Ha Tinh Development Zone cleared for takeoff

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Officials from both Ha Tinh’s People’s Committee and the Vung Ang Economic Area Board met with businessmen in Ho Chi Minh City last Saturday to attract investment.

Two breakthroughs are expected to lure heavy investment to the area: an administrative resolution that will grant certificates five days after investors apply for projects there, and the ability to receive 150,000-ton ships in its deepwater seaport.

At the end of 2007, there were 29 projects registered in Vung Ang, with a combined value of close to US$3 billion. This is just the beginning, according to local authorities, who added that they were currently seeking investors for a steel refinery, iron mine, thermoelectric plant, and shipyard. However, tourism and agricultural development will also be encouraged in the special economic area, along with heavy industry.

The Vung Ang Economic Area board stressed the area’s advantages, not only its deep-sea port, which makes it a gateway to the South China Sea, but also its proximity to the 1A Highway, which connects Vietnam to Laos and Thailand.

The meeting was held as the beginning of a long-range program to attract both domestic and foreign investment to Vung Ang. Vietnam hopes to make Vung Ang its model economic zone for its central-northern region. Early signs are encouraging, with French consultant Arcelor slated to start a steel complex along with Vietnam Steel Corporation by year’s end, a US$3.5 billion project.