Hai Phong: Disruptive Opportunities from Specific Mechanisms and Policies

3:10:06 PM | 11/1/2022

Resolution 35/2021/QH15 of the National Assembly on piloting specific mechanisms and policies for Hai Phong City development is considered a leverage for the city to make breakthrough development and become a growth engine of the whole country. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Tung, Deputy Secretary of the City Party Committee and Chairman of the City People's Committee, on this matter.

VCCI’s representative and leaders of Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh signed an agreement on economic connectivity on the eastern highway

Driven by impressive momentum that helped overcome difficulties in 2021, Hai Phong City has continued to achieve inspirational economic growth in the first nine months of 2022. What do you think about this result? What are key tasks for the last months of the year?

In the first nine months of 2022, Hai Phong City focused on effectively and flexibly implementing the dual goal of preventing and controlling the COVID-19 epidemic and maintaining socioeconomic development. The city's economic growth was quite high relative to the national median and that of other provinces and cities. Some key economic indicators continued to rise high over the same period of 2021. Specifically, the nine-month gross regional domestic product (GRDP) was estimated to grow 12.06% year on year, ranking 9th in the country, nearly 1.4 times higher than the national median of 8.83%. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was forecast to expand by 12.7% and State budget revenue was forecast at VND78,461.46 billion, up 18.79% year on year and equal to 74.27% of the target assigned by the City People’s Council. Social investment capital totaled about VND124,667.38 billion, up 7.99% from a year-ago period and equal to 62.33% of the full-year plan. Cargo throughput at its ports grossed 113.02 million metric tons, up 9.35%. Tourist arrivals were counted at 5.585 million, up 77.25% year on year and equal to 123.4% of the yearly plan.

The city started and inaugurated some major traffic and urban development projects to elevate the status and pave the way for developing many socioeconomic fields.

Cultural, social and environmental fields continued to receive attention. Social security was further guaranteed. The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) improved strongly. The Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index) leaped to the top of the country for the first time. Political and social stability, national defense and security, social order and safety were upheld.

However, anticipating that its socioeconomic performance will continue to face numerous difficulties and challenges in the coming period, the city has determined to focus on carrying out key tasks and solutions as follows:

(1) Safely and flexibly adapting to, effectively controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, attracting resources for socioeconomic development.

(2) Accelerating implementation of solutions to effectively implement the theme of the year “Promoting urban construction and modernization - Building a model new rural area - Fostering digital transformation".

(3) Reviewing budget revenue and tax sources and drastically collecting state budget; directing land auction projects, bidding and selecting investors to increase budget revenue, striving to complete the domestic revenue target of VND41 trillion in 2022.

(4) Speeding up disbursement of public investment capital to create a driving force for economic growth; focusing on removing difficulties and obstacles on major and key projects.

(5) Carrying out cultural and human development programs, ensuring social security and justice, and improving people's living standards.

Lach Huyen International Port - Driving force for marine economy and logistics development

What tasks has the city applied to carry out Resolution 35/2021/QH15 on piloting specific mechanisms and policies for Hai Phong development?

Locally specific mechanisms will give Hai Phong new development opportunities, including:

- The city will add targets for centrally funded projects. Increasing loan, fee and charge limits will encourage the city to raise State budget revenue and contribute more to the central budget. At the same time, this will enable the Central Government to provide additional support resources for the city's budget in the following years, effectively implementing socioeconomic development goals and tasks set by the Politburo’s Resolution 45.

- Policy on land management will enable Hai Phong City to actively, flexibly and quickly respond to urgent requirements on use of land resources, thus creating a more open environment and enhancing its competitiveness in investment attraction for motivational projects for socioeconomic development.

- Policy on planning management will help strengthen decentralization for localities to reduce the time for planning adjustment and help draw key investment projects of significant importance that guide, spread and promote other industries and fields to develop together.

- Policy on income of public employees will be a good mechanism to attract and retain human resources, especially high-quality personnel - the force to ensure the city’s development in the future.

Proposed mechanisms and policies from the point of view of Hai Phong not only for benefit itself, but above all, help common development of the whole country, which is a driving force for development of the Northern region and the whole country. Therefore, the city has seriously directed relevant agencies and localities to radically execute Resolution 35/2021/QH15, with tasks as follows:

* State financial and budget management: The City People’s Committee consulted the City People’s Council to issue Resolution 56/NQ-HDND dated December 10, 2021 on approved issuance of municipal government bonds in 2022 in Hai Phong City. At the same time, it reported and requested the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Vietnam to allow inclusion of Hai Phong municipal government bonds into the list of valuable papers used for transactions of the State Bank to mobilize dynamic capital resources.

