Aligning Investment Promotion Reform with Business Environment Improvement

9:38:55 AM | 26/5/2021

Binh Phuoc province has achieved outstanding results of economic development and investment attraction in recent years, which are attributed to reform efforts for better promotion outcome and more enabling business climate. Mr. Vo Dang Khoa, Director of the Binh Phuoc Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center (ITTPC), gives an exclusive interview on this content. Ngo Khuyen reports.

In 10 years of operation (since 2010), how has Binh Phuoc ITTPC played its role? What do you think about the province's investment promotion and attraction in the past 10 years?

Advising on investment, trade and tourism promotion in the province, Binh Phuoc ITTPC has regularly organized promotion events and invited many investors from many countries and territories such as Singapore, India, Japan and Taiwan in the past years.

Most recently, on December 16, 2020, the center consulted the Provincial People's Committee to hold an online investment promotion conference with South Korean businesses who expressed their interest in the province's policies, investment environment, transport infrastructure and labor. Existing investors in the province like HCM Vina and Hankuk Carbon actively introduced local potential, strengths and priorities to South Korean firms engaged in high-tech, electronics and agricultural processing industries. This preparation facilitated the success of the Binh Phuoc Investment Promotion Conference 2020.

In the past 10 years, the center also issued more than 10,000 journals and 10,000 DVDs on local investment policies, provided 10,000 news articles on promotion, and helped businesses update information on the investment environment and expand trade connections.

Every year, the center hosts programs for local industrial zone infrastructure investors to visit and learn from experiences in other outperforming provinces with similar conditions as Binh Phuoc.

In order to actively approach FDI firms, the center invites them to explore the environment and investment opportunities in the province. Each survey program witnessed about five companies to register for investment in the province.

Notably, the center has hosted 70 conferences and 14 programs to bring Vietnamese goods to the countryside in Loc Ninh, Bu Dop, Hon Quan, Bu Gia Map and other districts, to facilitate people in rural, mountainous, remote and isolated areas to access high-quality domestic goods.

The center successfully worked with relevant agencies to launch Southeast Industry and Trade Fair 2020 where exhibitors showcased products on 210 booths, helping enterprises in other localities to learn about Binh Phuoc's investment and business environment and bringing high-quality products to other localities.

In addition to advising and supporting businesses to learn about the investment environment and opportunities in the province (averaging 20 investors a year), the center also assists them to build and register trademarks Loc Ninh pepper and Bao Phuoc ginseng.

Moreover, the center organized 40 training courses for 2,000 trainees, covering such topics as customs policies and procedures, tax policies, sales skills and marketing solutions; hosted 10 investment promotion programs in Binh Phuoc and Ho Chi Minh City and many events in South Korea, Singapore, the Netherlands, Thailand, Japan and other countries, attended by more than 500 companies.

With the above efforts, Binh Phuoc ITTPC successfully bolstered investment attraction and business development in the past 10 years. By the end of 2020, the province had 7,800 enterprises with a total registered capital of VND73,900 billion; attracted 983 DDI projects with VND83,948 billion and 252 FDI projects with US$2.504 billion of investment capital. However, these achievements remain incommensurate with local potential and strengths, and the center will promote innovation to further improve investment promotion events in the coming time.

With its favorable geo-economic location and complete infrastructure, Binh Phuoc has many great opportunities to draw investment flows in the context of deep integration and global investment flow redirection. How do you assess this opportunity?

Binh Phuoc is located in the southern key economic region, bordered by Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces which have developed industries acting as bridges to link the Central Highlands with Ho Chi Minh City, one of gateways to neighboring Cambodia through Hoa Lu International Border Gate. Binh Phuoc is also receiving an investment wave from neighboring provinces while it advantageously has a clean land fund, complete infrastructure and young labor. For the time being, the COVID-19 epidemic is still complicatedly evolving in many countries around the world and likely becoming a catalyst to quicken the shift. With its advantages and resolution of the provincial government to draw investors, Binh Phuoc is confidently becoming a destination for FDI investors in the coming time.

To avoid unfocused actions and unlock local competitive advantages, what sectors and fields will the province draw investment capital for in 2021-2025? What are the desirable quality and scale of investment projects?

Since its establishment, Binh Phuoc ITTPC built a practical investment promotion program to effectively utilize local resources and attract external investment resources to make Binh Phuoc a promising destination for investors.

Binh Phuoc province issued a list of 80 projects seeking US$2 billion of investment funding in 2021 - 2025. Accordingly, it enticed foreign investors seeking to invest in prioritized fields. Typical projects include VND600 billion electrical - electronic equipment manufacturing factories covering 10 ha each, VND350 billion equipment and spare parts factories covering 10 ha each, US$15 million textile and fabric factories covering 5 ha each.

In the coming time, Binh Phuoc will draw investment funds for processing, manufacturing and supporting industries and hi-tech agriculture. It will give priority to projects generating value-added products and using modern technologies to enhance economic productivity, performance and competitiveness.

Binh Phuoc province is robustly accelerating the construction of an enabling and popular government for people and businesses. Binh Phuoc ITTPC is responsible for supporting investors when they are in the province, and is gaining high trust of investors. What specific solutions and actions has Binh Phuoc ITTPC taken?

In the past time, Binh Phuoc ITTPC has always persuaded existing investors to recommend the province to new investors; conducted surveys and meetings with industrial zone infrastructure investors to discuss policies to entice secondary investors; and noted difficulties to make reports sent to the Provincial People's Committee and relevant agencies for resolution.

The center set up a webpage on solutions to corporate difficulties on its website and embedded links to relevant agencies such as the Department of Planning and Investment, the Economic Zones Authority, the Department of Industry and Trade and the Tax Department. The website features updated information on policies and affiliates with websites of investment promotion agencies, Southern Investment Promotion Center, Foreign Investment Agency and others to boost local images and potential to domestic and foreign enterprises.

Binh Phuoc ITTPC also sent local business delegations to other localities to exchange, learn and do practical surveys, invite neighboring provinces to visit and explore Binh Phuoc to foster trade and cooperation of enterprises.

The center has also worked with relevant bodies and business associations to organize training classes and dialogues on matters of concern, remove problems in administrative procedures, answer questions raised by enterprises and provide favorable conditions for them to access to new policies. It has maintained regular dialogues with investors in order to detect and promptly handle their hardships to make sure that their projects operate effectively, thus strengthening their confidence in the local investment and business environment, and creating a ripple effect and a positive impression on new investors.

With its ongoing efforts, Binh Phuoc ITTP has helped businesses and investors to more easily access information on trade and investment policies; and helped raise the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) of Binh Phuoc province in 2020 by 11 places as compared to 2019.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum