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"After an investment of a big investor, there are always investments of suppliers following the big one. We expect to see a boom in Japanese investment in the coming time.” - Le Van Dung,
Deputy director of Dung Quat Economic Zone Management Authority "
Doosan Vina, located in central Quang Ngai province, last week announced the last eight of an order for 36 rubber tired gantry cranes had been shipped to Singapore signaling the completion of this portion of the contract with PSA Corporation Ltd, after 30 months of design, assembling and manufacturing.
Early this month, Doosan Vina shipped 68 tonnes of chemical processing equipment to the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas project in Australia.
Since commencing operations in 2008, the chemical processing equipment producer has shipped 8,000 tonnes of high tech chemical processing equipment to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Egypt, Algeria, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Turkmenistan and Canada.
Doosan Vina is also an important manufacturing base for South Korea’s Doosan Group, supplying mega infrastructure products. In the future, the group plans to further expand investment in Quang Ngai by building a nuclear power reactor manufacturing facility.
The growth of Doosan Vina has significantly contributed to coastal Quang Ngai province’s economic growth, about 130 kilometres south of Danang. But more importantly, the success of this Korean investor has grabbed the attention of other foreign investors to this once ignored province.
Many investors are now eyeing Quang Ngai as an attractive place for investment in Vietnam. According to Quang Ngai People’s Committee, foreign and domestic investors registered to invest in 274 projects in the province during 2006-2011, with total investment capital of around $5 billion. Of which, 86 per cent is in the manufacturing sector.
“Quang Ngai is rapidly turning into a manufacturing base in central region in particular and in Vietnam in general,” said Tran Ba Nam, director of the provincial Investment Promotion Centre.
He said investment attraction improvements focusing on creating favourable conditions for investors and the appearance of big foreign-invested projects were key factors luring private investment to Quang Ngai in recent years.
VSIP, the leading industrial park and township developer in Vietnam, last year decided to build a 1,226 hectare integrated township and industrial park in Quang Ngai after studying five central provinces.
The development comprises an industrial park located within the Dung Quat Economic Zone, where government-supported special economic zone incentives are made available to manufacturers. In addition, the developer will develop a commercial and residential area near Quang Ngai downtown.
“Quang Ngai is ideal for labour intensive fast moving consumer goods and food and beverage manufacturing, serving both the northern and southern economic zones of Vietnam in addition to its central markets that stretch from Hue to Phu Yen provinces. With several ports within the Dung Quat Economic Zone, external markets such as Laos, northeastern Thailand and Myanmar can be served from Quang Ngai,” VSIP, a joint venture between Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries and Vietnam Becamex Corporation, said in a statement.
Sembcorp Industries, in addition, also proposed to build a $2 billion thermoelectricity plant in Dung Quat Economic Zone. The project was approved in principle in April by the provincial people’s committee. Once this power project is operational in the future, it will significantly contribute to ensure electricity supply in the province.
JFE Steel, the world’s sixth largest steel maker, early this year announced a plan to acquire stakes in E-United Group’s $4.5 billion steel project in Vietnam.
The Japanese corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with E-United Group, a Taiwanese corporate group engaged in steel production, medical services, education and real estate, to study the feasibility of building and operating an integrated steel making plant in Vietnam, in which JFE Steel would be the majority shareholder.
Hard on the heels of this, a group of Japanese investors planned to follow JFE Steel Corporation to invest in Quang Ngai to supply raw input materials and components for the steel factory.
Even though these investors have no detailed investment plans in Dung Quat, deputy director of Dung Quat Economic Zone Management Authority Le Van Dung thought this was a positive sign for a wave of Japanese investment.
“After an investment of a big investor, there are always investments of suppliers following the big one. We expect to see a boom in Japanese investment in the coming time,” said Dung.
Cao Khoa, chairman of Quang Ngai People’s Committee, said all investors investing in the province were offered the most favourable investment climate. “We always give strong support to each investor to ensure they are successful when investing here. Doosan Vina is a good example,” said Khoa.
Last year, the provincial committee proposed the government expand Dung Quat Economic Zone to attract more investors, especially foreign ones from South Korea, Japan, the EU and the US.
“In the future, we will focus on calling investment projects in fields of petrochemicals, manufacturing, processing and shipbuilding to Dung Quat Economic Zone,” said Khoa.
However, he added infrastructure development projects like industrial parks and urban projects were prioritised, too.
The provincial committee recently introduced a master plan for Doc Soi urban area, Van Tuong township and Sa Ky urban area. Those projects offer investors a lot of investment opportunities.
Quang Ngai would also like to be a tourism hub offering investors investment opportunities in Sa Huynh area.
Sa Huynh is a coastal area in the southernmost part of Quang Ngai in Duc Pho district, 60 kilometres south of Quang Ngai city. This area is home to a nice beach and valuable archaeological traces of Sa Huynh culture.
According to the provincial strategy, Sa Huynh tourism area will cover 1,700 hectares, including luxurious resorts, commercial and sport complexes and cultural tourism areas.