Ha Tinh - an emerging FDI spot in central Vietnam
Ha Tinh province serves as a bridge linking the north and south of Vietnam with convenient road and railway routes. Its 56,000-hectare Cau Treo border gate is among the nation’s nine major border-gate economic zones entitled to government budget allocations during 2016-20.

Located in the northern central region, Ha Tinh province borders Nghe An province to the north, Quang Binh province to the south, Bolikhamsay and Khammouane provinces of Laos to the west with a borderline of 145 kilometers and the East Sea to the east. Covering some 6,055 square kilometers, the province has a population of some 1.3 million (according to 2015 statistics), and is home to four indigenous ethnic groups, namely Thai, Chut, Muong and Lao that inhabit in small groups in Huong Khe, Huong Son and Vu Quang districts. It has a provincial city with the same name, Hong Linh and Ky Anh towns and 10 districts.

Infrastructure for foreign investment attraction

Ha Tinh province serves as a bridge linking the north and south of Vietnam with convenient road and railway routes. It is connected with Laos and Thailand via National Highways 8 and 12. Its 56,000-hectare Cau Treo border gate is among the nation’s nine major border-gate economic zones entitled to government budget allocations during 2016-20.

The province boasts Vung Ang-Son Duong deepwater seaport, the deepest of its kind in the northern central region, which can accommodate ships of up to 300,000 DWT. The deepwater seaport is also located on the main maritime routes to South Asia, North America and Europe. It also serves as the shortest gateway to the sea for Laos and northeast Thailand.

In addition, the 22,781-hectare Vung Anh Economic Zone is one of the country’s eight key coastal economic zones.

Apart from the Cau Treo International Border-Gate Economic Zone and Vung Ang Economic Zone, the province is to date home to five industrial parks (IPs), including the 200-hectare Vung Ang 1 IP, 300-hectare Ha Vang IP, 350-hectare Gia Lach IP, 200-hectare Phu VInh IP, and 41.76-hectare Hoanh Son IP.

According to the Ha Tinh Planning and Investment Department, in the first five months of the year, the province granted investment licenses to two new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects totaling USD 1,452 million. It has so far attracted a total of 68 FDI projects with a combined registered capital of USD 11.629 million.

The USD 2.5 billion Vung Ang II thermal power plant invested by Japan’s Mitsubishi Group and the USD 5 billion Vung Ang III.1 and III.2 thermal power project invested by the RoK’s Samsung are among the biggest projects in the province.

Thanks to the above projects, Ha Tinh ranked eighth in the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction by May this year, reported the Foreign Investment Agency of the Planning and Investment Ministry.

At present, 16 countries and territories have been investing in the province. They are Australia, Brunei, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Laos, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Taiwan (China), Thailand, and the US.

The above results are partly attributable to its second spot in the 2016 Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI).

Nguyen Thanh Dien, Deputy Chief of the Ha Tinh People’s Committee Office and Director of the Ha Tinh Enterprise Development Assistance and Investment Promotion Center, said that the province would focus on the projects’ quality and investors’ capability and experience while calling for investment.

It would prioritize high added value to be brought about by foreign investment projects, modern technologies and environmental friendly projects that were in line with provincial land use and sectoral development master plans, he added.

Thien Cam beach in Cam Xuyen district, Ha Tinh province__Photo: Quang Quyet/VNA

Under this year’s investment promotion program, Ha Tinh targets over USD 3 billion of domestic and FDI capital. The province plans to lure potential investors from Japan, the RoK and Germany with the help of those currently investing in the province. It is calling for investment in hi-tech agriculture, support industries, tourism and services, high-quality personnel training projects, and waste and wastewater treatment projects. The Thien Cam and Xuan Thanh tourism sites and Ke Go Lake eco-tourism spot are also calling for foreign investment.

Ha Tinh will distribute project profiles, DVD and leaflets on investment promotion in Vietnamese, English and other foreign languages. It plans to organize an investment promotion conference in either Israel or Canada and a conference for German investors in Ha Tinh province.

The provincial authorities will hold dialogues with entrepreneurs and investors in the locality to gather their recommendations and help solve their problems.

The Ha Tinh Economic Zone Authority has committed to stand side by side with enterprises, improve the business and investment environment and create a fair environment for all enterprises.

In particular, entities investing in the province’s economic zones will enjoy special incentives provided by the Prime Minister. They will be exempted from land rental for 15 years from the effective date of their land lease contracts in the Vung Ang Economic Zone or for the first 11 years and enjoy the land rental rate equal to 30 percent of that from the twelfth year in the Cau Treo International Border-Gate Economic Zone.

They will also 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.

Hospitality development

With a coastline of 137 kilometers and the eastern gateway of the East-West axis, Ha Tinh province, the homeland of heroes, patriotic scholars and eminent cultural celebrities, is not only famous for beautiful beaches such as Thien Cam, Xuan Thanh and Chan Tien but also “Vi-Giam folk singing, UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritage of humanity and ceremonial singing “ca tru”.

Ha Tinh is also rich in craft villages. Among the best known are Ba Giang conical hat making village in Thanh Ha district, Thai Yen carpentry village in Duc Tho district, Trung Luong forging village in Hong Linh town, Truong Xuan craft village and Thach Kim and Nhuong Ban fishing villages.

The province boasts potential for marine and island tourism development in addition to many historical and spiritual tourist sites such as Ke Go Lake, Son Kim hot spring, the Ngang pass, Huong Tich pagoda, Dong Loc T-junction and Hai Thuong Lan Ong eco-tourism zone.

The Ha Tinh Culture, Sports and Tourism Department reported that after recovering from the maritime environment incident last year, the province welcomed almost 800,000 tourists, including 12,500 foreign arrivals, in the first five months of the year. In the four-day holiday on the anniversary of the Liberation of the South and May Day this year, the province welcomed 350,000 visitors, including 8,146 foreign arrivals, a year-on-year rise of 118.8 percent.

The result was attributed to the local authorities’ efforts to promote tourism. They have worked with the Vietnam Television to make a TV reportage of new tourist destinations and marine tourism potential of the province, participated in the Vietnam International Travel Mart, VITM Hanoi 2017, and updated tourist news on its website

The province is expected to welcome 1.23 million domestic arrivals and 20,000 foreign arrivals and earn a gross turnover of VND 250 billion this year.

At a conference held in May, Director of Ha Tinh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Bui Xuan Thap called on the press agencies to promote tourism advertisement so as to change people’s awareness about hospitality and develop hospitality into an important spearhead industry by 2020.

According to a master plan on development of Ha Tinh’s tourism through 2020 with a vision toward 2030, the province hopes to receive 50,000 foreign arrivals and earn a gross turnover of USD 117 million by 2020.

The local hospitality sector said it would need USD 176.1 million for development in the 2016-20 period.

By 2020, the sector will strive to upgrade the Thien Cam tourist zone into a national tourist destination and turn the memorial site dedicated to Great Poet Nguyen Du and Dong Loc T-junction site into two national cultural and tourist destinations.- (VLLF)

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