THE VIETNAMESE Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has warned agencies of a boom in textile and garment industrial zones in cities and provinces ahead of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
After the successful negotiation of the TPP recently, many cities and provinces have announced plans to open or enlarge their textile and garment industrial zones (IZs) to seize opportunities from the trade pact. Some international experts forecast that of the 12 countries that are party to the TPP, Vietnam will see the biggest benefits in terms of economic impact. Vietnam’s apparel and shoe manufacturers will also profit from lower import duties with the United States and Japan, they say.
Ho Chi Minh City, for example, has just announced the opening of seven new IZs mainly for textile and garment projects with a total area of roughly 2,000 hectares to prepare for the expected investment inflow.
In the southern province of Long An, infrastructure construction companies such as Tan Tao and Dong Tam have also asked to add weaving and dyeing sectors to their IZ construction planning.
According to authorities in the Tin Nghia Industrial Zone in the southern province of Dong Nai, many foreign textile and garment investors have also asked for land to be leased in the zone.
This year, many foreign textile and garment investors have set up production plants in the existing industrial zones.
In Long An alone, according to the province’s Economic Zone Management Board, as of September 30, it had received 122 investment projects, mainly in textile, weaving and dyeing, footwear and plastics.
The number was up 14.02 per cent against the same period last year.
While acknowledging that the development of the zones would help the textile and garment industry become more competitive and contribute to reducing the country’s trade deficit thanks to the use of domestic materials and accessories instead of importing sources as previously done, the MPI is also concerned about environmental pollution as well as imports of out-of-date and fuel-consuming equipment and technology in the zones, as per a document sent to People’s Committees of cities and provinces last week.
The ministry says that to capitalise on the TPP, besides paying attention to the occupancy rate, the construction of textile and garment IZs must also meet regulated standards on technology and environment.
Besides closely supervising the IZs’ construction, municipal and provincial People’s Committees also need to obey appraisal regulations, especially the use of projects’ technologies, when licensing the projects, the MPI says.
Cities and provinces must also map out plans to watch closely the IZs’ environmental protection as well as projects in the zones.