A fundamental difference between economic zones and special economic zones in Vietnam is the former’s infrastructure is invested by State capital and the latter is invested by investors. Dr. Vo Dai Luoc, former Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), said as special economic zones are invested by the private sector, the definition, selection and invitation of strategic investors is extremely important. It is necessary to attract investors who are world-recognised Top 500 Companies. These investors not only have strong financial base, technological expertise and high-grade services, but also have strong pull on other investors. Like locating special economic zones, the result of inviting strategic investors can determine the success or failure of this model.
Being clearly aware of this matter, Quang Ninh has constantly expanded international cooperation. Together with regular investment promotion activities, the Investment Promotion Conference 2012 was a great double success because it not only attracted many big projects but also introduced huge development potentials of Quang Ninh province to investors. Governments at all levels are more dynamic, more open and friendlier. This was evidenced by a series of solutions, measures and tasks done for the sake of investors. Administrative procedures were reduced from 34 sets to 12 sets, e-government was deployed across the province, and site clearance was smoothed.
Provincial officials always attach great importance to external affairs. They usually pay working visits to investment projects to show their care for investors. What Quang Ninh is doing translates a dogged determination, a steely will and cooperative spirit in the message Secretary of Provincial Party Committee, Pham Minh Chinh, delivered to Quang Ninh Investment Promotion Conference in 2012: “Investors should come to Quang Ninh to experience the reality. Actions speak louder than words. Investment must bring in interests and efficiency. Please come to join hands to build prosperous Quang Ninh – a land that converges investors and diverges interests.”
Door has been opened wide to welcome guests and investors are also very eager for this opportunity. More and more international investors go to Quang Ninh to explore investment opportunities. In 2013 alone, the province received over 40 different international delegations, let alone hundreds of individual meetings. In just a short time, many major companies in the world have contacted Quang Ninh, including Joinus and Charmvit (South Korea), Amata (Thailand), Texhong (Hong Kong), Las Vegas Sands (USA), Phoenix Macau Tailoi (Macau, China), Westar Fund (Australia). Especially, at the end of 2013, Quang Ninh province organised the signing of a memorandum of understanding on investment cooperation between the province and ISC Group (USA) and Tuan Chau Group. Accordingly, Quang Ninh has agreed to let ISC Group and the Tuan Chau Group to study a US$7.5 billion tourism complex covering on 2,000 ha in Van Yen commune.
Quang Ninh expects that many cooperation opportunities and investment projects in Quang Ninh province and Van Don Special Economic Zone will be concluded after the National Assembly adopted the specific regime and accompanying laws for Van Don.
According to Secretary of Provincial Party Committee, Pham Minh Chinh, from now to 2015, the project will be kicked off. Quang Ninh attaches special attention to informing, building and issuing specific laws for the special economic zone. The zone will enter the accelerating phase in 2015 -2020 period. The province will focus investment on completing key projects like high-grade sea-based tourism complex and upgraded Van Don Airport with a yearly capacity of 2 million passengers. In the 2025-2030 phase, Van Don begins the stage of development and spreading influence. It will be an international seaside city featuring high-grade entertainment and tourism services.