* Land management: The City People's Committee issued Plan 160/KH-UBND on July 4, 2022 on implementation of the Prime Minister's Decision on order and procedures of approved repurposing of rice-cultivated land with two crops or more a year on a scale of 10-500 ha in Hai Phong City.

* Income of public employees: The committee submitted to the City People’s Council to ratify an average income increase for public employees working for government agencies, Party units and mass organizations administered as per Resolution 05/2022/NQ-HDND dated July 20, 2022.

* Free trade zones: This content is not specified in Resolution 35/2021/QH15 but stated in Resolution 45-NQ/TW dated January 24, 2019 of the Politburo and Notice 212/TB-TTKQH dated October 14, 2021 by the Secretary General of the National Assembly on conclusions of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee at the 4th session in October 2021.

Hai Phong City actively directed the Department of Planning and Investment and relevant agencies to conduct researches and propose mechanisms and policies that are being applied in successful free trade zones in the world and adapt them to Hai Phong City’s conditions and align them with Hai Phong Development Plan for 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050.

2021 was the first year that Hai Phong City rose to rank 2nd out of 63 provinces and cities in PCI Index with 70.61 points, an increase of 1.34 points and 5 ranks over 2020. So, to continue to maintain this position, what are key solutions that Hai Phong is focusing on?

In order to maintain a high score and rank in the PCI ranking and realize the goal of becoming a desired destination for all domestic and foreign investors, Hai Phong City will focus on four following groups of key tasks and solutions in the coming time:

(1) Speeding up administrative reform and improving transparency:

- Evaluate the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI) to enhance the quality of economic management.

- Carry out robust administrative reform and innovation, combined with digital transformation at agencies and localities.

- Creatively build many new models to guide and support people and businesses to make and complete documents when they carry out administrative procedures.

- Strengthen communications and provide online public services of Level 3 and Level 4.

- Open more training courses and foster civil servants with problem-solving skills and communication skills to raise service quality and attitude to people and businesses.

- Build digital government, research and deploy smart city development applications, build a modern, professional administration.

(2) Strengthening business support, especially for SMEs:

- Strengthen implementation of "Business investment connection program" to match investment needs and cooperation between foreign and domestic investors, and between enterprises in other localities and the city.

- Carry out trade promotion, connect supply and demand, cooperate and expand distribution channels.

- Provide support to strengthen capacity for enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the city.

- Reform labor training and vocational education, with focus on fields in need of enterprises like accounting, finance and business administration.

- Reform business dialogues in various forms, scale up Industry 4.0 applications in online guidance and answers for businesses on relevant information portals and websites.

(3) Improving access to land:

- Reduce the time of land-use right certification; actively support companies and people to carry out land administrative procedures.

- Strengthen advice and proposals to recover the land to allocated or leased wrong subjects or to slow-moving projects that cause waste of land resources to provide land for better investment projects.

- Speed up construction of a modern and synchronous land database system and land information system; create more favorable conditions for organizations and citizens to access, look up and use land information.

- Directly answer matters regarding land for people and businesses, helping them understand clearly when administrative procedures are implemented; remove difficulties and obstacles, speed up site clearance for key projects of the city.

- Publicize master plans and detailed plans on land use in order to make transparent access to land resources and production premises as a basis for land allocation, land lease, land use repurposing.

(4) Attracting new FDI inflows:

- Focus localized investment promotion, entice corporations and large investors to expand investment promotion by online form; building an image, promoting and introducing the local investment environment with the support of diplomatic channels, forums, representative agencies of Vietnam abroad and foreign investment promotion organizations in Vietnam.

- Expand and improve quality and performance of vocational education institutions according to international criteria; link training institutions with enterprises.

- Strengthen the system of training high-quality human resources, form research, development and innovation centers by linking with enterprises; introduce specific mechanisms and policies to attract, utilize and reward managers and experts in science and technology.

- Develop consistent and feasible mechanisms and policies on social housing and worker housing; improve material and spiritual life standards, create welfare for employees; enhance local competitiveness in attracting labor, especially for migrant workers.

Thank you very much!

Ha Thanh (Vietnam Business Forum)