Vietnam province offers reward to attract investment

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The north-central province of Thanh Hoa is offering rewards to individuals and organizations that can attract projects worth more than US$2.5 million each to the Nghi Son Economic Zone and other industrial parks.

Cash ranging from VND100 million ($4,740) to VND500 million will be awarded to those mediating projects for the economic zone from now until 2018.

The local government said the reward money will be taken from its budget.

The Nghi Son Economic Zone is located in the south of coastal Thanh Hoa, about 200km south of Hanoi. Covering an area of more than 18,600 hectares (45,419 acres), it includes a port, an oil refinery and petrochemical complex, a thermal power center, industrial zones and urban areas.

The central government considers Nghi Son one of five key economic zones in the country.

In a bid to attract both Vietnamese and foreign businesses to Nghi Son, the local government has offered incentive policies such as granting investors exemptions from land lease costs for 11-15 years from the start of operations.

As for tax policies, investors will enjoy a Corporate Income Tax rate of 10 percent applied for 15 years from the start of operations.

There are also incentives regarding site clearance and fair value depreciation.

By now, Nghi Son has attracted 74 projects, including 66 domestic projects with a total registered capital of VND93 trillion ($4.4 billion) and eight foreign-invested projects, totaling $12.1 billion.

On October 23, work finally started on the $9-billion Nghi Son oil refinery, which is due to open by 2017 and will turn Kuwaiti oil into petroleum products.

It will be able to process 10 million tons of crude oil a year, the government said.

State-owned PetroVietnam will own a 25.1-percent stake in the joint venture while Japan's Idemitsu Kosan and Kuwait Petroleum International will each hold 35.1 percent. Mitsui Chemicals of Japan will own the remaining 4.7 percent.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the Nghi Son refinery was held in May 2008, but the project has suffered a number of delays.

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