HCMC – The government of District 7 in HCMC has proposed converting the 300-hectare Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone into a hi-tech park with housing and commercial services.
At a seminar on strategy to develop District 7 by 2030 with a vision to 2045 on June 28, District 7 vice chairman Le Van Thanh said the export processing zone was established more than 30 years ago. It was the first export processing zone in Vietnam and the premise for other industrial and export processing zones in HCMC and Vietnam as a whole, the local media reported.
Nearly 70% of enterprises in Tan Thuan operate in the traditional outsourcing and manufacturing sectors. At present, 195 hectares of land in the export processing zone is home to factories and warehouses.
Thanh said the zone is no longer appropriate to District 7’s development plan, contributes little to the district’s budget, and causes environmental pollution.
After being converted into a hi-tech park, the zone will connect with the Thu Thiem New Urban Area where a new financial center is planned to be developed.
Associate Professor Dr Truong Thi Hien, chairwoman of the Intellectual Women’s Association of HCMC, said District 7 might review and weigh stopping the development of industries in the district. At first, new factories should not be developed there, while manufacturing units should be relocated to suburban areas or adjacent localities.
A roadmap to gradually convert manufacturing and assembly sectors in the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone into hi-tech and automated ones is needed. For the long term, the zone should be converted into a place for researching and piloting automation, AI and software production sectors.
The solution will help ease the increase of workers and reduce containers entering into and from District 7, thus decreasing makeshift homes, traffic congestion and environmental pollution, Hien added.
Sharing the view, Nguyen Van Dua, former deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, said the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone should be developed into an area for high-quality education, healthcare, culture and commercial services, offices and hotels.
HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai said the city would review the role of the export processing zone.
It is necessary to convert labor-intensive sectors in the export processing zone to hi-tech ones, Mai added.