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Economic zones focus on attracting green projects   2009-04-22 - Viet Nam News

Industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones (EPZs) in HCM City have attracted more environmentally friendly, high-tech projects under its new investment plans.

Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA), said two-thirds of the projects invested in the city’s IPs and EPZs last year were mostly in software design, import and export services, precision engineering and mould production.

The city’s IPs and EPZs last year attracted 21 foreign direct investment projects and 55 domestic investment projects, with total registered capital of US$481 million, according to HEPZA.

Tuan said the city last year also refused to grant investment licenses for 11 projects in labour-intensive sectors like leather tanning, textile and dyeing. They said many of these were polluting the environment.

The city wants to lure more companies in mechanics, electronics, software, chemicals, and trade and services.

To do so, the city should build infrastructure, including power and water supplies, telecommunications services, roads inside and outside IPs and EPZs, he said.

New technology

Under the city’s programme of transferring investment structure in IPs and EPZs started in 2005, the city has also encouraged existing enterprises to renovate production technology.

The city has also urged credit organisations, commercial banks and advanced-technology companies to offer loans to companies with outdated equipment.

The city inspected wastewater treatment systems at enterprises which have caused severe environmental pollution, forcing them to build sufficient wastewater treatment systems.

Last year, 10 IPs and EPZs built on consolidated wastewater treatment systems and the remaining five IPs and EPZs are in the middle of doing so.

The city has inspected Le Minh Xuan IP, which has been selected to be the model for high-tech IP parks.

The IP’s polluted environment has been improved and a wastewater treatment system built.

Twenty three enterprises at Le Minh Xuan IP have also increased their investment capital to expand their operations, and 10 enterprises are now working in other fields. Seven companies have planned to move out of the city.

Experts said the new investment structure in the city’s IPs and EPZs was a continuous process which needs time and capital.

They said the city should set up a fund to support small – and medium-sized enterprises to upgrade production technology as well as provide consultancy for enterprises.

A survey of 429 enterprises at 11 IPs and EPZs conducted in March by HEPZA and the city’s Department of Science and Technology showed that more than half of the enterprises had outdated technology.

Tuan said when the IPs were first built the city had initially focused on attracting investment projects without paying proper attention to environmental protection.

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