WHA’s Nghe An IZ opens to global investment shifts

September 07, 2020 | 10:08
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Vietnam is proactively building nests, including developing industrial zones, to attract “eagles” and “sparrows” – investors of every scale who are planning to relocate facilities to Vietnam to enjoy the benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement as well as those moving factories out of China.
1508p7 whas nghe an iz opens to global investment shifts
WHA IZ 1 – Nghe An is creating more jobs for local people

The wave of foreign groups shifting investment has created “the opportunity of a lifetime”, as Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said at a recent online conference on planning and investment. However, if Vietnam does not prepare accordingly, the chance might just slip through its fingers.

The minister said that the prospects are quite clear; however if industrial infrastructure does not meet the increasingly high standards of foreign investors, they will bypass the country for others who are also striving to draw them in, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Vietnam will be looking to the foreign direct investment (FDI) mainstays of Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea to consolidate their presence in the country this year. In a quick survey of nearly 2,000 Japanese companies in Vietnam by the Japan External Trade Organization, 1 per cent of respondents had already moved their activities to Vietnam from China, while 5 per cent are still considering. Meanwhile, 4 per cent are mulling over an investment shift to Vietnam from other countries.

1508p7 whas nghe an iz opens to global investment shifts

Meanwhile, electronics, medical devices, aeronautics, and high-tech park infrastructure are just some of the areas South Korean expertise could be looking to penetrate, both this year and beyond.

The increasing investment inflows have made the industrial real estate market lively, with profuse supply. The development of industrial real estate in large cities and provinces like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bac Ninh is essentially a given in these circumstances.

In addition, satellite provinces, including the central province of Nghe An, are also emerging as a target to develop industrial zones thanks to their convenient geographical location, diverse labour force, and synchronised infrastructure. WHA Industrial Development Plc. is one of these investors.

Located in Dong Nam Economic Zone, a key economic centre of Nghe An, WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An is a major driver of the province’s ambition to create a breakthrough for industrial real estate to attract strategic foreign investors.

David Nardone, group executive of Industrial and International at WHA Industrial Development Plc. said, “After two years of construction, our industrial zone has finished 143.5 of the 498-hectare first phase. The land plots come in all shapes and sizes (from 5,000-100,000 square metres), fitting the requirements of any investor.”

“Offering the facilities and standards of a high-tech industrial zone, including international-standard infrastructure for industrial investors, we are ready to welcome investors from the wave of investment shifting from China, as well as enterprises looking to invest in Vietnam to take advantage of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement,” Nardone said.

At the same time, WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An will create jobs for local residents as WHA has signed agreements with universities and colleges in Nghe An’s Vinh city to recruit personnel.

In addition, WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An provides developed land of various sizes and ready-built factories for rent in Dong Nam Economic Zone, which offers special tax privileges to welcome investors in target industries.

Parallel with accelerating the construction, the managing board of WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An implemented numerous investment promotion programmes, including online events to attract investors.

In July, the group joined a conference on cooperation and development between Nghe An and South Korea, which was part of a wider “Meet Korea 2020” event organised in Hanoi.

“After the event, numerous investors contacted us to organise site visits to our industrial zone to do field work for their new investment. Many businesses were interested in selecting WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An as the place for their expansion in Vietnam,” Nardone added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also created a barrier for foreign investors arriving to Vietnam to uncover investment opportunities, thus, the group has doubled down on online investment promotion.

“WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An had already built its own hub, which is an online tool with an e-library, e-business matching, and e-planning systems. Furthermore, it is also completing an e-service tool to help existing business partners register to use our supporting services and evaluate the service quality at workshops,” Nardone said. “Although this method will not fully replace traditional venues in industrial real estate, WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An will maintain and upgrade this model as it is an inevitable trend in the digital transformation era.”

By Kim Oanh

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