Home » Investment » Investors pledge huge funds for Northwest

Twenty six projects worth a total of nearly VND9.5 trillion were granted investment certificates at the Conference for Investment Promotion and Social Security for the Northwest held in Tuyen Quang Province on Wednesday.

In addition, the event witnessed the signing of 15 agreements on over VND20 trillion worth of loans for investors in the Northwest. Banks also pledged to provide more than VND500 billion for social security in this region.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is the head of the Northwest Steering Committee, expressed his pleasures at the above pledges.

The largest projects licensed on Wednesday are the VND1.6-trillion rubber planting project of Dau Tieng Rubber Corp. in Lai Chau, the Cam Thuy 1 hydropower project worth VND1.2 trillion to be developed by Infrastructure Investment and Transportations Construction Co. in Thanh Hoa and the VND885-billion lead factory of Tay Giang Corp. in Yen Bai.

Among the loan agreements, that of the highest value is the one signed between VCB, BIDV, Vietinbank, Agribank and EVN, in which the banks will lend EVN VND14.5 trillion to build Lai Chau hydroelectric plant. Meanwhile, Dong Ta Phoi Co. under Vinacomin will receive VND1.7 trillion from Vietinbank to extract copper ores in Lao Cai.

Vietnam Bank for Social Policies signed a memorandum with the Northwest Steering Committee, with an aim that credits for the Northwest would have an annual growth rate of 10-15% from now to 2017. In the period 2015-2017, outstanding loans for the region will increase by VND16 trillion and reach VND38 trillion by the end of 2017.

The Conference for Investment Promotion and Social Security for the Northwest was organized by the Northwest Steering Committee and the government of Tuyen Quang Province. The event was attended by 17 members of the Party Central Committee and over 1,000 delegates who are leaders of the Government, ministries, the World Bank and businesses.

The conference was held to seek ways to promote socio-economic development in the region consisting of 14 provinces with the highest percentage of poverty-stricken households in Vietnam.

Although Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway funded by ADB is near completion, infrastructure remains the major bottleneck for the Northwest, said delegates.

BIDV Chairman Tran Bac Ha suggested: “This region is full of minerals, so the policy of infrastructure in exchange for minerals would work.”

However, the opinion of the leader of BIDV, the bank that pledged over VND1.3 trillion for four projects at the conference, was not supported.

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh told the media on the sidelines of the conference: “Such an idea is very outdated, inconsistent with the view of the Government and the Ministry of Planning and Investment.”

He explained mineral and forest resources had been depleted and the Government did not agree to grant licenses for miners to export crude ores.

To develop the traffic system in the Northwest, he suggested calling for private investors to build the lifeblood roads under the formats of PPP, BOT and BT.

Decree 61 on incentives for investors in remote areas, including the Northwest, compiled by the planning ministry has been submitted to the Government.

Vinh said the Northwest had attracted only US$2.45 billion of foreign direct investment, very modest compared to over US$200 billion of the entire nation.

Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s country director for Vietnam, said the Northwest is the poorest region in Vietnam and the bank would continue to assist the region in poverty reduction.

BIDV is offering households in the region loans worth US$500 million financed by the World Bank. Kwakwa urged the authorities to set aside small loans for local households to help them escape poverty.

(Sai Gon Times)

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