The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is planning to name a list of eight border economic zones on priority for investment in 2021-2025, or one zone lower than the 2016-2020 period.
MPI has submitted a report to the PM on the implementation of the project on reviewing and building criteria to choose some border economic zones (EZ) fir investment, using capital from the state budget in 2016-2020.
Ha Tien Border EZ
The ministry has also proposed selecting some EZs for the investments in 2021-2025.
To date, border EZs across the country have attracted 575 investment projects from domestic and foreign investors with the total investment capital of VND83 trillion and over $1 billion.
In 2019, the total import and export turnover through border EZs reached $28.9 billion, increasing by 2.1 times compared with 2015.
Of this, the import and export turnover through the zones in the areas bordering with China reached $24.8 billion (the figure was $10.6 billion in 2015), which accounted for 85.8 percent of total import and export turnover of all border EZs throughout the country, and accounted for 21.3 percent of the Vietnam-China import and export turnover.
Meanwhile, the import and export turnover through the EZs in the areas bordering Laos was $1.1 billion (the figure was $1.5 billion in 2015), and through the EZs in the areas bordering with Cambodia was $3 billion ($1.5 billion in 2015).
The nine border EZs on priority for investment in 2016-2020, the state budget collection was VND8 trillion in 2019, which accounted for nearly 70 percent of total collection from all the 26 existing border EZs.
The zones with high state budget collections were Dong Dang – Lang Son, Lao Cai, Mong Cai and Lao Bao.
However, according to MPI, the weak points of the border EZs is that they are nearly incapable of attracting capital from other sources, including ODA, FDI and PPP (private public partnership). Therefore, the investment in local infrastructure has been relying on the state and local budgets.
Regarding the role of the border EZs, MPI said the contribution by some EZs remains modest.
MPI has named eight border EZs for priority investments in 2021-2025 instead of nine as seen in 2016-2020.
These include four EZs on land bordering China, namely the ones in Mong Cai border gate area (Quang Ninh), Dong Dang (Lang Son), Lao Cai and Cao Bang border gates.
The EZs on land bordering Laos include Cau Treo border gate (Ha Tinh), and the Lao Bao special economic and trade zone in Quang Tri.
The EZs on land bordering Cambodia include Moc Bai (Tay Ninh) and the EZ in An Giang province.
Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung in mid-2020 signed a decision on the establishment of the 1,600 hectare Ha Tien border EZ in Kien Giang province.
Landslide and erosion in Quang Binh Province has cracked the road surface and broke the Cha Lo International Border Gate Economic Zone on October 20.
The Kien Giang Province's People's Committee has submitted a master plan on sustainable development for Phu Quoc until 2040 to the Prime Minister for approval.