Soc Trang lures investors with natural assets and incentives

11:54 | 18/06/2018
A major conference promoting investment into the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang paired with the launch of a startup programme will be taking place on June 19 in the city of Soc Trang.
soc trang lures investors with natural assets and incentives
Tran Van Chuyen

Ahead of the event, Tran Van Chuyen, Chairman of the Soc Trang People’s Committee, spoke to VIR’s Huu Phuc about the province’s potential and advantages as well as its efforts to improve the local investment environment.

Why has Soc Trang chosen this time to host its investment conference, given that various localities in the Mekong delta region have held similar events not long ago?

Promotion activities to solicit investment into Soc Trang have been held in the province in various forms for many years now, such as by taking part in regional and national-level investment promotion events or events held by ministries and sectors, and have resulted in great achievements. The idea of hosting a major promotion event was conceived long ago by the province’s authorities, and careful preparations have been made. The conditions have now been dubbed “mature” for such an event to take hold.

Soc Trang’s 2018 investment promotion and startup programme launch event aims to increase the exposure of the province’s socio-economic achievements, potential, advantages, and investment incentives. We will call for investment from assorted sources at home and abroad, striving for fast and sustainable development. The occasion also provides a platform for the government and provincial leaders to directly meet investors and businesses wishing to invest in the province.

In the framework of the conference, provincial leaders will approve investment proposals of several projects as well as host launch ceremonies for several major undertakings, such as the startup programme to inaugurate the province’s startup community.

The event is expected to attract about 500 delegates – leaders from various ministries and sectors, foreign diplomats and representatives of international organisations operating in Vietnam, financial and credit institutions, investment-trade promotion agencies, business associations, as well as domestic and foreign investors. Notably, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will chair and address the conference.

soc trang lures investors with natural assets and incentives
With 500 people expected to attend Soc Trang’s investment promotion conference, the province is eyeing a considerable boost to its economy, Photo: Huynh Bien

Soc Trang is one of the country’s major agricultural production areas. What are the province’s advantages for development compared to its regional peers?

A part of the Mekong River delta, Soc Trang has enormous potential for agricultural development, as its climate and soil conditions are favourable for growing many kinds of crops as well as breeding animals. What makes it different from its regional peers is the province’s immense potential to boost the marine economy, particularly in the fields of renewable energy, seaports, and ocean logistics services.

Soc Trang’s potential for wind power is huge, as the province is home to 72 kilometres of coastline with wind velocities averaging 6 metres per second. In addition, as the province is less affected by storms, it seems an ideal choice for wind power investors.

The lack of a deep-water port presents a major obstacle for Soc Trang’s ability to receive big ships. To address the limitation, the province has proposed building a deep-water port at the Tran De estuary. Why was the proposal made?

With the province’s coastline accommodating three estuaries, of which Dinh An and Tran De are the two most important gateways to the East Sea, Soc Trang boasts major advantages for the development of a seaport system to promote shipping services. After years of surveying,

marine experts say that building a deep-water port at the Tran De estuary is the most feasible option, because the seabed there is unlikely to be raised by silt, eliminating the need for dredging.

In addition, building a deep-water seaport on the Hau River will make transporting commodities to destinations in the delta region more convenient.

The prime minister has approved to add the Tran De deep-water port to Vietnam’s seaport development planning in principle, and has given it priority to call for official development assistance capital and preferential foreign loans for the project’s implementation. On that basis, the Ministry of Transport has supported our proposal to turn Tran De into an international gateway port of special significance that directly serves the import-export business of the delta region.

What investment fields have been prioritised to help Soc Trang make avail of its potential?

High-tech agriculture linked to the processing industry, renewable energy, and tourism are the three prioritised fields for which our province wants to call for investment. In addition, Soc Trang is seeking investment in other fields, such as industrial zone (IZ) and industrial cluster infrastructure; market, supermarket, and trade centre construction; as well as seaports and shipping. The province’s six planned IZs are located in areas favourable for transport. An Nghiep IZ in Chau Thanh district has already leased out more than 90 per cent of its area, while the remaining IZs, such as Tran De, Song Hau, and Dai Ngai, are in the process of luring investment.

How will Soc Trang support investors coming to the province to set up shop?

In addition to the potential and advantages the province has to offer, investors doing business in Soc Trang will receive our active support, from their market survey phase until their projects are put into operation. The province commits to providing the utmost convenience to investors in settling administrative procedures. The province’s Investment Promotion and Business Support Centre offers a one-stop shop model in operations, helping the investors to prepare and finalise procedures. To further facilitate the process, the province is busy with preparations to be able to put its Public Administrative Centre into operation in the second quarter of this year.

To ensure the openness of its administrative procedures, the province is trying its best to set up a clean land bank to serve investors, all the while ensuring a synchronous infrastructure system to their project sites.

The province will also help investors in connecting, training, and recruiting labourers based on enterprises’ demands. During project implementation, businesses may contact or directly meet top provincial leaders who will help them tackle difficulties effectively. Our management is always committed to providing the best conditions and helping investors to fast-track their projects in the province.

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