With numerous large-scale foreign-invested projects to be licensed soon, Hanoi has set an ambitious target of attracting $2 billion in foreign direct investment this year, up from $1.4 billion in 2015.
Nguyen Anh Dung, a representative from the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment told VIR that “The target is feasible as many more foreign investors are proposing developing new projects in the capital thanks to improvements in the local business climate”
The city will fast-track licensing procedures for a number of big foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in 2016, including VOI/VIAC (NO.1), HAWACOM, NETATCO and Vietinbank Capital’s Duong River water plant worth $250 million, Indochina Land Management Vietnam’s $172 million trade and office complex, an investment increase of $210 million by Vietnamobile, and others, according to Dung.
He went on to disclose that Singapore’s Sembcorp proposed the Creative Park project, while South Korean-based Pan Asia wants to develop a $300-million farm produce wholesale market. Many leading investors such as Lotte and Aeon have also made plans to expand their operations in the city.
According to Dung, a boom in FDI attraction in the first months of 2016, together with bright prospects for future FDI, have contributed to making this year’s target attainable.
The city lured $1.07 billion worth of FDI in the first four months of 2016, meeting 71.6 per cent of the 2015 whole-year target, making it the number-one FDI destination in Vietnam. Notably, the four-month figure included $825.1 million in the first quarter, a fivefold increase from the same period last year, and a new record high.
To reach the 2016 target, Hanoi plans to introduce bold measures which will simplify administrative procedures, giving businesses better access to land and markets, and improving human resources quality. This will be a concerted effort with plans to co-operate with other cities and provinces nationwide in developing market links to support business activities.
At the recent meeting with the business community in Ho Chi Minh City chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Hanoi and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a commitment to create the best business climate for investors. Accordingly, the two sides will work on measures to improve the city’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and organise annual business forums.
According to Dung, thanks to great efforts to simplify administrative procedures for investors, Hanoi saw its PCI ranking move up two notches in 2016. Currently standing at 24th among Vietnam’s 63 cities and provinces, this is the capital city’s highest ranking since 2007.
Dung, however, admitted that Hanoi was still home to many FDI projects that were behind schedule.
In 2015, dozens of FDI projects were stagnant in Hanoi due to land clearance and compensation issues, as well as zoning and administrative delays.
Singapore SIS Investment Limited’s Metropolis real estate complex and Thai-backed Noble Van Tri golf course complex were two among them. Other projects hindered by zoning headaches include North Thuong Tin industrial zone, Tran Song Hong, VIT-Tien Phong residential complex, Green Technology City, North An Khanh, WestGate, and Times Square.
According to the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment, as of April 27, Hanoi had 3,524 valid projects with the total registered capital of $23.46 billion, ranking third among cities and provinces in term of FDI attraction, accounting for 17 per cent of the country’s total FDI projects and 8.2 per cent of the total investment capital. The city’s FDI disbursement reached $12.1 billion.
By Bich Thuy
The article "Hanoi sets sights on $2-billion FDI target" was originally published on http://www.talkvietnam.com/2016/05/hanoi-sets-sights-on-2-billion-fdi-target/