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|Kien Giang province is calling for investment into 117 priority projects|
To facilitate further capital inflows in the province, Kien Giang is to host an investment promotion conference chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Rach Gia city on July 29. Themed on the potential and opportunities for investment and sustainable development, the conference will shine a spotlight on a list of 117 priority projects seeking immediate investment in Kien Giang until 2020.
Kien Giang People’s Committee is mobilising all resources to capitalise on the expected potential and advantages, as well as boosting local socio-economic development, a top priority in the province’s policies.
Accordingly, the local authorities not only develop plans and projects but also propose and complete policies for investment incentives. The province focuses on investing in infrastructure using resources from the budget, land fund, and from local residents to lure more investors.
In addition, Kien Giang has accelerated its administrative reforms to ease pressure for both investors and enterprises. The province implements a one-door system to assist backers in the fields of investment, business, land, construction, the environment, and tax. As a result, the local authorities have created a more enabling business environment for investors as well as attracting sustainable funding into the province.
Pham Vu Hong, Chairman of Kien Giang People’s Committee, said that the province has undergone significant changes in recent years as a growing number of investors pour in capital to develop large-scale projects in Kien Giang. The projects not only create more jobs, but also improve productivity and competitiveness, thereby making a substantial contribution to ensuring social security and economic growth.
As of present, Kien Giang has attracted 680 projects covering a combined area of 32,497 hectares with the total investment capital of VND503.76 trillion ($21.9 billion). Among them, 341 projects spreading across 17,776ha and worth VND60.64 trillion ($2.63 billion) are operational. Under construction are 68 projects, valued at VND115.41 trillion ($5 billion) with a combined area of 4,219ha, while 271 projects are completing investment procedures on 10,602ha and valued at VND327.71 trillion ($14.25 billion).
Kien Giang has also lured 41 foreign-invested projects from 19 countries and territories with the total registered capital of $1.44 billion. These projects have the total disbursed capital of $542,000, accounting for 37.1 per cent of the total registered sum.
Need for infrastructure
Kien Giang is now home to many large-scale tourism projects like the eco-tourism and luxury resort Vinpearl, and SunGroup’s resort as well as a cable car system linking An Thoi town and Hon Thom on Phu Quoc Island. Meanwhile, the province’s Cai Lon and Cai Be bridges have been developed to improve traffic connectivity.
A group of investment projects have created new production value and promoted economic restructuring as well as generated jobs for local workers. Some of these projects include the seafood processing factories of Trung Son, Thong Thuan, and Kien Hung companies; the Saigon-Kien Giang Brewery factory, Kien Giang TBS Shoe factory, and the MDF wood processing plant in Thanh Loc Industrial Zone (IZ).
Hong said, “However, Kien Giang still has difficulties in satisfying investors’ demands and soliciting hi-tech investment projects, so there is a slow pace of technology transfer and few high value-added products in the province.”
“Transport infrastructure has yet to be fully developed to keep up with the rapid economic growth. Kien Giang also faces skilled workforce shortage, something that would serve the growing demand of investors and enterprises,” Hong added.
To prepare for strong capital inflows, Kien Giang People’s Committee has planned and developed five IZs with a total area of 706ha, featuring a convenient infrastructure system for transport, electricity, telecommunications, and banking among others. The province has also been investing in the expansion of Thuan Yen IZ in Ha Tien city, covering an area of 140ha, as well as the 250ha Thanh Loc IZ in Chau Thanh district.
The IZs have attracted dozens of projects by large companies in various fields such as footwear and leather, wood processing, beer, and seafood processing for export. These ventures have helped to further activate the investment environment in the province.
Creating a competitive edge
Ngo Hen, deputy director of Kien Giang Department of Planning and Investment, said that Kien Giang has made the most of its advantages as one of four localities in the Mekong Delta Key Economic Zone. The local authorities have taken full advantage of the policies and resources offered by the central government to develop infrastructure as well as create incentives to solicit domestic and foreign investors in the key industries in which Kien Giang has the most strength.
“The province will review the list of investment programmes and projects in each period, giving priority to infrastructure projects, hi-tech agriculture, aquaculture, industrial, trade, tourism, and services,” Hen said. “The investment projects need to create a driving force for the socio-economic development in the province and wider region.”
Nguyen Duy Linh Thao, director of Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre, said that the 117 Kien Giang initiatives calling for immediate investment cover 16 tourism projects, 11 in trade, eight in the environment, 11 in hi-tech agriculture, six in rural and urban water, and five industrial projects.
In addition, there are also six industrial complexes and bus stations, 23 housing and urban development schemes, 16 transport works, three wharfs, three education and training projects, five cultural and sports projects, and a further four ventures in other fields.
“Kien Giang is developing a long-term investment promotion strategy and completing a database on the investment climate,” said Thao. “The province is taking efforts to build the portfolio of projects calling for investment with full information about planning, land, procedures, and policies to serve potential investors.”
“The province aims to mobilise VND255 trillion ($11 billion) for socio-economic development by 2020, of which the state capital accounts for 13 per cent, private capital about 68 per cent, foreign investment capital about 6 per cent, and other capital sources about 13 per cent,” Thao added.
It is feasible for the local authorities to fulfil these targets. The Ministry of Transport recently launched Vam Cong Bridge and is about to open Lo Te-Rach Soi Highway by 2020 in order to shorten travelling times. As a result, it only takes three and a half hours to drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Kien Giang by car, which can facilitate stronger investment flows into the province.
In addition, Kien Giang People’s Committee is building a coastal road from Cai Lon Bridge along Rach Gia Bay to Hon Dat district, with a length of over 40km. The route is not only close to the sea to help ease traffic flows, but it also boasts beautiful landscapes. The province is also expanding its land banks in order to further serve more investors in the upcoming months and years.