Located in the center of the southern key economic region and on an acute angle of the development triangle Ho Chi Minh City-Binh Duong-Dong Nai, Dong Nai province borders Binh Thuan province to the east, Lam Dong province to the northeast, Binh Duong
and Binh Phuoc provinces to the northwest, Ba Ria-Vung Tau
province to the south and Ho Chi Minh City to the west. The province covers an area of 5,907 square kilometers and has a population of around 2.56 million. It has Bien Hoa city and Long Khanh town as its main urban centers and nine districts of Long Thanh, Nhon Trach, Vinh Cuu, Trang Bom, Thong Nhat, Dinh Quan, Tan Phu, Cam My and Xuan Loc.
Moves to attract FDI from Asian countries
Adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Dong Nai itself has 40-square-kilometer Bien Hoa airport and convenient waterway routes and seaports for international trade. Dong Nai river, 162km long, is the main waterway route for transporting goods and passengers within the province and from the province to Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Its three seaports of Long Binh Tan (on Dong Nai river) and Go Dau A and Go Dau B (on Thi Vai river) are capable of handling 3.5 million tons of cargo/year. As planned, several key national transport projects will be constructed, including Long Thanh International Airport, Phuoc An deep-water port, and Bien Hoa-Vung Tau railway and expressway.
Dong Nai province is to date home to 32 industrial parks (IPs) occupying a total area of 10,240 ha and 45 industrial clusters and craft villages covering around 2,080 ha.
According to the Dong Nai Planning and Investment Department, in the first four months of the year, the province granted investment licenses to 42 new FDI projects totaling USD 305.7 million and permitted 29 existing projects to add USD 339.7 million to their registered investment capital. A USD 55 million fabric production plant of Promax Textile Ltd. Co in Nhon Trach III IP and a USD 50 million project specialized in manufacturing wood products in Giang Dien IP, both of Brunei investors, are among the biggest ones in the province. In addition, most FDI projects in the province are specialized in hi-tech and supporting industries and furnished with environment-friendly technologies, which are in line with the province’s investment policy.
The province has so far attracted a total of 1,215 FDI projects with a combined registered capital of USD 23.91 billion. At present, Taiwan (China), the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan are leading a total of 43 countries and territories investing in the province.
At a Japanese investment promotion conference held in the province late April, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dinh Quoc Thai reported: “Japan ranks third among 43 countries and territories investing in the province with 206 projects with a total capital of over USD 3.7 billion”.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung told the conference that Dong Nai ranked fourth in the country in Japan’s investment attraction. He expressed his belief that “With transport advantages and Long Thanh International Airport to be built, the province will become more attractive to Japanese companies than other southern provinces and cities”.
At the event, the province called on Japan to invest in hi-tech projects, supporting industries, energy conservation, agricultural product processing and industrial production.
The results were attributable to favorable transport facilities, industrial parks’ complete infrastructure and quick clearance of procedures, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Vinh.
Since the beginning of the year, the province has sent two trade promotion delegations to the US and Japan to call for investment and expand export markets.
Also in the first four months of this year, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dinh Quoc Thai received a number of foreign consuls general and delegations of foreign investors who paid separate working visits to the province to inquire about investment opportunities.
Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Karen Lanyon said several major Australian groups would like to invest in industries and vocational training in Vietnam to take advantage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. Dong Nai has drawn attention of Australian businesses as the province was the gateway of the southeastern region, she said, adding that the Australian Consulate would help domestic businesses accelerate trade promotion in the province.
Belgian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Dominique Casier revealed a number of Belgian businesses’ plan to invest in the province’s industry, agriculture and education. Malaysian Consul General in HCM City Sofian Akmal Abd Karim said his country’s businesses wished to invest in industries and real estate in Vietnam in general and Dong Nai in particular.
The province has set a target of USD 1 billion in FDI attraction this year.
According to Deputy Director of the Management Board of Dong Nai Industrial Zones Authority Mai Van Nhon, the province squarely refuses polluting and labor-intensive projects and prudently considers projects occupying large land areas in order to ensure the efficiency of land use.
In 2016, the province is expected to speed up the implementation of a number of key projects such as Ben Luc-Long Thanh and Dau Giay-Phan Thiet expressways and Tan Van-Nhon Trach section of belt road 3.
To attract investors to hi-tech and supporting industries, the provincial administration has offered them numerous incentives. Regarding taxation, a hi-tech investment project will enjoy a corporate income tax rate of 10 percent for 15 years after being entitled to tax exemption for four years and 50-percent tax reduction for subsequent nine years. Investors will also enjoy land rental exemption for 11 years after their projects commence operation. In the meantime, projects for manufacturing supporting industrial products in An Phuoc, Nhon Trach 6 and Giang Dien IPs will enjoy a corporate income tax rate of 20 percent for 10 years after being entitled to tax exemption for two years and 50-percent tax reduction for subsequent four years.
A corner of Bien Hoa industrial park (Dong Nai province) __Photo: Danh Lam/VNA
With a tropical monsoon climate all year round, Dong Nai is well known for not only beautiful tropical orchards growing grapefruit, banana and jackfruit but also Cat Tien National Park
, a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve, with Bau Sau
(the Crocodile Lake), a favorite destination for adventure tours with trekking in the jungle. With nice tropical landscape with wavy lines, the 36-hole Long Thanh Golf Resort in Bien Hoa town and the 27-hole Dong Nai Golf Resort in Trang Bom district are favorite places for domestic and foreign golfers.
Dong Nai province has other favorable conditions to develop diverse forms of tourism (spiritual, ecological and convalescence tourism). In addition to 47 historical, cultural and revolutionary relics, the province boasts famous craft villages like the carpentry village in Bien Hoa city, the brocade weaving village in Ta Lai commune, Tan Phu district, Buu Long stone village and Tan Van ceramic village.
At present, Dong Nai has a total of 121 hotels with over 3,000 rooms.
According to Nguyen Van Hau, head of the tourism section of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, the province welcomed more than 1.2 million tourists in the first four months of the year. However the number of foreign tourists visiting the province remained modest with only 19,000 foreign holiday makers, mainly from Taiwan (China), the RoK, Japan, the UK, the US and Australia.
The province plans to receive 3.1 million tourists, including 60,000-65,000 foreign arrivals, and earning a gross revenue of some VND 1 trillion this year.
Hau said that aiming to achieve the targets, the local hospitality sector would send delegations to Japan, the RoK and Taiwan to seek experienced investors for developing potential tourist sites in Vinh Cuu, Tan Phu and Bien Hoa districts. The sector will continue calling on all economic sectors to invest in developing major tourist and entertainment sites, hotels and restaurants.
In order to welcome 6 million tourists, including around 180,000 foreigners, by 2020, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Department will consult the provincial Party Committee on the issuance of a tourism development resolution.
The local hospitality sector will focus on building the Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve into one of its key tourist zones and call investment in upgrading Buu Long Mountain and mango garden tourist sites and Tan Hiep prison relic in Bien Hoa city.- (VLLF)