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NEWS UPDATES 31 July 2010

Investment revives in Long An

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Foreign direct investment is picking up again after the economic slump last year in the southern province of Long An. In the first half of the year, nearly US$105 million has been committed by investors in five projects, 18 per cent up from the same period last year, according to Phan Thanh Phi, head of the province's industrial park management.

Investment licences have also been issued for nine domestic projects with a total registered capital of VND346 billion (US$18 million), 82 per cent higher year on year. The size of projects also increased dramatically in the first half this year. The average FDI per ha of land in industrial parks has previously $3 million and VND23 billion ($1.2 million) in case of domestic projects.

They have surged this year to $35 million and VND108 billion ($5.6 million). Soichiro Kitamura, director of Vina Eco Board Ltd, a subsidiary of Japan's Sumitomo Forestry, said his company has leased 20ha in the Phu An Thanh Industrial Park to build Southeast Asia's largest wood processing factory.

Work on the $100 million factory, which will process 250,000cu.m of wood annually, will begin on August 18.

Lam Truc Nho, the company's general director, said Long An Province was popular with investors because it had the advantage of being connected to HCM City by road, air, and water. But manpower remains a challenge for the province.

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