In 2012, out of 16 new investment projects of Hai Phong, 7 were of Japanese investors with a total investment of US$900 million. This number accounting for about 83 percent of new investment and most of the rest also came from Japanese investors through Singaporean nationality. To understand the success story of attracting investment in Hai Phong, especially FDI attracted from Japan, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Pham Thuyen, Chairman of the Management Board of Hai Phong Economic Zone. Ngo San reports.
How do you evaluate the progress of infrastructure construction and the implementation of investment projects of Hai Phong Industrial Zone over the recent years?
To date, Hai Phong has a total of 17 industrial zones of 10,000 hectares under the general project approved by the Prime Minister. This is a 3-time increase in number of industrial zones, 10-time in size compared to 2007 onwards and is considered a success in overcome the problem of fragmentation and small-scale. Notably, the Dinh Vu – Cat Hai Economic Zone has been approved to carry out a plan toward 2025, becoming one of five key economic zones of the country.
Investment in building industrial parks and economic zones has created a system of infrastructure with long-term value, contributing to infrastructure expansion and development of the city. From January 2007 to June 2013, the Hai Phong Management Board has issued nine certificates of investment in building industrial park infrastructure, bringing the total number of the city’s established industrial park to eight parks. This and 12 projects of developing industrial park infrastructure have helped creating a favourable environment to attract investment.
A series of economic zone infrastructure projects using state budget also have been launched, including construction of the main road connecting Dinh Vu Industrial Zone and Nam Dinh Vu Industrial Zone (total investment of VND67 billion); construction of Nam Dinh Vu sea dyke (total investment of VND998.5 billion), construction of main road of the Southwest of Dinh Vu Industrial Zone (total investment of VND997 billion), etc. In addition, there are also many ODA-funded projects on the run including project of Hai Phong International Gateway port Component A (total investment of VND25,000 billion) and project of car – road Tan Vu – Lach Huyen (total investment of more than VND8,000 billion).
Can you tell us how the administrative reform over recent years has help simplify formalities to facilitate business activities in industrial zones and what’s new in the 2013 reform?
Administrative reform and simplification of administrative formalities has always been a priority of the Management Board, calling for open, transparency and simplification in administrative formalities to create a favourable environment for business in the industrial parks. The Management Board has promoted the mechanism “one door, one inter-door” and the use of Information Technology. The Board has applied the “single window” model as well as the quality management system ISO 9001: 2008. The “inter-door” has been used in the procedure of issue investment certificate, tax code and corporate seal for business.
As for the process of simplification in administrative formalities, the Board of Management has regularly reviewed the administrative formalities, abolished the formalities not in accordance with the law or simplification regulations and proposes more practical amendments.
In 2013, the Management Board has continued the “single window, one inter-door” mechanism, reviewed and proposed repealing one formality. The Receiving and Returning Bureau has continued its success in the work of receiving and returning files. All files have been processed in accordance with ISO procedures and ensure the time punctuality rate remain high of 99 percent; a small number of late cases were due to the need of consultation between the Management Board and relevant ministries and agencies.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan, what is your opinion of cooperation prospects between the two countries as well as the two countries’ businesses?
Vietnam and Japan have traditional relation. More than 40 years of cultivation, cooperation and development has brought two countries into strategic partnership. In the future, Vietnam-Japan relations will continue this positive momentum to develop more comprehensive, bringing benefits for the peoples of both nations, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the world. Based on this foundation, provinces, cities, localities and enterprises of Vietnam and Japan in the future would have more and more opportunities for cooperation and development. Hopefully, Hai Phong city will make good use of these special advantages to attract more high-quality investment projects from Japanese investors.