The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s (MPI) Foreign Investment Agency asked Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City people’s committees to send a wish-list of 10-15 high-profile foreign direct investment (FDI) projects for 2011-2015 by the end of last month. However, while Ho Chi Minh City Municipal People’s Committee met the deadline, the capital’s authorities are dragging their feet.
Hanoi Planning and Investment Authority deputy chief Nguyen Van Tu said the list would be ready in June, but Hanoi would only recommend five projects.
Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City has proposed 15 projects to call for FDI, mainly in infrastructure, health care and education sectors.
“I think the list should not be long. The MPI should only be asking for information about projects that are highly feasible and will have a big impact on society and the economy. An industry’s strategy must be the top priority.
“Besides, the list should be based on the mutual benefit principle, meaning that it should learn towards clear incentives that will appeal to investors,” said Tu.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency, projects in the 2011-2015 FDI wish-list will be based on industries and not geographical location as was the case in the previous 2006-2010 wish-list. Priority will be placed on key industries to meet the government’s desire to attract more FDI.
Those sectors are infrastructure, urban waste treatment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, energy, oil refinery and petrochemical production, healthcare and education. Others, like the food, electronics and engineering industries, are based on the country’s comparative advantages.
An earlier plan from cities and provinces to recommend 50 projects has been shelved.
However, the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises chairman Nguyen Mai said he saw no need to have a physical list of projects.
“The investors, those who are holding the money, choose to implement projects based on their capacity and desire. Vietnam’s cities or provinces can really give the nod to a project or not. A new approach is needed.
“We should now let investors get involved in those areas in which we want foreign direct investment. Within that parameter, we can let the investors decide what projects they want to take on,” said Mai.