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Border EZs left idle as investors lose interest

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As policies change, businesspeople investing money in border EZs (economic zones) have suffered heavily. Many of them have fled the EZs though they had injected hundreds of billion of dong into projects.

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The Dai Kim IZ

 

The development of the 33 hectare Dai Kim IZ in Cau Treo EZ was decided in 2007. Four large projects in the IZ were licensed, including a garment factory, called Five Star Ha Tinh, capitalized at VND150 billion.

The local authorities had to collect farmland from farmers, compensate for site clearance, and allocate ‘clean’ land to the investor.

Nguyen Thi Hai, residing in Son Tay commune, recalled the days of 2016 when enterprises sent staff to the locality to survey human resources. However, as locals could not get jobs at local factories as expected, they left for southern provinces to seek work.Other peo

ple have suffered because they have no land for agriculture production.

Next to Five Star Ha Tinh are the workshops of three other projects. However, the workshops have never been operational. Bllions of dong have been poured into a large land area, but it now just serves as a ground for cattle gazing.

A representative of CK JSC said the company kicked off the shopping center project in 2012 and has injected VND100 billion into it since then. However, the fate of the center is unclear.

Thien Nien Ky duty-free shop in Lao Bao Trade & Economic Zone was developed by Thien Nien Ky Co Ltd with the total capital of VND300 billion. However, after 15 years of operation, the shop has become deserted.

The office building which belonged to the Lao Bao EZ, capitalized at billions of dong, has always been closed. The yard, hundreds of square meters large, has become a place for people to leave trash.

Nguyen Van Minh, chair of the Lao Bao EZ Entrepreneur Association, said Lao Bao, like some other border EZs, are deserted because of changes in policies. Lao Bao is no longer a non-tariff area and some investment incentives have been removed.

Minh said changing policy was a necessary move to adapt to new development circumstances. However, local authorities, agencies and businesses need to be prepared for the changes. 

“Lao Bao EZ would not have fallen into if dilemma if appropriate agencies had set a new legal framework for the EZ and set new direction for enterprises,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duong Tat Thang, deputy chair of Ha Tinh province, thinks that it is necessary to apply special preferential policies to border EZs, especially ones in border areas with Laos, to help boost economic development of difficult areas.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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