Binh Duong is currently a province experiencing strong industrial development with 29 industrial parks covering a planned area of nearly 13,000 hectares. It is the second-ranked locality in Vietnam in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) after Ho Chi Minh city, with nearly 4,200 projects from 65 countries and territories, totaling an investment capital of over 40.3 billion USD. In Binh Duong, there are numerous major investment projects by renowned global corporations, such as Tokyu, Aeon, Mitsubishi (Japan), Lego, Pandora (Denmark), Procter & Gamble (USA), Kumho (South Korea), Mapletree (Singapore).
Recently, at a meeting with provincial leaders to discuss the organization of the Green Growth 2024 high-level forum in Binh Duong, Mr. Dominik Meichle, Vice Chairman of EuroCham Vietnam, assessed that Binh Duong will continue to be a dynamic, innovative, favorable, safe locality and a new investment destination, offering attractive new investment opportunities for foreign investors.
“Currently, there are over 50 European businesses investing in Binh Duong, and this number is expected to increase further. I highly appreciate Binh Duong province for its FDI attraction activities and the achievements it has made. Recently, the Danish Lego Group invested over 1.3 billion USD in a major project to build a carbon-neutral factory, which is another highlight of European investments in Binh Duong. To attract more investors from Europe, I believe that a prerequisite now is for provinces to develop green industrial zones, eco-industrial parks, etc., European businesses investing in Vietnam always pay attention to environmental issues,” said Mr. Dominik Meichle.
During the discussions at the Horasis 2023 Forum, experts highlighted the numerous challenges that lie ahead in attracting new generation FDI. According to Mr. Leon Toh, CEO of Damson Capital (Singapore), current investors place great importance on integrating social and environmental values with business profitability when making investment decisions, rather than solely considering profit potential or investment risks. Therefore, not only infrastructure and human resources, but also commitments to ESG (Environment – Social – Governance) strategies, Net Zero strategies… are challenges in investing in Vietnam in general and Binh Duong province in particular.
From an investor’s perspective, Mr. Nguyen Trong Luat, General Director of Cicor Vietnam, shared that although there may not be many European investments in Binh Duong, the projects coming from Europe are all of advanced technological quality and ensure environmental conditions. To attract European investors, the first requirement is a favorable business environment, followed by infrastructure. In addition to land resources, logistics costs and warehousing are also concerns for investors, especially for European companies that utilize advanced technology. Therefore, a high-quality workforce is a crucial factor in their investment decision-making process.
Aiming at a new industrial ecosystem
With its efforts, Binh Duong is increasingly asserting its attractive advantages in attracting FDI. Binh Duong is planning to implement an investment attraction strategy for the next phase. In the coming time, the province will continue to mobilize all investment resources for development, with a focus on attracting FDI of high quality, depth, and sustainability. Recognizing this, recently, the province has been organizing seminars and actively promoting investment from developed countries such as the United States, the European Union, and the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, and Australia.
To attract higher quality FDI inflows, Binh Duong is focusing on developing sustainable industrial parks that are environmentally friendly, as well as adopting Industry 4.0 technologies and smart manufacturing. The establishment of VSIP III Industrial Park demonstrates the province’s determination in this regard. According to Associate Professor Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, former Director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, seizing opportunities requires preparation and forward-thinking. Binh Duong has a long-term vision, which is clearly reflected in its economic development strategy. The implementation of the Smart City Development Project and the establishment of VSIP III are also a step ahead in building a new industrial ecosystem, aiming to change the strategy of attracting FDI by prioritizing high-tech FDI with high added value and minimal environmental pollution, accompanied by the strategy of promoting the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital economic development.
After the “green” project from Lego, many investors also have “green” commitments when exploring investment opportunities in Binh Duong. For example, Pandora Group (Denmark), SEP Group (South Korea), A.P Moller Maersk Group (Denmark), Far Far Eastern Group… all pledge to minimize environmental impacts, use clean fuels, and promote sustainable development, creating value for the community.
Alongside this, to concretize cooperation agreements, global renowned corporations such as Warburg Pincus, Sembcorp, Tokyu, CapitaLand Development, Aeon, all commit to incorporating high-tech solutions into their investment projects in Binh Duong. This is also the sector that Binh Duong aims to attract investment in during the 4.0 era.
According to experts and scientists, Binh Duong has achieved significant achievements in attracting investment, but it is not necessary to set high targets in attracting investment based on arithmetic progression in the coming years, but rather a more forward-looking perspective is needed. Binh Duong needs to continue elevating the quality of investment and selecting the appropriate investment technologies in line with its development direction. With a clear focus on attracting investment and favorable policies, in the next phase, Binh Duong will continue to be an attractive destination for domestic and foreign investors.
Ngoc Thanh – Translated by Vi Bao