Dec 6, 2012

Vietnam - Tra Vinh touts untapped potential economic potential

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Tra Vinh, a coastal Mekong Delta province, is a crucial transport gateway in the Mekong Delta. It is only 130 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City and 100km distant from vibrant Can Tho city.

The province, occupying 2,341 square kilometre land area, is surrounded by Tien and Hau rivers and 65km long coast. These are auspicious factors to facilitate waterway transport while its 1.1 million residents of Kinh, Khmer and Chinese ethnicities feature distinctive culture to be tapped by the tourism industry.

The government’s focus on developing Tra Vinh is reflected in important investment projects like the building of Co Chien bridge, the dredging of Hau river channel and upgrades of national highways 53, 54 and 60. Tra Vinh offers convenient transport to locations domestically and internationally, providing impetus to spur provincial socioeconomic development.

The province possesses auspicious conditions to charm domestic and foreign investors. Its 65km coast is ideal for aquaculture development. Annually, seafood catches exceed 163,000 tonnes, including 23,000 tonnes in black tiger shrimps.

Industry is assuming an increasingly important role in the provincial economy. The export value, surging more that 20 per cent annually, has derived in part from key export items such as as zincographs, footwear, frozen seafood and drugs. Average GDP growth surpasses 12 per cent per year.

The province’s human resources training system is in a position to satisfy investors’ and businesses’ diverse needs whereas local infrastructure system has been constantly ameliorated servicing provincial burgeoning development requirements.

People joining the labour force account for over 60 per cent of the province’s population of whom trained labourers make up 34 per cent.

Tra Vinh’s economy leverages key sectors such as seafood including valued items like frozen shrimp, fish fillets or Surimi fried fish; coconut processing and food production.

Tra Vinh ranks second in the Mekong delta in coconut output, a material source for the production of potential export items like active charcoal, coconut matting and desiccated coconut.

With 1.15 million tonnes in paddy rice output per year, the provincial management envisages developing a store chain to better rice and paddy rice quality. Other diverse sectors like chemical production, pharmacy, textile clothing, footwear and sugar production also make discernible contributions to the provincial industrial production value.

Annually, Tra Vinh posts $173.3 million in total export value, of which $86 million comes from seafood processing, $40.3 million from rice and $9.5 million from coconut products.

As a southwestern coastal location, Tra Vinh was praised for tourism diversity including cultural, historical, ocean and green tours. Visitors also get a chance to discover distinctive cultural identity of three major Kinh, Khmer and Chinese ethnicities in the province.

The most searched-for tourism venues are the Uncle Ho altar site in Long Duc (Tra Vinh city), Ba Dong beach and Ba Om Pond site.

In respect to technical infrastructure, operating Long Duc industrial park (IP) reports land occupancy rate of almost 100 per cent, attracting 26 investment projects worth VND2.027 trillion in total committed capital tantamount to $107 million including 12 foreign direct investment projects valued at more than $66 million.

Tra Vinh is expediting two more IP projects (Cau Quan IP over 130.3ha and Co Chien IP 200ha).
Significantly, the government approved the general planning of Dinh An economic zone (EZ) which is positioned in the province’s south east in Tra Cu and Duyen Hai districts facing Hau River and sea areas. Accordingly, the EZ covers 39,200 hectare with scale of 15,403ha in the first phase.

The EZ has attracted 16 investment projects and is expected to become a pivotal EZ focusing on the development of power production, petrol-chemical, shipbuilding and supporting industries as well as development of tourism and services linking to ports, non-tariff areas, diverse urban residential centres and new countryside model.

In respect to key transport and technical infrastructure projects of national significance, Tra Vinh canal serves as a crucial transport gateway for international marine trade in the Mekong Delta and southern coastal region whereas the 4,400 megawatt coastal power centre promises stable power supply for industrial production which would make Dinh An EZ particularly appealing to investors.

Creating an enabling, open and transparent business climate is one of top priorities by the province’s management. Parallel to common investment preferences, investors to Tra Vinh get specific incentives offered by provincial authorities.

Investors doing business in Tra Vinh would benefit from one-stop shop mechanism and particularly active support from the provincial management in handling investment and associated business procedures.

Huu Phuc |

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