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Environment protection trumps FDI in Binh Duong

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Environment protection trumps FDI in Binh Duong

QĐND – Monday, July 19, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has changed its mind in how its leaders view foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years. The country now refuses to grant licenses to investment projects that cause environment pollution or projects that use outdated technologies.

Binh Duong has always led other provinces and cities in terms of attracting FDI. Recently, however, Dau tu newspaper quoted Le Viet Dung, Deputy Director of the Binh Duong province Planning and Investment Department, as saying that the volume of capital in investment projects nowadays is not a priority.

These days, Dung maintained that all investors must show that their investment projects are safe for the environment in obtain an operations license.

Binh Duong authorities have denied approval for investment licenses to projects outside industrial zones. The province has also revoked licenses of tanning enterprises in residential areas, urging them to relocate into industrial zones.

Most recently, the Binh Duong Party provincial committee released a decision to reject licenses for industrial projects in Thuan An district. The land fund remaining will be given to projects on service development.

The Binh Duong 2020 development goal is to increase the proportion of services in the area economy to 51%. The plan has been applauded by investors. Low Sing Leng, General Director of Vietnam-Singapore Joint Venture (SembCorp), remarked that, besides Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), SembCorp plans to expand investment in new urban area projects in Binh Duong.

Binh Duong is also willing to welcome investment in supporting industries.

With these goals in mind, Binh Duong created a ‘modest’ target in attracting FDI at the start of 2010, set at one billion dollars in registered capital for the year. To date, the province has attracted $561 million in FDI, with average capital per investment project at $5.3 million.

Similarly, Thai Van Re, Director of HCM City Planning and Investment Department, also revealed that, in the last two years, the fields of mechanical engineering and electronics have always led in numbers of investment projects. In the first half of 2010, HCM City licensed 166 new projects, of which projects in these fields accounted for over 50 percent.

Regarding the ‘golden land areas’, which may attract up to eight billion dollars in FDI for 2010, Re remarked that this was not a main priority now.

The city now is focusing on increasing disbursement rates of present FDI projects. Though the rate for the first half of 2010 increased by 14.7 percent over the same period of 2009 (5787 billion dong), the figure was still far below expectations. The city had aimed for the disbursement of 17 trillion dong in 2010.

As a result, HCM City authorities have been trying to simplify procedures to speed up disbursement rates. They are also tackling registered projects that remain inactive,, especially in the real estate sector.

Statistics demonstrate that real estate projects account for 60 percent of the total registered FDI capital in HCM City, but disbursement rates are very low. For example, among 17 projects with revoked investment licenses in 2008, there were 11 capitalized at $3.7 billion. Most recently, city authorities have also revoked licenses on 40 other real estate projects.

Nguyen Viet Se, Director of the Southern Office of the Socio-Economic Information and Forecasting Centre, believes that now is the time to alter the purposes of FDI.

He noted that places with big economies like HCM City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau should focus on processing industries rather than running after capital from real estate projects.

Se has also come out against steel and cement projects, because this is a production field that consumes too much power and also natural resources.

Source: Dau tu/VNN

Source: QDND

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