As of end-December 2012, Haiphong had lured US$1.16 billion in FDI, only after Binh Duong Province with US$2.53 billion, as reported by the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The latest data of the Haiphong Department of Planning and Investment, however, reveals that the city attracted US$1.23 billion of newly-registered and additional FDI in the whole last year.

Around 95% of this sum, or some US$1.2 billion, was poured into Dinh Vu-Cat Hai Economic Zone and the city-based industrial parks, said Mai Xuan Hoa, deputy head of the Haiphong Economic Zone Authority (HEZA).

Most projects apply clean technology and invest in supporting industries, consistent with Haiphong’s orientation for investment attraction. They are mainly carried out by Japanese investors, Hoa told the Daily on the phone.

In particular, Japan’s Nipro Pharma Corporation has received an investment certificate to build a factory specializing in producing medicine and medical equipment in Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) Haiphong.

The factory, worth US$250 million, will supply high-quality pharmaceutical products for export. The investor commits to apply advanced technology in production.

Other typical projects are the US$119-million high-tech printer factory of Fuji Xerox and the eco-friendly tire plant developed by Bridgestone Corporation in Dinh Vu Industrial Park with a budget of nearly US$575 million.

The large-scale projects in Haiphong get going very quickly. For example, the project of Kyocera in VSIP Haiphong was kicked off only a few months after the investor was granted an investment certificate, according to HEZA.

In October 2012, the project launched the first printers made in Vietnam that will be mainly exported. From this year, the monthly output of the factory will be 6,000 products, while the current localization rate of 20% will rise to 80-90% when stable production is achieved.

Although 2013 is forecast to be a tough year, Haiphong City still pins high hope on FDI attraction, especially investment from Japanese firms.

Haiphong is considering establishment of an industrial park for Japanese manufacturers, specializing in supporting industries, said Hoa.

By Quoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily - January 3, 2013