Quang Ninh province courts investment

Quang Ninh province courts investment - ảnh 1
The Conference officially opened in the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (Photo: www.quangninh.gov.vn)

(VOVworld) -
A recent conference to promote investment in Quang Ninh province attracted nearly 1,200 domestic and foreign delegates proving the area’s great attraction to investors. But there are still some things Quang Ninh can do to improve its desirability.

Quang Ninh is like a miniature Vietnam. It has it all – sea, islands, forests, mountains, an international border, and mineral resources. Its highlights are world heritage site Ha Long Bay, a 250-kilometer coast line, 90% of the country’s coal reserves and a 130-km border with China. The province is located in Vietnam’s northern economic hub - an extremely important position linked with the future ASEAN – China Free Trade Area. Alexander Feldman, President of the US – ASEAN Business Council says ‘Quang Ninh has many opportunities. Most American companies are not well aware of before. Most people are well aware of Ha Long Bay because it’s a world heritage site but they are not aware of the investment opportunities behind it, of infrastructure plans that the provincial and national government have for Quang Ninh province – the opportunities in power and mining have not been widely so they can know. So this forum will surely help them set the playfield today. We’re promoting Quang Ninh to our companies – Intel, FedEx and Google - we brought here today. That’s the start and we hope to continue to work with the provincial authorities and keep American companies in technology and finance help with the plans the province has.

Despite these draws, investment in Quang Ninh has not been on par with its potential. Registered Foreign Direction Investment totals 3.7 billion USD to date, but only about one fourth of it has been disbursed. Feldman assesses the current reality ‘Infrastructure is a huge obstacle. You know, it took us a long time to get here from Hanoi and most people come from Ho Chi Minh City and going back to Ho Chi Minh City tonight. It took me 2 hours to Hai Phong and then I get a plane from Hai Phong and then nearly 2 hours. Personally, 2 hours makes sense because for international businessmen, especially senior executives, they want a flight in to get a business plan done and then get out. And right now it takes me 2 days to do that, 3 hours to come here. Last night it took me 3 or 4 hours to get back so I think it’s necessary to speed up our help to bring more tourists, more business people, and companies to the province.

A serious shortage of qualified human resources is one reason for the modest investment. Economists say that unless this issue is resolved, Quang Ninh’s economic development strategy focused on service and tourism will fall short. Conference attendees agreed that Quang Ninh should outline a longer-term strategy for adapting the hospitality industry to its unique advantages. Dang Quoc Hung, President of the state owned Vietnam Coal and Mining Industries Group says ‘Quang Ninh has so many advantages for tourism development including long coastlines, beautiful beaches and islands. But its hospitality industry has not taken off because its infrastructure and tourism services have not kept up with  the increasing demand. Out of the four seasons of the year, local tourism is busy only during the summer. The most important thing Quang Ninh can do is to make its tourism really attractive to visitors’.

At the conference, Quang Ninh called for investment in 18 projects, several of them requiring investment capital of billions of USD, such as Van Don Airport, a highway linking Ha Long and Mong Cai and a road linking Ha Long City and the Highway between Hanoi and Hai Phong.

Manh Hung