European investors propose US$1 billion logistics project in Vietnam
European investors have proposed a US$984-million Cai Mep Ha logistics center in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau.
The proposal was made at a meeting among Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Eisbeth Akkerman, Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen and European investors on September 16.
According to a joint venture of investors from Belgium and the Netherlands, the logistics center could accommodate large container ships. Meanwhile, the project is set to facilitate the development of inland waterway transportation that help bring agricultural products from the Mekong delta river to the world.
At the meeting, investors expected the government to soon approve the projects, stressing the commitment to ensure the implementation progress with high quality, as well as using the “green transportation methods” for sustainable development.
The project, if approved by Vietnam’s authorities, would be among first projects between European investors and Vietnam after the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) came into effect.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcome the project proposal, saying bilateral relations between Vietnam and the two Benelux countries are on the rise.
According to Mr. Phuc, both countries are Vietnam’s major trading partners, while many enterprises from Belgium and the Netherlands are reaping benefits from investing in Vietnam, including the Rent-A-Port, or ship building firm Damen, among others.
Mr. Phuc, however, stressed the investment capital from the EU to Vietnam remains at modest level.
Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Eisbeth Akkerman congratulated Vietnam’s achievements in the Covid-19 fight and subsequent economic recovery efforts.
While both Vietnam and the EU are focusing on boosting economic growth, the EVFTA is a symbol of the EU – Vietnam cooperation, stated Mrs. Akkerman.
The EVFTA would lay the foundation for further cooperation between two sides, and the logistics project be proof of that, added Mrs. Akkerman.
Ms. Akkerman said the Dutch government fully supports the project, as such, the Dutch Development Bank FMO has committed to contribute 10% of the project’s investment capital.
Regarding the logistics project, Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen said the Belgian Corporation for International Investment is willing to support the project.
PM Phuc said the EVFTA would open up new opportunities for further cooperation between Vietnam and EU’s enterprises, requesting Belgium and the Netherlands to assist Vietnam in enhancing the efficiency in implementing the EVFTA.
Vietnam is willing to create favorable conditions for foreign investors, especially those from the EU, stated Mr. Phuc.
The Vietnamese PM urged local authorities in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province to speed up the approval process of the project.
Trade turnover between Vietnam and the Netherlands in the first seven months of 2020 stood at US$354 billion, while Belgium is Vietnam’s sixth export market with trade revenue of US$3.1 billion in 2019.
Investors from the two European countries expected to turn the Cai Mep Ha logistics center into the region’s major hub of logistics and support the export of agricultural products from the Me Kong delta river to EU.
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