Vietnam’s northern province introduces industrial infrastructure to European investors

A seminar was organized last month by the Swiss-Vietnamese Business Gateway (SVBG), in collaboration with Bac Ninh provincial People’s Committee, the Embassy of Vietnam in Switzerland and the Swiss – Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC), to promote investment into the province.

Zurich (VNS) – The delegation from Bac Ninh province led by its Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee DAO Quang Khai, introduced its industrial infrastructure and vision for foreign investments at the business seminar “Bac Ninh – Where to base your production in Vietnam” held in Zurich, Switzerland.

The business seminar “Bac Ninh – Where to base your production in Vietnam” held in Zurich, Switzerland

The August 29 seminar attracted than 30 companies in Switzerland and neighboring countries such as Austria, Belgium, Germany and Italy, as well as business associations and universities in Switzerland.

Vice Chairman DAO Quang Khai welcomed interested businesses attending the seminar to learn more about his province, and to seek and identify potentials and opportunities for cooperation and investment in Bac Ninh and Vietnam.

Khai emphasized that the province with the smallest area (823 km2) in Vietnam and a population of 1.5 million people has a particularly important position and role in the capital region and is one of the seven provinces constituting the Northern Economic Region of the country.

Adjacent to the capital Hanoi, 32 km from Noi Bai International Airport and 90 km from Hai Phong seaport, the province is very conveniently located for transportation and import-export of goods.

Over the last 25 years, its economy has achieved an average growth of 13.9% per year.

Nowadays, Bac Ninh has become a high-tech industrial center with industry and construction accounting for 76.5% of its economy and ranks high among the leading provinces and cities of Vietnam as assessed through several socio-economic indicators, such as manufacturing output, export turnover, income per capita, provincial competitiveness index, provincial green index (PGI), and satisfaction index with public administration services (SIPAS).

“Having achieved the above results, we treasure the contribution of the FDI sector in the overall development of Bac Ninh Province,” Khai said.

The province has granted investment registration to 1,975 valid projects from 39 countries and territories by July 2023, with a total registered capital of US$24.44 billion, ranking seventh in the country in terms of accumulated foreign direct investment.

Big corporations that have built factories in Bac Ninh include Samsung, Foxconn, Canon, PepsiCo, Amkor, GoerTek and Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP).

There are four projects by three renowned Swiss hi-tech manufacturers with a total investment of $109.34 million in the province, namely: ABB, which manufactures electricity distribution equipment and solutions; Sika, which produces additives for use in construction; and Oerlikon, which specializes in metal engineering and coating.

Mr. Petr VALENTA from ABB Group shared the story of ABB entering Vietnam market. PHOTO: Thuc Minh

Talking about his company’s success in Bac Ninh, Petr Valenta, ABB Global Product Line Manager for Compact Secondary Substations and Electrification Distribution Solutions, said the reasons ABB chose to build its first factory in Bac Ninh in 2010 and expand it further in 2022 are geographical position with good infrastructure; supplier base with international reputation; strong support from local authorities; and competence supported by good education system.

Mr. Marco FREIDL, Head of Group Strategy & Business Development of Oerlikon Group, introduced his company’s business in Vietnam. PHOTO: Anh Hien

Meanwhile, Marco Freidl, head of Group Strategy & Business Development of Oerlikon Group, which opened a representative office in Hanoi in 2017 and built its first factory in Bac Ninh in 2019, has seen in Bac Ninh a strong production ecosystem that supports the group’s connection with partners and customers.

A number of participants also discussed their companies’ successful operations in Vietnam, particularly in the North thanks to the proximity to global seaports, such as DEEP C Industrial Zone Vietnam (Belgium) that operates industrial infrastructure, or DSV Air & Sea (Denmark) in transport and logistics sector.

Concerns were raised about the province’s human resources and incentives for green investments, and investments in climate-resistant infrastructure.

Although the province’s population is rather small, thanks to being close to the capital city of Hanoi, Bac Ninh benefits from the abundant and high-quality workforce trained by universities in the capital, according to Khai.

Bac Ninh also has six universities and 58 colleges and vocational training centers which train a considerable number of skilled laborers.

In the near future, it will establish a university village and boost vocational training to meet the high demand of investors.

The seminar attracted more than 30 companies and business organizations in Switzerland and Europe. PHOTO: Anh Hien

The Vice Chairman also said in the coming years his province wishes to welcome green investments and high-tech industries, supporting industries, 5G and 6G technology, clean and hi-tech agriculture, high-class commercial facilities, infrastructure and urban development, which also bring about advanced management skills and know-how.

Bac Ninh gives priority to investments that qualify as “2 less, 3 high”, meaning those which require less land use and labor force, yet entail high technology, investment rate and economic efficiency.

The province is welcoming potential investors in a spirit of “four readiness”: ready to provide clean premises, ready to supply qualified work force, ready for reform and ready to support investors.

Mr. DAO Quang Khai, Vice Chairman of Bac Ninh People’s Committee, said his province welcomes investors with “four readiness”. PHOTO: Anh Hien

“We are also continuing to call for investments to turn Bac Ninh into a leading electronics manufacturing center in Vietnam, continuing to be the main driving force for economic growth with the Industrial and Hi-tech Development Zone that encompasses Yen Phong, Que Vo, Luong Tai, Thuan Thanh and Tien Du districts,” said the Vice Chairman.

The province currently has 16 industrial parks under 24 investment projects that build and develop industrial infrastructure with a total area of 6,398 ha.

Among these, 16 estates have been put into operation, scoring an occupancy rate of 58.6%, and eight projects are under construction.

The industrial parks are equipped with synchronized and modern infrastructure. Social welfare has also been strengthened, ensuring the security of people and workers in the so-called Industrial Zone.

Optimistic about potentials in Vietnam, Roger LEITNER, Chairman of the Vietnam Committee of the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC), said: “I have joined a Swedish entrepreneur who co- founded Mobifone Vietnam in the 1990s, creating a “unicorn” for and in Vietnam under the Swedish-Vietnamese partnership Comvik International Vietnam. This is a true testimonial that great things can be achieved and built in Vietnam.”

NGUYEN Thi Thuc, founding president of the Swiss-Vietnamese Business Gateway (SVBG), the key organizer of the seminar, added: “Bac Ninh is the second locality in Vietnam, after Da Nang, that has carried out investment promotion organized by the SVBG in Switzerland this year.

“Through our membership bases, media channels, social networks and international relations, SVBG and partners have introduced these promotional events widely to entrepreneurs, business support organizations, investment consulting firms and economic research institutes in Europe, bringing these localities closer to the business communities in Switzerland and neighboring countries.

“We are pleased to contribute to enhancing the image of Vietnam as an attractive destination for foreign investors.”  VNS

Source: Việt Nam News (VNS), a publication of Vietnam News Agency