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Last updated: Thursday, December 13, 2018


Aiming to Be a Strong Investment Recipient

Posted: Monday, December 11, 2017

Seeing that foreign direct investment (FDI) plays an important role in local socioeconomic development, Long An province has been very active in attracting this motive capital by building a favourable, transparent investment environment, and applying various preference and incentive policies for FDI enterprises in the locality. This tireless effort has made Long An an “investment magnet” of the Mekong Delta and the country. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr Nguyen Van Tieu, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, on the province’s investment attraction successes.

Long An is presently leading Mekong Delta provinces in investment attraction, especially FDI capital. Could you elaborate on this proud achievement?
In the Mekong Delta region, Long An is one of few localities capable of attracting a lot of FDI because it has a more favourable location than other provinces and lies close to the economic centre of Ho Chi Minh City (only about 30 km away), quite convenient for travelling and commodity transport. Its districts adjacent to major economic centres like Ben Luc and Duc Hoa have many effective industrial parks and commercial areas like Viet Phat Industrial - Urban Zone and Minh Ngan Industrial Park. In addition to a good geographic location, Long An is also a dynamic locality with an attractive investment environment as the provincial government always actively supports investors. This is a favourable condition for the province to attract more investment flows, especially FDI.

In the 2001 - 2005 period, Long An attracted 97 FDI projects worth US$400 million, an increase of 1.8 times in projects and 2.1 folds in value over the previous period. The 2006 - 2010 phase saw a surge in FDI attraction with 355 projects valued at US$3.24 billion, an increase of 3.7 folds in projects and 8.1 folds in value compared with the 2001 - 2005 period.

As of September 2017, Long An province had 805 FDI projects with a total registered capital of over US$5.2 billion, invested by foreign investors from 37 countries and territories. Licensed investment projects are mainly located in industrial zones in major economic hubs such as Duc Hoa, Ben Luc, Can Duoc, Can Giuoc and Tan An City.

In addition to generating jobs for thousands of workers in Long An province and neighbouring provinces, FDI projects contribute nearly 37 per cent of the province’s budget revenue with over VND3,000 billion a year. More importantly, FDI projects have been creating breakthroughs in the process of provincial industrialisation and modernisation.

To attain high investment achievements, how has the province focused on accelerating public administration reform, improving the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and bettering the business and investment environment?
Recently, Long An province has paid special attention to raising its PCI, improving the investment environment and supporting local enterprises to boost production and business operations. Every year, the province has specific plans for better PCI performance. Its efforts for a better investment and business climate has been recognised and appreciated by the business community, expressed by its top PCI standings in the country.

Long An province has launched its socioeconomic development strategies in a bid to become an industrial province by 2020, while attracting domestic and foreign investment to unlock its potential and advantages. To create fundamental and synchronous changes in public administration reform, improve the investment environment and raise its PCI to the group of very well-governed localities, the provincial leadership has focused on directing its subordinates to fully carry out central tasks and solutions. The province has first strengthened direction and administration, clearly defined responsibilities of agency leaders in executing public administration reform tasks and improving PCI component indices. The province has attached much importance to building a strong contingent of professional, responsible and dedicated civil servants, raising the sense of responsibility and awareness of civil servants, citizens and enterprises about roles of public administration reform, enhancing PCI in the context of deepening international integration.

At present, Long An is one of nine pioneering provinces and cities in the country to open the Public Administration Centre. This is a breakthrough content in administrative reform and modernisation of the provincial government. Could you share more about this groundbreaking model?
The Public Administration Centre was put into operation on October 17, 2016, which was considered one of 10 outstanding events of the province in 2016. The process of receiving and settling administrative procedures at the centre is not different from that at single-window units. Public servants delegated by provincial departments still receive procedures, return results and send records to departments as earlier. What is different is citizens and enterprises only need to go to one place, the centre, to have their administrative procedures settled instead of going to various places as earlier. This has helped them save time and expenses in handling administrative procedures.

To date, the Public Administration Centre is connected with nine departments: Department of Planning and Investment, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Construction, the Department of Industry and Trade, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Economic Zone Management Board, Fire Prevention and Rescue Police Agency of Provincial Police to handle administrative procedures within their jurisdiction. Civil servants working at the centre are selected among the best ones from concerned departments. Particularly, they are trained in processes, software and communications to receive applications and return results to people and enterprises before being delegated to the centre. The establishment and operation of the Long An Provincial Public Administration Centre show the province’s determination to quicken the single-window mechanism and address shortcomings in coordination among departments.

The Long An Socioeconomic Development Master Plan to 2020, with a vision to 2030, sets the target that Long An will become an industrial province by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, what fields will Long An province channel FDI capital into?

With the available land fund in industrial zones with complete infrastructure, Long An province has a lot of good conditions for attracting investors. Therefore, in the coming time, the province will attract environment-friendly investment projects registered by capable and prestigious investors; carry out projects engaged in supporting industries, processing industries, high-tech agriculture, urban development and services, developing clean energy (solar power and renewable energy). Especially, the province puts a premium on encouraging and adopting policies on transport infrastructure investment to attract investment for sustainable development.

The top goal of Long An province is building a strong brand in investment attraction. As thinking of Long An province, investors will not only know that this is an effective investment destination, but it is also a place of good opportunities for investors to experience and develop.

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