The northern port city of Haiphong is ramping up efforts to develop its industrial and logistics market. The port-connected DEEP C Industrial Zones are expected to take advantage of new opportunities from the current development plans. Hans Kersten, head of Sales and Marketing at DEEP C, shared with VIR’s Thanh Van his insight into the prospects of the city, and how the group can help accelerate these new development plans.
Haiphong has announced plans to develop its logistics and seaport systems by 2030. How will this plan help improve the competitiveness of the city’s logistics industry?
Haiphong has been pouring in vast investment to step up a mega infrastructure network. So far Lach Huyen Deep Sea Port holds the utmost importance in improving the city’s competitiveness, especially when placed in connection with existing terminals to form an essential maritime trade gateway in the north of the country.
Direct shipments from Haiphong to the US, Canada, and Europe are now available, allowing for reduced shipping times and logistics costs thanks to the omission of transhipment. A network of three major cargo transportation corridors, including Haiphong-Hanoi, Haiphong-Halong-Mong Cai, and Haiphong-Thai Binh-Nam Dinh-Ninh Binh has been developed to give other northern provinces direct access to Haiphong and Lach Huyen as well. Given the proximity to China, only 200 kilometres and three hours of trucking time to the border, Haiphong is one of the main players in promoting cross border trade with our northern neighbour, which happens to be Vietnam’s largest trade partner and key export market. In terms of sea trade, Lach Huyen is the closest deep seaport to the south-west of China, meaning the shortest sea route for cargo shipping from Vietnam to southeast China province. This will further boost the volume of goods transported via the city and Lach Huyen Deep Sea Port in the time ahead, and as such establish Haiphong as a core logistics hub with international level competitiveness.
Haiphong aims to become a modern, smart, and sustainable industrial city comparable to other cities in Southeast Asia over the next decade. What are the disadvantages and advantages Haiphong has in this regard?
Haiphong has made active moves in promoting the construction of smart and green building models in recent years. Through smart ecological design and management, these buildings can achieve energy efficiency and become one of the best solutions for sustainable development. TD Plaza, Big C Supermarket, and the newly opened Vinpearl Hotel Imperia are among construction works recognised as energy-saving models. Shortly, Haiphong will be home to various hotel, shopping mall, and apartment building projects such as Pullman, Hilton, and the 70-storey trade centre to be launched by FLC Group.
Unlike Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong is abundant in supply of affordable housing, meeting the increasing market demand. Besides overly familiar advantages of seaport transportation, Haiphong is widely regarded as a major centre for the inland waterway transportation. This network handles approximately 40 per cent of transported weight of cargo in the north of Vietnam.
What are your suggestions for Haiphong to achieve these targets?
The city has all the necessary potential to steer the city towards modern, smart, and sustainable industrial growth. With selective foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction with a focus on hi-tech advances, renewable energy, and infrastructure development projects, we believe Haiphong’s targets are within reach. Making Haiphong a liveable city is also a good idea. Availability of amenities such as supermarkets, shops, clubs, bars, venues, and abundance of potential employment will surely drive people from surrounding provinces to Haiphong, and as a result, enrich the city’s labour market and vibrant lifestyle.
How does DEEP C benefit from the city’s development plans?
A complete makeover in Haiphong’s industrial and logistics market in the last few years has transformed it into a hotspot for FDI not only in Vietnam but also in Southeast Asia. Strategically located in the heart of infrastructure development in Haiphong, DEEP C has been enjoying a new wave of FDI from a diversity of industries. Hence, our proximity to the port complex allows a fast and smooth movement of goods manufactured by tenants in DEEP C industrial zones, making us one of the most promising investment locations in Vietnam.
As Haiphong is poised to become regional hub for overseas funding, what are DEEP C’s preparations to facilitate investors?
Driven by the mission to ease the operations of foreign investors, DEEP C has been offering flexibility to choose between different options: industrial land or ready-built factories, built-to-suit solutions which allow quick market entry with limited initial investment.
Over recent years, DEEP C has added several industrial zones into its portfolios, forming an industrial cluster of five zones and 3,000 hectares of industrial land in Haiphong and Quang Ninh. Logistically, all zones within the cluster are perfectly located to benefit from the port system and synchronous expressway network.
Could you shed some lights on the upcoming plans of DEEP C in 2019?
We have started a new venture to become the first eco-industrial park in Vietnam with the focus on producing its own electricity from solar, wind, and waste-to-energy. Notably, energy will be generated from solar panels installed on tenant rooftops, allowing them a financial compensation. Excessive electricity will be stored and used to power hybrid barges sailing on the Hanoi-Haiphong inland waterway.
Further, the group is pursuing a circular economy within the industrial cluster, a relatively new concept in Vietnam which serves the green way by recycling defunct products. To turn ideas into action, DEEP C has teamed up with Dow Chemical to build Vietnam’s first road using recycled plastic in DEEP C Industrial Zones. The first one kilometre segment will be completed in September, and is subject to be expanded in all zones upon test results carried out by the Vietnam Maritime University.
Vietnam Investment Review