The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, for instance, has a modest target of US$500 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction this year, or a half of last year’s result.
The province’s vice chairman Ho Van Nien said the locality would pay more attention to the disbursement of US$27 billion at 298 projects licensed in the past few years.
Last year, the province decided to revoke investment certificates of 24 projects due to slow or zero progress.
At present, Ba Ria-Vung Tau is also reviewing other projects with slow deployment.
In case investors have no plan for deployment or lack capital to implement the projects, the province will withdraw licenses and transfer projects to other investors.
Meanwhile, the Mekong Delta province of Long An is imposing strict measures on the projects designed to develop industrial clusters and residential zones.
Nguyen Minh Ha, director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, said his agency would propose to the higher provincial authorities to eliminate unviable projects or transfer those projects to more competent investors.
The department’s report shows that 22 projects in the province were revoked last year, with the total area of over 1,600 hectares.
The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has also become tougher on delayed projects.
The latest data show that the province last year decided to cancel 45 local and foreign-invested projects, worth VND10 trillion (US$480.3 million) and $30 million respectively.
Over 40 other projects will also likely to have their licenses revoked.
Most of the cancelled projects are small and medium-scale hydropower projects, and projects in tourism, agriculture and forestry.
Similarly, the southern Ho Chi Minh City has officially withdrawn investment certificate of the billion-dollar Thu Thiem software park project in District 2 to call for other capable investors to carry out the project.
Other localities like Binh Thuan, Danang and Bac Ninh have also become stricter to investors in order to steadily remove unfeasible projects and incompetent investors.
Provincial authorities said they didn’t want to revoke certificates of licensed projects since the procedures are cumbersome but they were left with no choice because inefficient projects would negatively affect the economy.
According to Phan Huu Thang, director of the Foreign Investment Research Center of National University-Hanoi, the biggest challenge for FDI attraction is that the registered capital of about $108 billion has yet to be disbursed, leading to multiple delayed projects that cause waste of land and product shortage, and this affects the image of Vietnam’s investment and business environment.
If Vietnam managed to accelerate the disbursement of this capital source, it would be more likely to promote and call for new investment, he said.
The country’s FDI approvals in January reached a mere US$37.3 million, or 2.5 percent of the figure recorded a year ago, suggesting a tough year ahead for FDI attraction.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, the first month of the year saw 25 new projects licensed with total capital pledges of $29.5 million, equivalent to 33.8 percent of the number and 2.4 percent of the capital posted in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, 5 operational FDI projects registered an additional capital of $7.8 million.