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SHTP is still not attractive to investors, a decade on

By Quoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily
Tuesday,  Jun 12,2012,20:54 (GMT+7)
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SHTP is still not attractive to investors, a decade on

By Quoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily

Nguyen Van Lang (C), deputy minister of Science and Technology, co-chairs the seminar highlighting investment performance of Saigon Hi-Tech Park after 10 years of establishment with Le Bich Loan (L) and Le Hoai Quoc, representatives of SHTP in HCMC on Monday - Photo: Quoc Hung
HCMC - Although Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) has attracted many international firms, it is still not attractive to investors compared to local industrial parks after 10 years of establishment, said Le Bich Loan, vice director of SHTP.

Industrial parks such as VSIP, Que Vo, Quang Chau have lured many hi-tech projects in the sectors of manufacturing and service as they have strong infrastructure systems and offer supporting services and incentives like SHTP, Loan told a seminar held to mark the park’s tenth birthday.

An underdeveloped infrastructure and a lack of utility services have prevented Research & Development projects from developing in SHTP as they need in-house services to satisfy the living standards of project experts.

Other utility services of SHTP such as power and water supply, waste water treatment and telecom connection are now under development as they currently cannot meet the demands of hi-tech firms.

For instance, an unstable power supply will have a deep impact on production activities of hi-tech producers. Weak transport infrastructure remains a major obstacle for enterprises which are based in SHTP.

Meanwhile, SHTP is also facing tough competition from regional countries such as India, China, the Philippines and Thailand who have skilled hi-tech human resources and developed supply chains in hi-tech manufacturing.

SHTP is less competitive than other industrial parks as all of them are now offering investors the same incentives for land leasing, said Le Trong Hieu, CBRE Vietnam senior manager of Industrial & Logistics Services.

At regional level, it is also less attractive to foreign investors compared to Thai or Laotian rivals with good supply chains and developed infrastructure, Hieu said, adding that investors are shifting their focuses on production costs instead of initial investment capital.

Most hi-tech producers must import a large amount of input materials. The country must map out a roadmap to develop supporting industries for the hi-tech sector to improve local supply chains.

Nguyen Van Lang, deputy minister of Science and Technology, said at the meeting that investment promotion policies and development scheme for SHTP is problematic.

As of now, SHTP is home to 61 projects with total registered capital of over US$2.05 billion. Hi-tech firms in the estate so far have earned more than US$2.7 billion in export value, accounting for half of the city’s hi-tech exports while they have spent US$2.56 billion on imports.

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