The Hanoitimes - Many international investors are seeking chances in the central province of Quang Ngai’s Dung Quat Economic Zone following the implementation of an investment plan of the Japanese JPE Steel Corporation in the area last April.
On April 18 JFE and Taiwan’s E-United worked with the provincial authorities over the inauguration of the Guang Lian Dung Quat steel manufacturing plant, in Dung Quat.
The Guang Lian Dung Quat steel manufacturing plant, whose main investor is Tycoons Worldwide Steel Vietnam Co Ltd, broke ground in October 2007, with a total investment of more than US$3 billion.
The project’s investor was later changed, and the required capital was increased to $4.5 billion, with the project expected to reach its first completion stage by 2013.
After the above meeting, Japanese investors such as Yoshizawa, Mining, Morimura, and BIKEN -- the most recent addition -- have arrived in Quang Ngai to seek investments to embrace the under-construction steel plant, Dau Tu (investment) newspaper reported.
Confirming the fact the these investors are eying Dung Quat, Le Van Dung, deputy head of the economic zone’s managing board, said many international limestone, concrete, and industrial gas manufacturers have come to Quang Ngai and studied the feasibility of setting up plants here.
“The latest newcomer, BIKEN, a concrete manufacturer, is expecting to supply its products to the Guang Lian plant once work on the latter begins,” he said.
“Experts from steel corporations such as JFE, E-United, and Posco said that besides a steel manufacturing complex, there will be a number of supporting projects to outsource and produce many steel products, which are expected to lease hundreds of hectares of lands inside the Dung Quoc Economic Zone.”
While JFE has yet to confirm its official participation in the Guang Lian project, its presence in Dung Quat shows positive signs.
In 2007 JFE studied Dung Quat and planned to build a steel manufacturing complex worth $6.9 billion there, but had to delay the project due to the global financial crisis.
This year it came back with E-United, and mulled restarting the project.
“There is an outbound investment trend amongst Japanese businesses, and Dung Quat has many advantages to attract them,” said Dung.
“So we hope that JFE and E-United will implement the Guang Lian project to attract more supporting investors.”
“Whether or not other investors will come depends on JFE’s decision to stay at or leave Dung Quat,” he explained, adding that all they can do is wait.
The country is greatly anticpating a yes from the Japanese firm, as many major international corporations have indeed become magnets attracting other supporting investors for their Vietnam projects.
Samsung, for instance, has helped attract some 40 other investors with its mobile phone manufacturing plant in the northern province of Bac Ninh.
Similarly, many investors have shown interest in landing in Vietnam following the opening of an Intel plant in the country.
Commenting on the trend, Professor Nguyen Mai, former deputy head of the Government Committee for Investment and Cooperation, said it is a good sign.
“Vietnam should focus on wooing multinational corporations as they will help attract more investors to the country,” he said.
“Foreign investors will help develop the Vietnamese supporting industries, as well as train an adequate workforce and transfer technology.”