Updated October, 29 2011 09:31:21
Workers at the Da Nang Software Park. Priorities to attract foreign direct investment should be made to help develop the IT sector. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Son
HA NOI — The information technology (IT) sector should be given priority to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the period between 2011 and 2020, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has said.
The ministry said the sector accounted for a small proportion at 2 per cent of the country’s total FDI, which was much lower than industries such as processing and manufacturing, real estate, hotel and restaurant services.
MPI statistics showed that IT ranked third out of 10 sectors in terms of the number of projects, but took the sixth position for the amount of registered capital in the first nine months of this year.
The sector attracted 680 FDI projects, while total registered capital was US$4.8 billion.
Deputy head of the MPI Foreign Investment Agency Nguyen Ba Cuong said IT, in combination with the support, agriculture and service industries would be key a sector for the country’s FDI strategy in this period.
Cuong said the Government would give priority to projects that offered high competitive products and could take part in the global production network.
He added that Viet Nam would not grant licences to projects wasting energy or natural resources, or that use backward technologies and pollute the environment.
Figures from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) showed that the sector had seen a high growth rate of 25 per cent, three to four times higher than the country’s GDP, with a wide application over the past 10 years.
Around 25 per cent of the population has used the internet. Moreover, several public services have been implemented online, contributing to the country’s socio-economic development.
The sector’s yearly average growth rate in the 2010-15 period is expected to be 25 per cent.
It is a high value-added industry, especially software and digital content which have a yearly growth rate of 35 to 40 per cent.
Acting head of the MIC Information and Technology Department Nguyen Trong Duong said FDI in the sector had not met its potential though investments have increased.
Duong said the country should spend 25 per cent of its annual investment on promotion programmes to attract FDI from multinational groups into the sector, especially new and high value-added products.
Viet Nam has around 500 businesses operating in the software industry, half of which are wholly-foreign invested enterprises.
Under the IT zone development planning, by 2020, the country will have 23 industrial parks covering an area of 2,000ha designed to attract foreign investors.
He said the Government will build transport, water and electricity systems around the zones. Additionally, infrastructure inside the zones will be mobilised from investors both inside and outside the country to quickly develop the area.
The country now has some IT zones assigned for businesses to invest in, including Da Nang and Hoa Lac in Ha Noi of FPT Group. — VNS