Localities attempt to buck funding trend

September 18, 2021 | 08:00
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An increase in financing for operational projects so far this year is demonstrating foreign investors’ trust in the local investment environment and the efforts of localities in improving the business community.
Localities attempt to buck funding trend
Illustration photo - Hyosung Vietnam, source hyosungvina.com

Dong Nai People’s Committee in late August granted an investment certificate for Hyosung Vietnam with added capital of $37 million, increasing the company’s total investment capital in the southern province to $697 million. Hyosung Vietnam, a 100 per cent foreign-invested company that manufactures fabrics, spandex, nylon, and polyester, has poured approximately $1.5 billion into Dong Nai over nearly 15 years of operation.

At the same time, the southern province also licensed South Korean paint manufacturer KCC Vietnam Co., Ltd. to adjust an additional $30 million to expand its manufacturing line, increasing the company’s capital in the province to $111 million.

They are only two of numerous added-capital projects approved in recent months. In Dong Nai, a majority of foreign-invested enterprises are operating at between 25 and 60 per cent capacity compared to before the summer pandemic woes began. However, they are still determined to expand operations with the trust that the current situation can ease before the end of the year.

“Foreign investor expansion is a part of their long-term plans in the province. Along with trust in the investment environment here, they see the potential in Long Thanh International Airport, which is undergoing construction,” Le Van Danh, deputy director of Dong Nai Industrial Zones Management Authority, told VIR.

“The province supports maximum favourable conditions for investors to develop projects. When they prepare dossiers with the full necessary papers, the authorities can take only one day to approve their projects,” Danh said.

In normal times, almost all investors can meet construction deadlines as committed. However, at present, the pandemic is impacting this process. “In newly-registered projects and added-capital projects, the investors are eager to wait for the control of the pandemic in order that they can implement their projects as soon as possible,” Danh added.

Over the past year, global foreign direct investment flows have fallen by 35 per cent to $1 trillion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the lowest level since 2005 and almost 20 per cent lower than after the 2008 global financial crisis hit, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2021. But after a stronger-than-most 2020 in Vietnam, various cities and provinces are doing all they can to continue their decent progress in this regard.

Masato Kataoka, general director of Ojitex Vietnam Co., Ltd, said that after the success of the first project in Dong Nai, the firm decided to build another factory in Loc An-Binh Son Industral Zone of Long Thanh district, with the total investment capital of $60 million and capacity of 78,000 tonnes of paper products a year.

Kataoka explained that the province has methodical plans for growth and the infrastructure is basically completed. Besides that, the province has made efforts to create regional links to ensure smooth goods transportation. Especially, the leadership team is willing to accompany enterprises to deal with difficulties during the investment process. These reasons are the basis for the company’s decision for investment expansion.

These projects have contributed to lighting up the picture of foreign-invested capital attraction in 2021 thus far. Statistics published by the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency showed that during January-August 20, the total newly-registered capital increased by 16.3 per cent on-year to $11.33 billion and the total added capital increased by 2.3 per cent to nearly $5 billion. The number of projects with capital of over $50 million has also increased.

In Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City among others, organised meetings with representatives of the business community have discussed the difficulties and look for solutions. Cities and provinces have inevitably been dealing with problems relating to the production and business activities of a large number of enterprises where social distancing measures are being imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Especially, local authorities are paying attention to issues related to regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control, such as transport control, goods circulation, vaccinations, entry of experts, policies to support businesses, and digital transformation in enterprises. Direct dialogue, emails, and consulting via hotlines are maintained as regularly as possible despite the current restrictions.

Nguyen Van Hieu, head of Planning at Bac Ninh Department of Planning and Investment, told VIR that the province is implementing a four-pronged policy to support and attract investors, covering land, labour force, investment reform, and general support.

“Reforming the investment environment is considered the leading priority to attract investors. In Bac Ninh, the trust and satisfaction of investors are considered the core goal to promote the economic development of the province,” said Hieu. “We support investors through a task force model to work directly with enterprises. Besides that, we gain feedback from organisations and individuals via a hotline when they carry out administrative procedures.”

By Oanh Nguyen

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