HCMC – As the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in HCMC has seen a spike in new foreign-invested projects in recent years, it has proposed the HCMC government reinstate a one-door investment approval process to facilitate investment activity.
The current rules require investors to work with different agencies, in addition to the SHTP management board, to apply for an investment certificate.
Le Bich Loan, deputy head of the SHTP Management Board, said that in the past, it took investors only six months to get an investment certificate, while the current approval process requires two years.
In the past, most of the administrative procedures for an investment project were handled by the SHTP Management Board, so things were far faster. However, the high number of departments involved in the process of assessing investment projects at the SHTP in Thu Duc City makes the procedures strenuous and time-consuming.
For instance, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment is in charge of land-related issues, while the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture handles planning procedures.
Many foreign investors have complained about the lengthy procedures that cost them time and money, forcing them to drop business opportunities. Meanwhile, hi-tech firms must promptly develop and launch their products to the market to achieve the highest efficiency in investment. Further, a breakthrough in technology can hardly be achieved if the investment is delayed.
SHTP now has 160 active projects with total investment capital of over US$12 billion, consisting of 51 foreign-direct investment projects with total capital of US$10.1 billion and 111 local projects with total capital of US$2 billion.
In 2021, SHTP-based enterprises booked US$20.9 billion in exports, making up 51.86% of HCMC’s total. This year, their exports are estimated to rise to US$23 billion.