By Quang Chung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Chu Lai in Quang Nam and Dung Quat in Quang Ngai are the country’s first-rate coastal economic zones under a scheme conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to classify such zones to prioritize investments.
The two zones take the top spot in the list of 15 such zones nationwide with a score of 1,000 points each out of the maximum of 1,100 points.
Vu Dai Thang, head of the Economic and Industrial Zones Management Department under the ministry, said the MPI has set five criteria to evaluate coastal economic zones.
Coastal economic zones will be highly regarded if they have a seaport to transport goods (250 points), are in close proximity to the airport (200 points), have driving-force projects (150 points), attract strong investment flow (150 points), and occupy strategic locations for regional economic development (250 points).
Following the two above-mentioned economic zones are Dinh Vu-Cat Hai in Haiphong City with 880 points, Nghi Son in Thanh Hoa Province and Vung Ang in Ha Tinh Province with 825 points each, and Phu Quoc Island offshore Kien Giang Province with 805 points.
Taking the medium positions are Chan May-Lang Co in Thua Thien-Hue Province and Van Phong in Khanh Hoa Province with 775 points each, Van Don in Quang Ninh Province 675 points, and Nhon Hoi in Binh Dinh Province 665 points.
Lower on the ladder are Dong Nam Nghe An in Nghe An Province and Nam Can in Ca Mau Province with 590 points, Hon La in Quang Binh and Nam Phu Yen in Phu Yen with 540 points, and Dinh An in Tra Vinh Province with 500 points.
With these results, economic zones with high scores will enjoy more incentives in receiving State investment from next year. The beneficiaries will be Chu Lai, Dung Quat, Dinh Vu-Cat Hai, Nghi Son, Vung Ang, and Phu Quoc.
Thang said that the selection of good coastal economic zones was just a solution to allocate existing resources suitably.
The ministry is collecting opinions of relevant agencies and experts to develop policies for the zones.
Since Chu Lai, the first coastal economic zone, was established in 2003, there have been 15 economic zones, with two in the Red River Delta, ten in the central coastal region and three in the southern region.
The total land and water surface of the 15 coastal economic zones is 662,250 hectares. Under the overall planning, there will be around 54,300 hectares used for manufacturing, tourism and services, 12,100 hectares for non-tariff areas, 71,100 hectares for agricultural, forestry and fisheries land, 36,800 hectares for residential land, 25,000 hectares for public and administrative works and 318,800 hectares of water surface and mountains.
The coastal economic zones had mobilized total capital of nearly VND250 trillion as of the end of last year. Chu Lai, Dung Quat and Nghi Son economic zones have virtually finished their infrastructure facilities.
Besides, the economic zones have so far attracted US$31 billion from both foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investment with a total leasing area of over 20,000 hectares. However, there are not enough conditions to evaluate the business efficiency of these zones, according to the ministry.