to the sea in the whole northern and north central region.

The distance from Thanh Hoa to other dynamic development centres in the country has been significantly reduced through the opening of Tho Xuan airport and launching of Thanh Hoa-Ho Chi Minh City air route in early 2013. New routes will be launched from Thanh Hoa to other big cities, such as Danang and Can Tho, and to Thailand and other countries in the future.

Up until now, Thanh Hoa has eight IPs covering 2,036 hectares in total space, of which five IPs report a rather comprehensive infrastructure.

Thanh Hoa has also made the development planning of 57 industrial clusters (ICs) over 1,647ha space. The building of technical infrastructure now takes place at 40 ICs covering 1,156ha.

Notably, Thanh Hoa is home to the 106,000ha Nghi Son Economic Zone (EZ),  one of five pivotal EZs in Vietnam which enjoys the top investment incentives under government provisions.

With convenient access by road, waterway and railway, particularly the presence of Nghi Son deep-water port, Nghi Son EZ is a diversified EZ with emphasis on heavy and fundamental industries.

Besides, Thanh Hoa also has developed banking and financial services, and a good post and telecommunications, IT, transport, education and training, healthcare, culture, and sport system. The province also has 26 banks and credit institutions with diversified products and services, and over 400 businesses operating in the information communication technology field.

The provincial authorities are working on establishing a modern e-government model and developing smart city services for 2017-2020.

 Lucrative investment incentives

When conducting business in Thanh Hoa, the investors in Nghi Son EZ and other IPs can expect big land and tax incentives.

In fact, Thanh Hoa has been named a top location attracting foreign investment in Vietnam for many consecutive years. Besides existing investment incentives, the province has also had policies to stimulate craft, trade and industrial development, as well as calling private investment into agriculture and large-scale cattle breeding.

To support investors and businesses to quickly address administrative procedures, the province is accelerating the establishment of public administrative centres at provincial and district levels, and assigns the leaders of diverse state management agencies to directly work on tackling investor proposals.

Periodically, on the 21st day monthly, the provincial chairman directly meets with firms’ leaders to help them unclog difficulties.

Numerous past projects have ramped up expansion, such as Nghi Son Cement with current capacity reaching 4.3 million tonnes, Cong Thanh Cement of five million tonnes, Long Son Cement of five million tonnes, Vietnam-Taiwan enzyme production and sugar processing plant, and the 600 megawatt (MW) Nghi Son 1 thermal power plant.

A slew of important projects are under construction, such as the $9.3 billion Nghi Son petrochemical and refinery complex, Trung Son hydropower, Hoi Xuan hydropower, Nghi Son steel plant with annual capacity of one million tonnes of steel billets, and the 1,200MW Nghi Son 2 thermal power.

To reach the target of becoming an affluent location by 2020, and a modern province with high industrial development level by 2030, Thanh Hoa will prioritise development in five following potential fields as processing industry, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, healthcare, infrastructure and urban development.

The province will continually strive for stronger reforms across the board to further improve its investment climate, and also seek to reduce market entry costs for investors and businesses, while maintaining social order and security.

These are aimed at making investors feel at ease when doing business in the province.