Nguyen Anh Tuan, vice chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), talked to BizLIVE about Quang Ninh province’s potential in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
How do you assess the economic potential of Quang Ninh province and its Mong Cai town now?
Quang Ninh has proved dynamic and has achieved positive results over the past years.
The Mong Cai zoning plan is part of the seven zoning plans of Quang Ninh that have been approved by the government. There remain a lot of things to be done so that objectives of the Mong Cai zoning plan can be attained.
For example, a number of ministries and sectors need to closely work so that Mong Cai can be given special mechanisms to attract investment.
I believe that zoning plans of Mong Cai and other localities in Quang Ninh are feasible, but they require big efforts of the province and other government agencies.
East Sea tensions have hampered economic activities of Mong Cai and Quang Ninh, and foreign investors’ sentiment. What’s your opinion about this and what needs to be done to assure investors here?
Although territorial disputes in the region are forecast to persist, the tendency of regional cooperation and globalization is irreversible and indispensable. Meanwhile, Mong Cai is the gateway between China and the ASEAN, a market of 600 million people.
With the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Mong Cai will become increasingly important. China has seen the role of Mong Cai and its banks will provide funds for projects of infrastructure that help link the locality with Van Don district.
In a nutshell, the East Sea dispute has hurt investor sentiment, but will not impede foreign investors from coming to Vietnam.
Quang Ninh has recently received hundreds of million USD in Chinese investments. Will there be a fresh investment wave from China to Quang Ninh or Mong Cai?
Quang Ninh has a number of projects that can engage with either domestic or foreign investors.
For example, in the tourism industry, Vietnamese majors such as Vingroup, Sun Group and BIM Group have experience of investing in this province. They are capable of carrying out large-size projects here.
Meanwhile, Chinese contractors’ participation in China-funded infrastructure projects is obvious. In addition, investors from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong are pouring capital into textile projects in Vietnam in general and Quang Ninh in particular in anticipation of free trade deals that will come into force soon.
It’s difficult to say whether there will be an investment wave from China to Quang Ninh or Mong Cai and it is not recommendable. Vietnam should balance Chinese investments with those from other major partners such as Japan, South Korea and the U.S.
Thank you very much!
Quang Ninh is a key economic center in northern Vietnam. It shares 132.8 kilometers of borders with China’s Guangxi, mainly through Mong Cai border gate.
The province was ranked 4th in Vietnam in 2013 in terms of provincial competitiveness. It is rich in mineral resources, especially coal. Its income per capita was $3,500 in 2014.