New Approach of Investment Attraction Needed
Hai Phong City has always been proactive in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and especially those redirected into the region. To find out more, Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Tran Viet Tuan, Director of Hai Phong Department of Planning and Investment. Hoai Nam reports.
According to Decision 758/QD-UBND dated March 172020 of the Hai Phong City People's Committee approving the “Hai Phong Investment Promotion Program for 2020”, we have focused on attracting high-quality investment projects with advanced environment-friendly technologies. We attracted US$82557 million of FDI in the year to September 30 equal to 7528% of the value in the same period of 2019 and 51.6% of the full-year plan in 2020.
We have licensed some large-scale projects such as the US$200 million factory of USI in Vietnam, the US$19.8 million Cuu Long carton paper production project, the US$19.9 million project of Chee Yuen, US$1991 million Project 18 of BW Nam Dinh Vu Industrial Development Company Limited. Besides, we allowed some large projects to hike their investment fund like Lite One Project with US$68 million more, PHIHONG Project with US$31 million more, Regina Miracle International Vietnam Project with US$140 million more, and Long Vuong Plastic Factory Project with US$40.2 million more.
Could you please tell how the city has supported enterprises in their projects?
When foreign investors are seeking investment opportunities and carrying out investment registration procedures in the city, we always work together to support them in various forms like providing a guide book on the investment environment including procedures, and forms of investment; consulting, and supporting document reviews through email and telephone. Accordingly, since the beginning of 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have granted 23 new foreign-invested projects and allowed five existing projects to raise their investment value.
In addition, we have assisted more than 50 companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and urgently settled investment procedures for investors to carry out projects troubled by the pandemic, making them feel secure when they invest in the city.
How do you assess changes in State management of investment?
In 2004 Hai Phong was the first locality in the country to deploy a modern investment service model with independent and specialized single-window division. Up to now, 100% of our agencies and units are using the single-window mechanism, including all 20 departments, all 15 districts, all 217 communes, wards and towns. Some new innovative models are being effectively deployed, such as the friendly single-window model and interconnected electronic single-window model.
Departments and localities have strictly followed regulations on land, construction, environment, business and investment registration and related administrative procedures to facilitate businesses. In 2016 it took on average 2.3 days to settle a new establishment and a change in investment registration. At present, it takes less than two working days or just 1.5 days. All documents are filed online. The time of granting construction permits and land-use rights certificates is reduced by 33-50%. The time of processing valid investment procedures is reduced by over 60% for domestic investors and 30% for foreign investors. The time to get connected to the medium-voltage power grid is 19 days at most on the single-window division. Over 99% of tax declaration and tax payment are conducted online and over 97% of declarations on collection and payment of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance premiums are handled electronically.
At the same time, the city has supported local businesses and investors to tackle emerging hardships at regular meetings. Since September 2016 we have advised the Hai Phong People's Committee to hold 35 monthly business meetings and resolved 295 out of 312 proposals submitted by them (accounting for 9455%) and the rest of 17 proposals (accounting for 545%) are being settled by relevant agencies. In the first nine months of 2020 due to the distress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hai Phong People's Committee managed to host only two meetings with them, one in June 2020 and the other in September 2020 with seven out of 18 proposals completely solved (accounting for 3889%) and 11 remaining proposals (accounting for 6111%) being settled. In addition, the Hai Phong People's Committee has regularly urged competent agencies to give timely answers and strengthened coordinated settlement among relevant agencies and localities. At the same time, districts are required to hold monthly business dialogues on the 10th day and the gathering hosted by the municipal government is held quarterly on the 15th day of the last month of the quarter. Since October 2019 districts have made monthly business meeting plans. Some localities have not received requests from local enterprises. Thuy Nguyen, Kien An, Ngo Quyen and Hai An districts have successfully hosted many business meetings.
Moreover, the Hai Phong City People's Committee and relevant agencies have all publicized their contact hotlines, launched online Q&A sections on websites and opened business support websites. The city provides support for foreign investors on the website,
How have you built a FDI attraction scenario for the upcoming time?
As international investors are restructuring their manufacturing and supply networks across the globe, we need to take quick reform action to accommodate them.
Therefore, in the coming time, Hai Phong will continue to make more concerted efforts to further improve the investment and business environment, facilitate and support businesses to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic; reduce the settlement time of administrative procedures, apply information technology to the settlement of administrative procedures; actively promote and invite well-branded multinational corporations to invest in the city, especially from developed markets with strong capital, management skills, and cutting-edge technology such as the United States, the European Union (EU) and Japan. We will strengthen the linkage of domestic and foreign enterprises in order to facilitate domestic firms to enter value chains. In addition, we will focus on preparing the ground, speed up the formation of industrial zones to accommodate foreign investment projects in addition to synchronous transport infrastructure, social infrastructure, water supply and communication systems to create the most favorable living and working environment for investors. The city is expected to have 10 more industrial parks approved in the near future to ensure the clean land fund for investors and capture an investment wave from multinational corporations into Vietnam and Hai Phong City.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum
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