Southern Key Economic Zone needs policy boost

09:48 | 30/05/2019 Economy- Society

(VEN) - The Southern Key Economic Zone (SKEZ) needs specific policies to achieve faster growth and positively impact other economic zones.

southern key economic zone needs policy boost

Leading role

Consisting of eight provinces and cities - Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An and Tien Giang provinces, the SKEZ has become an industrial, trade, services, high technology and information technology (IT) center in southern Vietnam.

The SKEZ has taken the lead among regions nationwide in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), luring US$14.7 billion in 2018 alone. The SKEZ is home to 140 industrial parks, export processing zones and high-tech zones, accounting for nearly 43 percent of the country’s total. In 2018, more than 58,000 enterprises were established in the SKEZ, representing 44.2 percent of the country’s total.

However, the SKEZ’s growth has slowed. In recent years, it has not manufactured any new industrial products with a high scientific and technological content. In 2018, the SKEZ did not contribute to the country’s trade surplus and even imported US$200 million more than it exported. The Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) of the SKEZ provinces and cities remain modest.

Connectivity

Somhatai Panichewa, CEO of the Amata VN PLC Company said her company is encountering many difficulties related to investment procedures and project site clearance, which have caused it to miss many production and trade opportunities.

Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of the Board of the Becamex IDC Corporation (Binh Duong Province) said that although big targets and long-term orientations were set for the SKEZ, efficient implementation of many projects was hard due to delayed development of infrastructure such as seaports, airports and roads. Hung proposed that relevant authorities issue policies on mobilizing business resources for infrastructure development in the region.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said inter-regional and international logistics connectivity remains weak, and SKEZ localities need to attract investment in commercial infrastructure development and focus on developing logistics pertaining to foreign trade stimulation.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a recent SKEZ development seminar that policies are needed to ensure the zone’s favorable development and important role in leading other economic regions.

The Southern Key Economic Zone made a 45.4-percent contribution to Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in

2018.

Thanh Minh