Chu Lai’s transformation is a lesson to other zones

June 25, 2012 | 12:58
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Central Quang Nam province’s Chu Lai Economic Zone’s drive into an automotive industry hub is setting an example to economic zones nationwide.

Domestic Truong Hai Auto Corporation last week broke ground of its $250 million auto engine manufacturing project in the zone, which will manufacture 20,000 engines each year under a technology transfer agreement signed with South Korean’s Hyundai Motor Company.

This project, close to Truong Hai’s auto assembling factory, is a milestone in turning Chu Lai from a multi-sector zone to an automotive manufacturing hub.

“This is a new way for the development of Chu Lai. This will contribute to development of the country’s automotive industry,” said Do Xuan Dien, deputy director of Chu Lai Economic Zone Management Authority.

Late last year, Japan’s Mazda Motor Corporation launched an auto assembling factory in this zone, to manufacture 20,000 units per year.

“Our target is luring automotive manufacturers and domestic and foreign suppliers in the industry to the zone. By doing that, we don’t have to compete with other economic zones,” said Dien.

Vietnam has 15 coastal economic zones and 28 bordergate economic zones and by the end of last year coastal economic zones attracted $31 billion in foreign direct investment, while bordegate economic zones commitments reached $700 million.

As a result, the gloves are off between zones as they compete for investment. For example, economic zones like Nghi Son in central Thanh Hoa province, Dung Quat in central Quang Ngai, Nam Phu Yen in central Phu Yen and Nhon Hoi in central Binh Dinh all want  to become an oil refinery hub.

“Each economic zone should be an industrial cluster for a specific industry. This will help boost the development of the industry it focuses on. Chu Lai is a good case for study,” said Nguyen Mai, chairman of Vietnam Association for Foreign Invested Enterprises.

In fact, Chu Lai neighbour Dung Quat Economic Zone is also changing its policy in investment attraction with the focus on oil refinery, steel and mechanical manufacturing.

Le Van Dung, deputy director of Dung Quat Economic Zone Management Authority, said the focus would make Dung Quat be a centre of heavy manufacturing as well as enable the local authorities to select right and effective investment projects.

By Ngoc Linh

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