The large land plots inside the industrial parks (IP) are thus left abandoned, while farmers, who had to relocate to give their lands to the construction, have nowhere to start work on their agricultural production.
After receiving the go-ahead in late 2008, the 285-hectare Soai Rap Industrial Park in Go Cong Dong District has so far received only one investor -- the Petrovietnam Steel Pipe JSC. Most of the IP area is now covered with weeds.
Located not far from Soia Rap IP is the Binh Dong IP, spanning 220 hectares in Go Cong Town. The project was approved three years ago, but no construction work has ever been started.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, chairman of the town’s people’s committee, said the infrastructure contractor Khang Thong Co has planned to build a 10-hectare residential area for locals who had to relocate, but site clearance has yet to be done.
“Some businesses have visited the IP to look for investment chances, but once they learn of the difficult transport route from here to Ho Chi Minh City, they all leave,” said Tuan.
“Goods must be transported to My Tho City, and take on National Highway 1A or the Trung Luong Expressway to HCMC, which is a long and costly route.”
Nguyen Van Khang, chairman of the provincial people’s committee, said he is constantly worried as the two IPs show no positive signs despite the province’s effort to boost investment.
However, investors simply leave immediately when they learn that there are no decent roads leading to the sites, and no bridges to facilitate transport to Ho Chi Minh City, he said.
As the land inside the IP are zoned for industrial production, locals cannot plant their agricultural crops there, he added.
“Another considerable waste is a VND1-trillion water plant in Chau Thanh District, which was built to supply clean water to the IPs,” he lamented.
The only way to facilitate transport between the IPs and HCMC is the My Loi Bridge, which connects Go Cong Town of Tien Giang and Can Duoc of Long An province, a neighboring province of HCMC.
But work was started on the road leading to the bridge and then stopped, according to Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, deputy director of the Tien Giang Department of Transport.
“Hence, the Binh Dong IP project may be delayed for several more years,” she said.
Meanwhile, the 8-km road leading to the Soai Rap IP will need VND775 billion worth of investment, but insiders said they have no idea when the project will be implemented.
“Investors said that inadequate traffic is the main reason they are hesitant in opening their pockets,” said Pham Minh Duc, head of the Economy – Infrastructure Office of Go Cong Dong District.
“By the time the My Loi Bridge is completed, these investors may have already found somewhere else to spend their money.”