Mr. Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of the FLC Group, shares his thoughts on the necessity of tourism infrastructure development in Vietnam.
■ How can Vietnam attract foreign investment sustainably and efficiently, rather than have cases of investors withdrawing when incentives from the government are no longer available?
Vietnam has a large population so I am sure it is a market that many international corporations target. But in order to retain foreign investors we need to overcome many problems. As a real estate investor, I think that in order to have sustainable foreign capital flows and boost the economy, Vietnam needs to promote its efforts to attract foreign investment in tourism infrastructure. Vietnam has great potential in this area but foreign investment is still too low, while tourism infrastructure has a considerable impact on socio-economic life.
■ Why tourism infrastructure and not transportation infrastructure or industrial infrastructure?
As a country with a long and beautiful coastline and many famous scenic spots and cultural monuments, Vietnam has the conditions to attract tourism investment.
This is also consistent with the direction of the government to increase the proportion of income from services, especially tourism services, in the national economic structure. Vietnam’s tourism infrastructure is also yet to match its development potential.
The development of tourism infrastructure will bring development in transportation infrastructure, the professional qualifications of workers will be improved, and the number of international tourists to Vietnam will increase. Tourism is a smokeless industry and if Vietnam is successful in its development it will not only contribute to promoting economic development and increasing State revenue but also help resolve a number of labor and social issues.
Success in attracting international tourists to Vietnam is also an important prerequisite to attracting investment in other sectors of the economy in general and fields relating to tourism in particular, such as construction materials, furniture, electricity, roads, education, agriculture, and training.
However, the number of foreign investment projects involved in Vietnam’s tourism infrastructure remains limited. Da Nang attracts much foreign investment into its tourism real estate sector but in the first quarter of this year there was only $1 billion worth of investment in the sector.
■ What would you suggest to attract more investment into tourism infrastructure?
First of all, the task of promoting tourism needs to be given more attention. If we want to attract more foreign investors it is necessary to let them know about and understand Vietnam.
Second, land resources for the development of tourism projects must meet requirements in terms of size, location, cost and time to complete site clearance and compensation, and transportation infrastructure. If these issues are not resolved, foreign investors will be hesitant to invest in Vietnam.
The third is improving the convenience and time needed to complete administrative procedures, which helps investors cut costs. There should also be preferential tax policies for investors in the sector as well as policies in education and training to meet the demand for high quality employees.