Hai Duong’s Korean investor magnet

August 22, 2022 | 09:29
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Hai Duong has become a cradle for South Korean investors as it is currently home to 134 of their projects, with the total registered capital surpassing $1.4 billion. This has turned the country into the leader in the number of projects and third in total foreign investment volume in the northern province

Le Hong Dien, director of Hai Duong Department of Planning and Investment, has explained that in recent years that the province has coaxed a number of sizable projects from South Korea which are mainly based in industrial zones (IZs), helping to constitute an industrial ecosystem with positive impacts on the province’s economic development.

Hai Duong’s Korean investor magnet
Employees at Hyundai Kefico Vietnam Photo: Thanh Chung

This has contributed to drawing a pipeline of large-scale, high-tech supporting industry projects from global corporations in diverse fields of electronics, auto components, and spare parts manufacture to the province such as Hyundai Kefico, Prettl; KPF washer rivets, and SD Global smartphone devices, among others.

South Korean investors have mainly engaged in electrical, electronics, and mould manufacture, logistics services, textile and apparel industry, Dien said.

Most eminent is the project on manufacturing spare parts and auxiliary parts for motorised vehicles of Hyundai Kefico Vietnam Co., Ltd. which received its investment registration certificate for the first time in 2009 at Dai An Industrial Park, with the total investment capital reaching $65 million.

In early April, Chairman of Hai Duong People’s Committee Trieu The Hung awarded an investment certificate allowing Hyundai Kefico Vietnam to inject $50 million more into the project, bringing the project’s total investment capital to $400 million, turning it the largest foreign-invested project in the province’s IZs thus far.

The projects, run by South Korean investors, have relatively stable production and business activities, and strictly abiding by Vietnam’s regulations. Over the years, South Korean businesses have been promoting their business efficiency, contributing to Hai Duong’s industrial and handicraft development as well as increasing revenue for the local budget.

In 2021 alone, they contributed $900 million in export value, accounting for 9.1 per cent of the province’s total export turnover and equal to 8.8 per cent of the province’s regional GDP.

Inspiring businesses

According to Secretary of Hai Duong Party Committee Pham Xuan Thang, one of Hai Duong’s development strategies is to become a major energy and logistics centre in the northern region. Hai Duong always appreciates the role and position of South Korean investors, and always welcomes their enterprises to continue research and invest in the locality.

The province also works on building industrial complexes featuring high connectivity so that investors can easily find partners to support their production and business. This has inspired many South Korean businesses to embrace research and look for opportunities to invest in energy and logistics projects in the province.

Hai Duong’s favourable geographical position close to major national development centres, and a pipeline of traffic projects, help create synchronous transport links to facilitate business in logistics and energy investment in the province.

What is more, Hai Duong is perfecting the provincial planning scheme integrated with many sites to be able to best avail of its strengths in energy production and logistics investment, meanwhile, the sub-zone planning could also be adjusted following the project scale.

Hai Duong is currently home to 11 IZs that have been put into operation with a total area of more than 1,730 hectares, of which 1,470ha is to accommodate infrastructure; with an average occupancy rate reaching 84 per cent.

In early 2021, the province was greenlit by the prime minister to invest in four IZ infrastructure projects, with a planned area of ​​nearly 760ha, and further, execute two established projects with a planning area of ​​nearly 340ha.

Hai Duong now works on the planning of dynamic zones for industrial development in Binh Giang and Thanh Mien districts, with a total area approximating 10,000ha, of which more than half of the area is set for IZ development, with priority to be given to luring green and tech-intensive projects with high spillover effects on the provincial and regional development.

The IZ aims to accommodate a high-tech IP; an urban and services IZ with the core being a business startup and innovation centre; and an eco-IP, creating a driving force to push up socioeconomic development of the province, the Red River delta, and beyond.

In addition, the province hosts 53 industrial clusters with a total area of ​​2,683ha, of which 40 operating clusters report an occupancy rate exceeding 70 per cent, and 13 were set up in 2021.

Hai Duong’s Korean investor magnet

Coaxing investment

Besides traditional investment fields of South Korean investors such as electrical and component manufacturing, Hai Duong is now looking forward to attracting investment into other fields that their enterprises have advantages, including urban technical infrastructure development; smart urban areas; infrastructure for water supply; the environment; infrastructure of IZs and clusters; ICT services; biotechnology; production and assembly of automobiles and auto parts; tourism, education and training; healthcare; and logistics, among others.

According to Hai Duong’s Party Committee Secretary Thang, the locality wants South Korean support to facilitate the entry of personnel and investors to ensure reaching production and business rebound targets while ensuring pandemic prevention. Simultaneously, they can help to woo investment from large corporations with financial wealth such as LG, Samsung, Daewoo, and Lotte, to the province.

Hai Duong always encourages and creates favourable conditions for businesses to invest, and scale up investment in the province, where authorised agencies always listen to the opinions of investors, create the best conditions to support them in production and business activities, and consider their success also a provincial success.

To ramp up Hai Duong’s appeal in the eyes of investors in the upcoming time, general director of Hyundai Kefico Vietnam Co., Ltd. Kim Sungsoo suggested that Hai Duong makes efforts to have in place the best infrastructure to compete with localities in the region.

At the same time, it is important to facilitate legal support, ensure speedy settlement of problems related to administrative procedures, and labour management; and stimulate foreign investors to pour money into the province.

According to Hung of Hai Duong People’s Committee, the province is now focusing on diversifying channels for investment promotion through agencies, forums, and reputable economic organisations at home and abroad such as the South Korean Embassy to Vietnam, their business associations, and more. Hai Duong hopes that South Korean investors will continue supporting it to develop smart urban projects in key industrial areas of the province.

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By Thanh Son

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