Improving Investment Capital Flow, Promoting Business Support

9:03:18 AM | 8/9/2022

Can Tho city has been employing many solutions to attract investment and support businesses to improve their competitiveness. To find out more about this issue, Vietnam Business Forum had an interview with Mr. Tran Phu Loc Thanh, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Can Tho city.

How do you evaluate the investment attraction and business development in Can Tho city in recent years?

In recent years Can Tho has achieved remarkable results. By the end of May 31, 2022, the city had 181 ongoing projects, including 97 domestic direct investment (DDI) projects with a land area of 2,457.4 ha (the Department of Planning and Investment manages and monitors 65 projects with a total capital of VND36,452 billion) and 84 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total capital of US$2.05 billion. Major FDI projects include O Mon II Thermal Power Plant (US$1.3 billion); sports shoe factory (US$171.5 million); and solid waste treatment plant (US$47 million).

As of May 31, 2022, the city had 10,003 active businesses with a total registered capital of VND103,005 billion and 2,061 branches and representative offices. They operate in trade and services (69%), construction industry (30%) and agriculture (01%).

In general, the city has always paid attention to investment attraction, especially FDI attraction and business development. Can Tho has always been active and proactive in introducing and promoting its image, position and potential, policies and calling for investment through many forms such as organizing trade and investment promotion; participating in investment promotion conferences, contacting and working directly with domestic and foreign partners. Besides, it has accelerated administrative procedure reforms, and effectively implemented programs to support enterprises such as Program to support small and medium enterprises in technology and equipment innovation; Can Tho City Intellectual Property Development Program; Program to support enterprises to improve productivity and quality of products.

However, attracting investment still reveals limitations. FDI still accounts for a modest proportion and most FDI projects are small scale. The disbursement rate is still low compared to registered capital. Many projects are behind schedule, causing waste of land, and affecting people and the investment environment. Some problems in investment regulations have not been resolved, such as the approval of relevant planning and the approval of the list of projects that need to be recovered as a basis for calling for investment. 90% of enterprises are small-scale and mainly exploiting the domestic market.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the conference to announce the Master Plan and investment promotion program for the Mekong Delta in the 2021-2030 period

What is the orientation of the city to attract investment?

On the basis of the development plan and available potentials and advantages, the city has determined the direction of investment attraction in the period of 2021-2025 including:

- By industry or field: attracting investment in the processing industry; high-tech agriculture; high-tech industry; infrastructure investment; eco-tourism services; information technology; electronics; logistics; clean energy. The city will focus on projects that improve productivity, quality, efficiency, efficient use and regeneration of resources that are environmentally friendly and have a high knowledge content, and give priority to new projects to build large-scale urban areas and houses, invest in synchronous and modern infrastructure, contributing to urbanization development in central districts next to Ninh Kieu, including O Mon, Binh Thuy and Cai Rang.

- By partners:

+ Regarding FDI: Encouraging and attracting investors with global brands, strong financial capacity and stable investment ability, and attracting investment in the production of ancillary products. The city will focus on investment cooperation with partners from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, India, the United States and Europe.

+ Regarding DDI: Encouraging large, reputable enterprises. In addition, local businesses are encouraged to invest in the city-oriented projects, and actively associate with foreign partners to improve their capacity and competitiveness.

On April 5, 2022, the City People's Committee issued Plan 75/KH-UBND to implement Program 24-Ctr/TU dated December 31, 2021 of Can Tho City Party Committee on supporting small and medium enterprises, Start-up innovation and young talents in the period of 2021 - 2030. What do you expect from innovation and the improvement of local businesses?

In Can Tho, there are many organizations supporting startups and innovation, such as the Department of Planning and Investment, Department of Science and Technology, VCCI Can Tho, and Can Tho University.

Forum on Start-ups and Creative Innovation in the Mekong Delta

According to the plan, the city strives to have 18,000 small and medium-sized enterprises by 2025. over 80% of them will apply information technology, digital technology and digital solutions and over 30% of the enterprises will involve innovative operations. In the period 2026-2030, the scale and competitiveness of enterprises will be improved. The city will consolidate and upgrade existing models of centralized and production linkages to develop into clusters of industry linkages and value chains in potential sectors of the economy.

To achieve the set goals, the city will focus on the following tasks and solutions: restoring and renewing production and business activities to suit the new situation; continuing to improve the business investment environment, creating favorable and fair conditions for enterprises; joining industry clusters and value chains; advancing digital transformation and legal support for businesses. For innovation startup support activities, the city will promote communication activities and creative start-up activities. The city will also connect the innovation startup ecosystems; and establish an Innovation Center in Can Tho city.

It is hoped that with the joint efforts, enterprises can create new competitive advantages, expand new markets, attract more resources from partners, and improve their reputation.

Can you assess the City's Market Entry Component Index? What solutions are you implementing to improve it?

In recent years, the city's market entry index has fluctuated year by year, ranging from over 7 to 8.65 points. Accordingly, the time for granting business registration is decreasing year by year. The time for processing new business registration dossiers is on average 2.2 days (3 working days as regulated).

The above results come from the drastic and synchronous implementation of the reform of business registration procedures from the central to local levels. The set of administrative procedures for business registration has been standardized. The administrative procedures are processed by the National Business Registration Information System. Other applications on the National Business Registration Portal, including the online business registration application have helped businesses enter the market. As of May 31, 2022, Can Tho's online business registration rate reached 71.27%. The Department of Planning and Investment has also piloted a model of returning the results of some business registration procedures within one working day. Problems hindering the business registration continue to be addressed in the coming time.

In the coming time, in order to raise the score of the market entry index, the city should do the following tasks:

- Improving the quality of guidance, receipt and return of business registration results, and conditional business licensing by specialized agencies.

- Promoting propaganda of online public service models at levels 3 and 4 in order to increase the rate of online submissions, and increase efficiency and transparency.

- Researching and proposing models to support businesses in carrying out administrative procedures to enter the market quickly and effectively.

- Training and improving professional skills for those in charge of guiding, receiving and returning results.

- Implementing the exchange of records, procedures and results between State agencies in the network environment, contributing to the building of digital government.

- Implementing digital transformation in business registration in particular and conditional licensing in general.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum