South’s EPZs, IZs to go hi-tech, green

It is critical for export processing zones (EPZs) and industrial zones (IZs) in HCM City to renovate towards high-technology and green development to help enhance the southern city’s economic growth quality.

Despite rapid development since 1991 when the first EPZ – Tân Thuận – was founded, planning of EPZs and IZs in the southern city had problems, including a lack of links among zones, experts said.

Expert Nguyễn Văn Kích said that HCM City used to lead the country in developing EPZs and IZs but was losing its crown.

For example, the city now has 17 EPZs and IZs in operation with a total area of more than 2,570 hectares while the southern city of Bình Dương, which started developing EPZs and IZs later, has 36 zones with area of more than 10,200 hectares.

In addition, most projects in HCM City’s EPZs and IZs are small scale and just about 10 percent have advanced technologies.

Nguyễn Trọng Hoài, Vice Principal of University of Economics, HCM City, said that EPZs and IZs in the southern city had not established close links between firms and the parts-supplying industry.

In addition, infrastructure, especially transport and water supply and drainage systems, were heavily overloaded.

All these problems required EPZs and IZs in HCM City to renovate their strategies to keep and attract investors.

According to Nguyễn Hoàng Năng, Head of HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (Hepza), the southern city plans to make existing zones green, clean and hi-tech IZs by 2025 and develop new hi-tech IZs and zones for the parts-supplying industry.

Priority will be given to existing investors in hi-tech development, industry 4.0 technologies and the parts-supplying industry.

Experts said that EPZs and IZs needed to enhance links with each other and with other zones in the southern region.

Dương Minh Tâm, Hepza’s Deputy Head, said that besides attracting foreign direct investment, EPZs and IZs need mechanisms to encourage investment from domestic companies in the parts-supplying industry.

With the city’s land running out, it was critical to improving the efficiency of land use to lower land leases, Tâm said.

Atsuo Hanami, general director of Renasas Việt Nam, told Việt Nam News Agency that Việt Nam was regarded as an attractive destination for investment, especially HCM City. However, to attract large-scale and hi-tech investments, the city needs to prepare human resources with knowledge and skills meeting investors’ demand.

The city also needs to hasten the administrative reform, improving the transport infrastructure system and logistics services.

By 2020, the southern city plans increase the number of EPZs and IZs to 23 with a total area of 6,000 hectares.

Source: Vietnam News

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