Local Economy

Last updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Effort for Business and Investor Support

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Soc Trang province achieved certain encouraging successes in investment in 2017, with more investors coming to explore business opportunities than in previous years. Effective and flexible investment attraction policies and efforts of provincial authorities played an important role in this success. The following is an interview with Mr Lam Hoang Nghiep, Director of the Soc Trang Department of Planning and Investment.

Could you tell us more about the investment attraction and promotion results of Soc Trang in the past year?
In 2017, investment attraction work was carried out more consistently and actively. With specific solutions, the province improved the investment climate and created favourable conditions for settling administrative procedures for investors when they came to Soc Trang province. Provincial leaders also considered and selected some strategic, potential and willing investors for local projects. In the year, they contacted, met, provided information and introduced investment opportunities involving 148 projects to 148 investors, an increase of 85 per cent over 2016, and granted investment licences to 29 projects, an increase of seven projects. Total investment capital was over VND4,150 billion in 2017, up 3.5 times against 2016.

These results showed a gradual improvement in investment promotion in Soc Trang province. By effectively fulfilling the Provincial People’s Committee’s commitments to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the local investment climate considerably progressed, to draw more and more investors to explore investment opportunities and carry out projects. Important projects included Tran De - Doc Trang Ferry invested by Superdong Kien Giang Fast Ferry Joint Stock Company, a marine shrimp breeding project invested by Viet Uc Seafood Joint Stock Company, and a wind to power plant (first phase) invested by Construction Technique Development Joint Stock Company. Especially, many potential investors visited Soc Trang to seek projects where the province is calling for investment capital, like Vingroup, Alphanam Investment Corporation and Sungroup.

In addition to preparing well for the Soc Trang Investment Promotion Conference 2018 and launch the Business Startup Movement, the province has issued a list of 89 priority projects to call for investment capital in 2017 - 2020, focusing on potential sectors (high-tech agriculture, processing industry, industrial zone infrastructure, renewable energy, etc.) for domestic and foreign investors seeking and proposing investment projects. It has also built the Investment Promotion and Support Policy in place of Decision 23/2011/QD-UBND dated June 24, 2011, as well as the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Policy in Soc Trang Province, expected to be issued in 2018. Besides, Soc Trang province has incentive policies and investment support for projects in industrial zones (like land rent and infrastructure lease).

Soc Trang province’s investment attraction achievements in 2017 are attributed to many factors, particularly investment attraction policies. Could you please introduce the new investment attraction policies of Soc Trang province in the past year?
In the latest five years, the government of Soc Trang province has united and carried out many activities to attract domestic and foreign investment funds. Many investment attraction and incentive policies issued by the province have been thoroughly and effectively implemented.

In 2017, the Provincial Party Committee of Soc Trang province issued thematic resolutions and launched action programmes to exert a pull on investment flows, for example, Resolution 05-NQ/TU of the Executive Board of the Provincial Party Committee dated August 2, 2017 on Soc Trang tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2025; Resolution 13-NQ/TU of the Executive Board of the Provincial Party Committee dated July 17, 2017 on industrial and handicraft development to 2020, with an eye to 2025; and Conclusion 06-KL/TU dated April 12, 2017 on continued implementation of Resolution 09-NQ/TU of the Executive Board of the Provincial People’s Committee on urban development in Soc Trang province.

In addition, the province has fully and timely applied centrally provided investment incentives to local projects. Soc Trang has always updated priority projects in line with overall planning and land-use planning to create a land fund to be ready to attract domestic and foreign investors.

Apart from very flexible investment attraction policies, what practical activities has Soc Trang province taken to show its determination to accompany and support enterprises?
In order to further improve the local business environment in the spirit of Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP and Resolution 35/NQ-CP of the Government, right from the beginning of 2017, the province focused on applying business support and start-up incentives. Specifically, the Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee, provincial departments and district/town committees held regular dialogues with businesses to provide information, receive feedback and support enterprises to deal with difficulties. Administrative reform was a regular task of competent authorities aimed to better serve businesses and citizens (reducing the time required for tax payment settlement from 119 hours a year to 117 hours, the time needed to complete compulsory social insurance declaration procedures from 48 hours a year to 45 hours, the time to get construction permits from 12 days to seven days, the time to obtain business registration from three days to two days). Soc Trang also organised training courses on trade promotion for 69 enterprises; and on corporate governance, business start-up and chief financial officer (CFO) for 268 companies. It also assisted 20 companies to join supply and demand chains and attend local and external trade fairs, and helped 15 companies to register for trademark protection in the country. These activities helped enterprises have more favourable conditions to start up a business and stabilise and develop production.

Especially, in October 2017, the Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee coordinated the Vietnam Association for Consumer Goods Development (VACOD) to organise the VACOD Business Matching Conference - Soc Trang 2017, themed “Promoting business strengths in regional chains” to create trade links and business exchanges for entrepreneurs in northern, central and southern regions. It also publicised planning and information on natural, economic and social conditions and investment environment in Soc Trang province.

Furthermore, the Soc Trang SME Development Project (funded by the Government of Canada) also coordinated with stakeholders to carry out many business support and start-up activities, for example, engaging enterprises to join supply and demand links in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, hosting the Start-up Initiative Contest 2017, promoting production and consumption links for farmers and enterprises to raise the value of onion and rice chains, and launching business incubations in the Business Incubator.

With the above support activities, the local business environment continued to improve to better facilitate enterprises to start and develop their business. In 2017, the province had 363 new enterprises with VND4.25 trillion of investment capital, 9.62 per cent in enterprises and 11.14 per cent in value more than a year ago. Soc Trang province is now home to about 2,600 companies.

To attract more and more companies to the province, stimulate business start-ups and facilitate production and business development for local companies, the investment environment is one of important factors. So, what will Soc Trang Province do to further improve the business and investment environment in 2018?
Currently, as start-up support in Soc Trang province launched in the Soc Trang Business Incubator, including youth start-up supports, they will be further assisted to have a more successful chance of realising their innovative start-ups.

Into the bargain, the province is considering and preparing for the Soc Trang Initiative Scheme for the 2018 - 2020 period, with a vision to 2025, with measures to boost up local start-up ecosystem development. The scheme is seen as an important basis for the province to accelerate start-up support in the coming time, with support policies specified for the youth.

On support policies, the province is drafting the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Support Policy under the Law on SME Promotion 04/2017/QH14 passed by the National Assembly on June 12, 2017.

Accordingly, SME start-ups and innovations are supported with: (1) access to credit; (2) production site support; (3) tax and accounting support; (4) support for technological research, renovation, transfer, improvement and control; (5) support for business incubators, technical facilities and common workplaces; (6) market expansion support; (7) free legal information, advice and assistance; (8) human resource development; (9) support for innovative and starting SMEs; and (10) support for SMEs to join cross-industry links and value chains.

At the same time, the province will further reform administrative procedures and support businesses to carry out from the stage of surveying the market, establishing procedures and starting the project to the stage of starting operation.

Thank you very much!

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