Open Investment Environment Is a Competitive Advantage

2:06:37 PM | 9/22/2022

A better investment and business climate has greatly helped Ca Mau province attract investment and promote socioeconomic recovery at the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mr. Nguyen Duc Thanh, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Ca Mau province in an interview regarding this issue.

Could you please tell us the remarkable results of investment attraction and business development in the province in the first months of 2022, as well as approaches in the coming time?

As one of four driving force provinces of the Southwest region, Ca Mau is considered an important strategic area with numerous potential and advantages to attract investment. As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic was contained, the province focused on many investment attraction and business support solutions to restore production and business.

In the first six months of 2022, Ca Mau province licensed seven investment projects with a total registered capital of VND1,055.22 billion (US$43 million), totaling 432 active projects (both in industrial parks and economic zones) with over VND140,000 billion (US$6 billion) of investment capital, including nine FDI projects with over US$150 million. The projects are focused on aquaculture, seafood processing, clean energy, wood processing and eco-tourism.

Besides investment attraction, corporate establishments are also rising sharply. The province had 356 new companies with a total registered fund of VND7,211 billion (US$306 million) in the first six months of 2022, up 50% year on year in projects and 4.5 times in value. This shows the province's socioeconomic performance has gradually recovered after the pandemic.

The resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress sets the standard: “Effectively tap potential and advantages; effectively mobilize and use investment resources; constantly improve economic productivity, quality, performance and competitiveness.” In the coming time, Ca Mau will target attracting financially capable strategic investors into locally advantageous industries that produce high value and use friendly technologies.

The province will strive to attract over 200 projects 2021-2025, over 400 projects 2026-2030 to have over 600 new projects by 2030 with an annual average growth of 10%.

What are the province’s competitive advantages?

In addition to favorable conditions of geographical location, land price and labor force, infrastructure development, efforts for a better investment environment and active support of local government for businesses are the main factors for local economic growth and competitiveness improvement that will help attract more investors into the province.

In the past years, the transport infrastructure system of the province has been invested for the better. Besides backbone National Highway 1 and National Highway 63, the province built three new routes, namely: Phung Hiep Road, Ho Chi Minh Road (Nam Can - Dat Mui section) and Southern Coastal Corridor Road. Currently, Ca Mau is mobilizing resources for infrastructure development, prioritizing linking and motivating projects such as Can Tho - Ca Mau Expressway and Ca Mau City - Dat Mui Expressway (Ngoc Hien district). It has also upgraded transport routes to ensure connectivity with Ho Chi Minh City.

Besides infrastructure development, the province has drastically reformed administration and digital transformation to modernize public administration and build e-government for the best service for people and businesses. In 2021 alone, Ca Mau had 369 more administrative procedures reduced the time of settlement, with 99% settled in time or ahead of time.

Currently, Ca Mau has worked out a project to improve the investment and business environment and enhance competitiveness in the 2021-2025 period, with a vision to 2030, in order to make the business climate more favorable and more equal, increase corporate formations and reduce input costs and informal charges.

Furthermore, the province will remove difficulties and obstacles standing in the way of businesses; promptly support them to recover from the pandemic; enhance competitiveness and effectively unlock potential strengths to successfully achieve socioeconomic development goals.

Ca Mau province is aggressively promoting administrative procedure reforms

In 2021, Ca Mau's Market Entry Index reached 7.16 points, ranking 4th out of its 10 subindices of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). What solutions will you take to further improve this in the coming time?

According to the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2021 released by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Ca Mau’s Market Entry Index scored 7.16 points. Given the downward trend of provinces and cities, this score and ranking position is still higher than the national median (19th out of 63).

Many indicators in the Market Entry Index advanced in many contents: Companies said the time and change in registration content is reduced, shorter than the national average; administrative procedures at single-window divisions are publicly announced and officers there are friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about expertise.

In the coming time, to raise the Market Entry Index in particular and the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) as a whole, the Department of Planning and Investment will continue to advise, propose and carry out important tasks and solutions:

We will research, develop and apply management software, and create a database system to ensure connectivity between sectors and localities in management, monitoring, inspection and supervision of project implementation.

We will review, simplify, and reduce the time of appraising and deciding investment requests and issuing investment certificates. We will accelerate business registration by new methods (online or via post office).

In addition, we will propose incentive mechanisms and policies to attract more investors and support businesses, especially in industries, fields and regions necessary for the province’s sustainable development.

Mr. Lam Van Bi and Mr. Le Van Su, vice chairmen of Ca Mau Provincial People's Committee, hand investment certificates to enterprises. (Photo:  Ca Mau Newspaper)

Would you tell us the province’s investment promotion and attraction goals and tasks?

Investment promotion is one of the key tasks of Ca Mau province. The province has regularly organized business seminars and dialogues combined with investment promotion to entice investors into industrial parks and economic zones. It will strengthen the capacity and skills for promotion staff by launching professional training courses.

Moreover, the province has also stepped up investment promotion; upgraded its business environment, and wooed businesses through conferences, seminars, exhibitions, forums and clubs in industrial parks and economic zones. It has connected and boosted investment promotion in newspapers, radio and mass media.

Ca Mau province is focusing on carrying out three strategic breakthrough stages to attract more investment funds, focused on developing the infrastructure system (mobilizing all public and private resources), effectively implementing medium-term public investment plans for 2021-2025; and starting key and important projects early.

Last but not least, the province has launched surveys, research and delegations on administrative reform and PCI improvement to approach potential and strategic investors. Ca Mau province has received and worked with investors, assisted them to study policies, procedures, potential and investment opportunities; surveyed and introduced locations for their projects. By doing so, the province hopes to attract more investors and realize its goal of becoming a well-developed province of the Mekong Delta by 2025.

Thank you very much!

Huong Giang (Vietnam Business Forum)