Vietnam businesses close at industrial zones

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Workers at Tan Thuan Industrial Zone in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online

Some 1,770 jobs were lost at Ho Chi Minh City export and industrial zones this past low year as many local and foreign businesses suspended operations or shut down, a new survey found.

The latest count by the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (Hepza) found that 20 businesses halted operations, including 13 foreign-invested firms with US$18.38 million in total investment capital, and seven local firms worth a total of VND122.8 billion ($5.82 million), the Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online reported.

Another 32 businesses ended their contracts with zones and parks before their due dates, twice as many as in 2012, including five foreign firms worth $6 million and 27 local ones worth $98.5 million.

Most of them were mechanics, plastics and chemistry firms that had failed to profit, Hepza said.

The parks and zones are still hosting 1,275 business projects worth a total of $7.78 billion, but 99 are currently on hold, 25 in the cancelation process, and 65 yet to be launched.

Hepza also found 35 businesses, including 15 foreign ones, in the construction, interior decoration, electronics and garment sectors had cut their productivity by 20-30 percent this year.

The agency said the businesses were hit by market crises as orders dropped and production costs increased at the same time.

But it said export revenues from the parks and zones were estimated to meet the target of $5.1 billion, up 13 percent from last year, thanks to many foreign-invested firms that had good business strategies, experience and stable partners.

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