Investment Attraction Priority Placed on Key Areas

3:32:52 PM | 28/5/2015

Accompanying and supporting businesses to deal with problems in the current tough context, focusing investment attraction into key areas, maintaining operations to overcome difficulties and securing stable and sustainable development are the priority objectives of Quang Binh province. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr Le Van Phuc, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Quang Binh province, on this aspect. Duy Binh reports.
 
How do you assess investment results of the province in the past years? Could you tell us about solutions the province has taken to attract investment capital into key areas and achieve good results?
With its geographical advantage of lying in the middle of the country, situated on the East - West Economic Corridor stretching from the East Sea to Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and other Asian countries; with a synchronous airway, railway, seaway, seaport and roadway infrastructure systems like National Highway 1A, Ho Chi Minh Road, National Highway 12A and National Highway 9B connecting the province with other parts of Vietnam and other countries in the region, Quang Binh has focused its conditions to attract investment capital to tap its existing potential and advantages and achieved positive results.
 
In addition to calling investment capital for infrastructure investment, stepping up planning, reforming public administration, applying effective regulations on investment and land allocation, recommending investment sites for investors, and creating the most favourable conditions for investors to survey investment opportunities, Quang Binh province has actively promoted the image of Quang Binh with rich potential and investment opportunities, particularly tourism development potential on domestic and international media; organised many conferences on investment promotion in Vietnam and other countries, and hosted meetings and dialogues between provincial leaders and investors; regularly reviewed the list of projects calling for investment; and adjusted local investment incentives to better support investors to boost business operations and deal with emerging problems.
 
More and more large-scale domestic and foreign investors have arrived in the province to study investment opportunities and the province has in turn had more opportunities to select investors with good financial, technical and managerial capacity and experience. Licensed projects are engaged in various industries such as mining, tourism services, urban construction, industry, agro-forestry product processing, and consumer goods production. By the end of 2014, the province licensed a total of 300 projects with registered capital of VND107.2 trillion (US$4.87 billion), including 11 foreign-invested projects with US$$ 107 million. So far, 158 projects with VND78.9 trillion (US$3.6 billion) have been carried out and gone into operation. These projects have generated jobs for local workers, development momentum as well as tax revenue for the province.
 
In April 2014, the Quang Binh Province People's Committee collaborated with the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) to host a Quang Binh investment promotion conference. At the event, the Provincial People's Committee granted investment certificates to 13 projects with total capital of over VND8.5 trillion and signed cooperation agreements with five investors to launch 10 projects worth VND11.6 trillion. After meeting, the provincial government actively guided relevant units to support investors to carry out their projects. To date, many projects are being implemented as scheduled, for instance, an assembled timber plank and high-grade interior factory invested by Hoa Binh Wooden Furniture Production Company, a logistic system development project in Cha Lo International Border Gate Economic Zone, an export garment production project in Quan Hau village invested by S&D Company, and Co.opmart trade centre - supermarket project in Dong Hoi City. Especially, after the event, many investors from India, South Korea, Czech Republic and Taiwan arrived to survey investment opportunities in the province. For example, Sungroup studied a car cable project in Phong Nha - Ke Bang area and Vingroup looked into a general trade centre.
 
To achieve comprehensive development results in all fields, the province has focused on drawing investment capital for key areas as follows:
From its potential and strengths like geo-economic position, institutions, natural resources, land and labour force, the province has concentrated on calling investment capital for major infrastructure development projects like seaports, airports, resorts and tourism services, commercial centres and production projects to turn potential into reality. At the same time, the province has actively directed effective action plans to carry out the programme concerning the improvement of the business and investment climate and competitiveness index in the 2014-2016 period.
 
The province has also mobilised all resources for gradual infrastructure improvement to meet economic development requirements, built and implemented foreign language improvement for civil servants and officials to catch up with international economic integration trends and understand contents of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Vietnam - EU FTA, thus supporting businesses in the new era of integrating into ASEAN and international markets.
 
Based on the approved overall socioeconomic development planning, the province will build investment attraction programmes and plans in support of investment promotion activities and socioeconomic development. The following solutions will be adopted.
 
- Introducing sectors of local advantages to investors to attract capital, including cave tourism, ecotourism, medical tourism, leisure, and maritime tourism, high-tech construction material production using local materials like limestone, glass sand and timber.
 
- Creating a list of key projects in need of investment capital; meeting, interacting and working with investors; creating favourable conditions for investors to carry out investment procedures in a single-window mechanism.
 
- Carrying out commitments to investors, effectively mobilising and using all investment resources for complete socioeconomic infrastructure construction, speeding up the progress of key investment projects to draw new projects.
 
- Actively training and retraining high-quality human resources to meet employment demand by investment projects in the context of international integration; improving human resources quality to meet rapid and sustainable development requirements.
 
- Regularly reviewing and supplementing investment incentive and support policies appropriate to reality and budget availability to share difficulties with investors and enterprises.
 
As a difficult province, how has Quang Binh supported local businesses to operate their projects effectively?
Quang Binh has carried out many measures to accompany local businesses to cope with their production and business difficulties, expand markets, deal with bad debts, handle inventories, and assist them to access bank loans. The province has also reduced and rescheduled tax collection as guided by the Government of Vietnam and enhanced operations of business associations to serve as more effective bridges for the government and business community. The locality has also assisted businesses to deal with difficulties to spur production and business activities, sped up tourism development to improve the quality of tourism products and services like restaurant, shopping and leisure services. Quang Binh has supported and created favourable conditions for new projects to go into stable and effective operation; and actively guided relevant units to prepare investment promotion works for key projects. The Provincial People's Committee even set up working groups to assist big, important projects to complete necessary procedures and deal with emerging difficulties when carrying out projects.
 
To support domestic and foreign investors to do business in the province, the Provincial People's Committee supplemented, adjusted and promulgated Decision 04/2014/QD-UBND dated April 3, 2014 on a number of investment incentive and support policies. The provincial government also issued Decision 38/2014/QD-UBND dated December 31, 2014 on specific incentives and supports for hotel and restaurant investment projects. In addition, it has additional incentives and supports, separately decided by the Provincial People's Committee, for strategic, groundbreaking projects which will have important roles in local socioeconomic development. In addition, the province has actively reviewed and adjusted socioeconomic development planning, sector development planning and regional development planning until 2020.
 
To further improve the business investment climate, speed up ongoing investment projects and attract new investment capital, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 1446/QD-UBND dated June 5, 2014 on action plans for implementation of the programme of improving the business investment climate and enhancing the competitiveness index in the 2014-2016 phase to continue to step up administrative reform, reduce the time required for handling administrative procedures, and strengthen coordination of relevant bodies in carrying out investment procedures for investors.
 
Every year, the province hosts conferences, meetings and dialogues with investors to learn about their issues to seek best solutions to support them to do business in the locality.
 
In the coming time, the province will continue to closely direct administrative procedures, issue consistent policies to improve the quality of economic governance and raise the provincial competitiveness index in 2015 and following years, and focus on build an open, transparent and attractive investment - business environment to attract all economic sectors to do business.