Located in the southern central coast and central key economic region of the country, Binh Dinh province borders Quang Ngai province to the north, Phu Yen province to the south, Gia Lai province to the west and the East Sea to the east with a coastline of 134 kilometers. Covering some 6,070 square kilometers, the province has a population of more than 1.48 million and is home to 27 ethnic groups with Kinh (Viet) being the most populous, followed by indigenous ethnic groups Cham, Bana and H’re. It has Quy Nhon city as its capital, An Nhon and Hoai Nhon towns and eight districts, namely An Lao, Hoai An, Phu My, Vinh Thanh, Tay Son, Phu Cat, Tuy Phuoc and Van Canh.
Binh Dinh ready for new FDI influx
Binh Dinh province has changed dramatically over the recent years thanks to its investment in infrastructure development. After being upgraded, a 7.4km section of National Highway 1D running from Long Van bridge to Quy Nhon bus station, an 18km section of National Highway 19 linking Quy Nhon port with the intersection of National Highway 1A, and a 14.3 km western route connecting Quy Nhon city and Van Canh district have been opened to traffic. In addition, the completion of a 20 km section of National Highway 19B connecting Phu Cat Airport and Nhon Hoi Economic Zone (EZ) has shortened the travelling time from the airport to the EZ and is expected to welcome the influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the province.
At present, Quy Nhon port is the most convenient international gateway between the Central Highlands and neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos. The province is home to six industrial parks, including Nhon Hoi EZ on the largest land plot of over 14,000 hectares.
“At present, Binh Dinh’s advantages of a deep-water port and complete transport infrastructure facilities, which is convenient for goods transportation and successful attraction of large investors to industrial infrastructure such as Becamex VSIP Binh Dinh Integrated Township and Industrial Park, are important points for Japanese investors, including Mitsubishi Motors Group, to explore investment opportunities,” Japan’s Mitsubishi CEO Kenichi Horinouchi, who sought a location for his firm’s second automobile manufacturing factory in Vietnam, affirmed.
According to the Chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee Nguyen Phi Long, Binh Dinh is now home to three German-invested projects, specialized in manufacturing basalt, granite and other construction materials; injectable medicines and infusions and garments with a total capital of over USD 15.4 million. In addition to these projects, PNE Group of Germany has hoped to soon start the construction of a USD 4.8 billion wind power project in Phu Cat and Phu My districts.
In the first three quarters of this year, the province granted investment licenses to two new FDI projects involving timber and farm product processing worth USD 1.5 million. In the reviewed period, five foreign investors poured USD 10.25 million into Binh Dinh through capital contribution and share purchase.
As a result, Binh Dinh has so far attracted 83 FDI projects totaling almost USD 980 million. Apart from the USD 63.7 million solar power project invested by Japan’s Fujiwara company in Quy Nhon city, most of the above projects were small-sized ones and only a few were specialized in hi-tech, supporting industry, infrastructure development and technology transfer.
|Cat Hiep solar power plant in Phu Cat district, Binh Dinh province__Photo: VNA
Director of the Binh Dinh Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Thanh Hai has told Phap luat Viet Nam (Vietnam Law) newspaper that a number of foreign groups had to cancel or postpone their exploration of investment opportunities in the province due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also affected the import of equipment and spare parts of many existing FDI projects in the province, he added.
Regarding the FDI attraction, Hai said in the coming time the province would call for investment in tourism-services, transport infrastructure, education, healthcare, supporting industry, processing industry, seaports, hi-tech agriculture and software. “Priorities would be given to projects with modern and environment-friendly technologies capable of efficiently utilizing natural resources and turning out competitive products,” he noted.
He went on to say that Binh Dinh would focus on attracting large investors to support industry projects as well as small investors with hi-tech green industries from Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and developing countries.
To welcome the FDI influx, in addition to the Government’s investment incentives, the province will provide support to foreign investors in terms of land, labor training, road toll charges and water and electricity supply.
Binh Dinh will also invest in a synchronous database and information system on labor, land, taxation, customs, credits and foreign exchange in different languages for investors.
In addition, it will continue simplifying administrative procedures for business registration, construction and
investment licensing and land handover.
A safe, friendly and attractive destination
Binh Dinh is considered a paradise in the central region for its many pristine beaches and islands. Its largely undiscovered gem, Ghenh Rang - just south of Quy Nhon city - has been listed among the five best beaches in Vietnam’s south by the UK’s National Geographic Traveller. Ghenh Rang is “a secluded beach surrounded by wildflowers, forests and mountain views, with islands scattered around the coasts”, wrote the UK’s newspaper. In addition, Quy Nhon city has been listed among the 20 best global destinations for backpackers to visit in 2020, according to recent rankings published by Hostelworld. It is also among three cities in Vietnam that have received the ASEAN Clean Tourist Awards 2020. Quy Nhon city is well known for not only Ghenh Rang but also other renowned tourist attractions Eo Gio (Windy Cliff) in Nhon Ly commune, Ky Co and Cu Lao Xanh beaches, and Hon Kho (Kho Islet) in Nhon Hai commune.
The province is also a land of rich culture with unique art forms like bai choi (a diverse art combining music, poetry, acting, painting and literature), hat boi (classical opera) and traditional martial art. It is the center of Buddhism in the central region and one of the main areas of the ancient Champa kingdom with numerous Cham towers standing today.
It is also famous for craft villages such as the Bau Da rice wine village and Nhan Thap wood carving village in An Nhon district and Phu Gia conical hat village in Phu Cat district.
Binh Dinh has 284 hotels and guest houses, including one five-star, seven four-star and six three-star hotels and 11 foreign and 44 domestic travel agents.
According to this year’s socio-economic report recently released by the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, the number of tourists flocking to the province fell by half this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospitality sector welcomed 144,600 foreign arrivals and raked in a turnover of VND 2.3 trillion, year-on-year decreases of 70 percent and 56 percent, respectively.
To promote the sector’s development after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Binh Dinh Department of Tourism has launched a program to encourage local people to act as ambassadors in tourism development so as to build the province’s image of “a safe, friendly and attractive destination”.
In addition, the Department has launched a new mobile app - Du lich Quy Nhon Binh Dinh - a free application for smartphones, available for Android and IOS to provide tourists with information on Binh Dinh such as weather forecasts, tourist spots, ATM, cuisine, accommodations, travel information and public toilet map.
It also launched two websites www.dulichquynhon.binhdinh.gov.vn or www.mybinhdinh.vn that provide detailed tourist information about the province.
The province has promoted its tourism cooperation with its neighbors and other localities nationwide to organize tours to its famous tourist spots. Binh Dinh has reached agreement with other localities in the central key economic region comprising Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Thua Thien Hue provinces, and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at a recent forum on development of tourism linkages among Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the central Vietnam key economic region. Hence, they will promote cooperation in tourism management, development of human resources in tourism, tourism products and tourism advertisement.- (VLLF)