Pioneers of HCMC’s marine economy

The Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Corporation (IPC) is credited as a tenacious leader in developing Ho Chi Minh City’s marine economy.  

A view of Hiep Phuoc Port, the construction of the port by Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Corporation to replace the Saigon port has helped reduce traffic jams cuased by trucks traveling in and out of the Saigon port.  

Prior to 1989, the city’s south was surrounded by marshy swamp areas with very few residents.
 
Seeing the economic value of reclaiming the area, the city’s Party Committee and administration established a board to develop a project called the “Tan Thuat Export Industrial Park Program,” which would be a predecessor of IPC.
 
With little funding and not much experience, the first IPC officials visited each commune in the area, trying to convince residents to relocate so that the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone could be built. They then called for investment.
 
At the time, few Government policies were in place to provide assistance, and seeking investment was difficult.
 
Officials persisted, however, and after four years the zone was built on an area of 300 hectares. It was the first project of IPC’s “Developing the city towards the East Sea” program and also the impetus for establishing a series of export processing zones and industrial parks.
 
Today, over 165 local and foreign firms are operating at the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone.
 
From 1993-2004, the board officially established itself and was renamed the Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Corporation.
 
During that period, IPC also cooperated with the CT&D Group to set up the Phu My Hung Joint Venture Company. It was assigned to build the 600-hectare Phu My Hung new urban area and 17.8-kilometer Bac Nha Be-Nam Binh Canh road, which is now the 10-lane Nguyen Van Linh road.
 
Building the area was not without its challenges. Ba Dah Wen, general director of CT&D Group, said everyone involved worked extremely hard to realize the project.
 
Phu My Hung is now considered Vietnam’s most state-of-the-art urban area, and its A Zone has been officially recognized by the Construction Ministry as meeting standards of the country’s urban area model.
 
The success of Phu My Hung was also an impetus for the development of many other urban areas such as Phuoc Kien and Cang Hiep Phuoc, and new residential areas such as Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Him Lam and Van Phat Hung.
 
Opening sea ports
 
The IPC’s most impressive achievements, however, are dredging the Soai Rap Riverbed and construction of the Hiep Phuoc port complex on the riverside in Nha Be District.
 
Phan Hong Quan, IPC general director, said the river dredging began in 2000 at a depth of 8 meters to allow navigation of 25,000 to 30,000-ton ships.
 
It now has a depth of 8.5 meters and will eventually be dredged to 9 meters.
 
The successful dredging of the Soai Rap River led to the city’s decision to develop the Hiep Phuoc Port.
 
The construction of Hiep Phuoc Port to replace the Saigon Port was an important development in the city’s marine economy as it helped reduce traffic jams caused by trucks traveling in and out of the Saigon Port. 

By Nguyen Khoa – Translated by Thuc Quyen

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