New industrial zone to lure Japanese firms

Nguyen Thi Thao NhiNguyen Thi Thao Nhi

Construction of the Phu My 3 Industrial Zone starts today in the south-eastern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau to predominantly house Japanese companies. Viet Nam News spoke to Nguyen Thi Thao Nhi, CEO of the Thanh Binh Phu My Joint Stock Company, the major investor in the zone, about its strengths and commitment to the province’s development.
What persuaded you to build the industrial zone despite the difficult economic situation?
Many partners and investors have asked me this interesting question.

In my opinion, business opportunities exist always in life, even during the toughest period. The most important thing is to grab them in time. This opportunity came to us and we decided to grab it tight.

At the end of 2011 the Vietnamese and Japanese governments released the “Joint Statement on the Actions Taken Under Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia.” It included the construction of two IZs meant exclusively for Japanese investors in Viet Nam. Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Hai Phong were chosen to implement the commitment.

Local authorities were determined to successfully implement the plan and chose us.

The opportunity also arose because the two large modern zones in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Phu My 1 and Phu My 2, are almost full with occupancy rates of 96 per cent and 60 per cent.

Furthermore, neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Myanmar keep developing industrial zones and offer investors many incentives. If we do not carry out this project now, we will be left behind.

You said the zone is meant only for Japanese investors. Is that right?

No, it is not totally correct.

Phu My 3 Industrial Zone:

Main developer: Thanh Binh Phu My Joint Stock Company

Size: 999ha

Capital: About VND7,260 billion (US$345 million)

Location: Phuoc Hoa Commune, Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province

We will earmark around 300ha [out of 999ha] in the zone for Japanese investors. We are now looking for an investor with rich experience in operating and managing IZs to co-operate in building it.

In the rest of the zone, we will welcome domestic and foreign investors from all nations and territories.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau is situated in the Southern Key Economic Region meaning competition will be very tough. How do you plan to compete with the 13 other IZs in the province besides those in neighbouring provinces like Binh Duong and Dong Nai?

You are totally right in saying that the competition will be very tough. But we believe that the location will help us take on the competition.

The zone is situated close to national highways, international airports, and the Thi Vai – Cai Mep deepwater port network, which has 16 ports in operation.

Moreover, our zone follows other modern zones, so we have got much experience from them. With this experience, we hope Phu My 3 will become a fully integrated industrial zone.

We will build proper infrastructure including electricity, water, water treatment plant, and natural gas, condensate, and liquefied petroleum gas, which will be piped directly to each plant.

The other advantage that we highly appreciate is having a residential and services area right inside the zone to house executives and their families. It will have villas, serviced residences, hotels, medical facilities, and a business centre.

In addition, we will earmark 8ha near the zone to build housing for workers.

Besides, like other zones, we are committed to bringing investors clear land titles and single-window services.

IZs across the country are now facing many challenges in attracting foreign investors. What should they do to attract investment and what are your plans?

Plans for the Phu My 3 Industrial Zone in Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province. — VNA/VNS PhotoPlans for the Phu My 3 Industrial Zone in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

I think, it is time now for IZs in Viet Nam to offer all services and of better quality so that investors no longer have to worry about administrative procedures, environmental issues, or land clearance.

I am very optimistic about our zone.

We see that the basic material production industry is underdeveloped in Viet Nam. To achieve the goal of industrialisation and modernisation by 2020, the country must attract investment in this industry.

However, we cannot achieve the goal without developing industries that may harm the environment — such as petrochemicals, plating, dyeing, pulp, and cloth.

Few IZs have so far dared to house companies in these industries. So our strategy is to develop the basic material industry, and we are determined to do it.

When we successfully develop basic material production, we believe that investors from other sectors such as supporting industry, construction materials, garments, and even heavy industry will come to our zone.

Few IZs in the country allow basic material production because they worry about pollution. What will your company do to address this problem?

We all know that we will face many environmental issues when investing in these sectors. But we are determined to pursue this strategy because if no one dares to do so, the basic material production industry will never develop in the country.

We are now looking for contractors and are ready to spend money to have the most advanced technologies to build water treatment systems and keep the environment clean in the zone.

The other important thing is oversight. In our zone, this will be very tight. All cases of pollution will definitely be pursued.

In the list of industries that your zone is interested in, I saw logistics. Why did you choose it and what is your plan?

Firstly, Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s goal is to become a logistics hub in the region.

Secondly, we aim to help investors minimise their costs. The best method is by connecting and unifying production and transportation.

We have earmarked more than 135ha for logistics and bonded warehousing. Work on logistics will start in the second phase at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016.

Initially it will serve the demand of the zone and neighbouring areas; after that, it will serve other companies in the region.

What is Thanh Binh Phu My Company’s commitment to Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province?

Our view is that the development of society and the province is our development. That is why we target investments that can contribute to the province’s industrialisation and modernisation.

Moreover, we are also committed to co-operating with the province and foreign companies to send workers abroad for training to supply quality human resources to the province in future.

We plan to attract about 60,000 experts and engineers to the zone. — VNS

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