An interview with Mr Nguyen Truc Son, Director of Ben Tre's Investment promotion center

Investment attraction in Ben Tre has been positively pushed forward ever since preferential policies to call for investments were launched by the province's People's Committee, especially since 2005. Apart from achievements, though, Ben Tre at the moment is still faced with various difficulties that need to be intensively solved if the province still want to pushed for more investments in the coming time. The Ben Tre Website has interviewed Mr Nguyen Truc Son, Director of the Investment Promotion Centre of Ben Tre (IPC Ben Tre) about these issues. 

* Sir, the investment attraction in Ben Tre has shown very positive signs recently. How's your comments about this?

- In 2005, the investment attraction in Ben Tre was very good. The investment promotion centre in the past year officially received 70 foreign investment missions. We have granted investment licences for 5 foreign-invested projects with totally US$10.5 of investment capital, an equivalence to the duration between 2000 and 2004. This was a very strong improvement of Ben Tre's investment attraction activities. It was a result of our great efforts. And now, we have at hand a lot of favourable factors for our better attraction of foreign investments this year.

* What are the favourable factors, according to you?

- One factor is that Ben Tre is now a newly found land for foreign investments. At the moment, we possess a great deal of the yet unexploited potentials. Investors are very interested in coconut-based products and aquatic and agricultural products, as well as the untapped tourist and commercial services. The above three areas were the most focus of all foreign investors to Ben Tre in the past year.

* And what else, sir, beside such potentials?

- We also have other advantages that no other provinces can possess such as we are located very near to Ho Chi Minh City and the Southern Dynamic Economic Zone (SODEZ). Another advantageous factor that has helped boost investments in Ben Tre is the interest of provincial authorities in dealing directly with investors. Investors are generally very happy to be received directly by the province's Chairman, Vice-Chairman or the Party's Secretary, and they thus feel trust-worthy to do business in Ben Tre.

The next big thing is that we have up to now changed from the formerly passive into the now positive ways to market our investment projects by meeting face-to-face with and persuade investors project by project, and working out specific policies with them. Investors are very happy when we go to meet them directly and specifically, project by project, in the country as well as abroad. What is more, our investment policies are more specific and transparent than many other provinces, if not the most, in the region. Those are seen as an important base to push for stronger improvement in investment attraction in Ben Tre. And the year of 2006 promises to see many more investors to come to Ben Tre, and the number of investment projects to increase greatly.

* Yes, we also believe in that. But to fulfil it, Ben Tre has to spare even more efforts because we are also facing with no less difficulties in investment promotion activities?

- We have attracted a lots of investments, but we are facing some hurdles for our technical infrastructures have not yet been able to meet with investors' requirements. In an effort toward satisfying investors' requirements, the province has stepped up its capital investments into industrial parks and zones, and is screening for more land to put into use.

* Thank you.

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