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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  June 2011

Vietnam wants to fill half-empty industrial zones

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Industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones should apply new strategies to attract foreign investors in a bid to fill half-empty parks, said Luu Duc Hai, director of the Ministry of Construction's Department of Urban Development.

Making matters worse, he said new EPZs were being planned, despite the fact that existing industrial zones were lying in some cases virtually empty, he added.

Just 46 per cent of the area in the country's industrial zones on average has been filled. Meanwhile, new industrial zone projects are being proposed, he said.

Allocating more land for unnecessary industrial zones will detrimentally affect urban planning in the future, Hai added.

Pham Ba Tung, vice director of northern Ha Nam's Department of Industrial Zone Management, said 70 per cent of the space in the province's industrial zones was either occupied or earmarked for occupation.

However, he said many industrial zones in the province were underused, such as Dong Van 2 and Hoa Mac, which had an occupation rate of just 20 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

By the end of May, only four out of 13 industrial zones in northern Hung Yen Province were operational, with about 300 ha of their land area leased, just 13 per cent of their total area, Bui The Cu, vice director of Hung Yen Department of Industrial Zone Management, said.

There is also a lot of wasted land in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, Cu said. The region has 20 industrial zones that have an occupancy rate of just 22 per cent of their total land area on average. Even so, new industrial zones are still being planned in remote areas.

It's high time we conducted a detailed survey of land usage in industrial zones throughout the country, Le Dang Doanh, a planning expert, said.

Unused land in industrial zones should be confiscated and returned to farmers or be used for community projects, he added.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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