Hai Phong City: Remarkable Breakthrough in Economic Growth and Competitiveness

9:03:03 AM | 10/24/2023

As one of the top-performing localities in the country’s economic growth in 2022, Hai Phong City has sustained its high growth rate in the early months of 2023. The city has also achieved remarkable progress in its competitiveness in recent years. To learn more about this success, our reporter conducted an interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of Hai Phong City People’s Committee and the Head of the City’s Administrative Reform Steering Committee.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang launches a social housing project in Hai Phong

Could you introduce the outstanding economic performance and investment results of Hai Phong City in 2022 and the first months of 2023? What key tasks will the city implement in the last months of 2023?

In 2022, Hai Phong City’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanded 12.32%, about 1.5 times higher than the national average, becoming one of the best performers in the country. Total fiscal revenue exceeded VND100 trillion a year for the first time. Foreign direct investment (FDI) value reached US$2.5 billion, ranking 5th in the country.

Hai Phong has maintained growth momentum in 2023, with the GRDP rising by 10.08% year on year in the first nine months of the year, ranking 3rd in the country and 1st among five centrally governed cities, as well as among 11 Red River Delta provinces and cities. The city attracted US$3.056 billion in the 9-month period, a 2.4-fold increase over the same period in 2022, fulfilling 152.78% of the plan (2-2.5 billion USD), ranked first in the country by value.

To maintain the pace of development and achieve the highest economic growth in the remaining months of the year, Hai Phong City will focus on key solutions to strengthen three pillars (investment, consumption and export) and reach State budget estimates for 2023 as follows.

Regarding investment stimulus solutions: Accelerating the progress of public investment projects, ensuring a minimum disbursement rate of 95% as directed by the Prime Minister; speeding up investment procedures pertaining to establishment and construction of new industrial zones, creating driving forces for industrial development; strengthening administrative reforms, and promptly resolving investment, land, planning, construction and site clearance procedures to woo investment projects.

Regarding consumer demand stimulus solutions: Effectively carrying out trade promotion programs; boosting production and improving the quality of tourism products; implementing consistent and effective social security policies.

Regarding export promotion solutions: Expanding the focus from communications to instructions on enforcement of commitments on international economic integration; prompting informing and supporting businesses to exploit import and export markets.

Regarding fiscal revenue solutions: Reviewing budgetary revenue sources and taxes; thoroughly reducing costs, using public assets economically, effectively and lawfully.

Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh province) and Cat Ba Archipelago (Hai Phong City) were recognized by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage (September 16, 2023)

Hai Phong's Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) has achieved extremely impressive results in recent years. What will the city do to maintain reform momentum in the coming time?

In 2021 - 2022, the city’s PCI made impressive advancement to Top 3 in the country. This was attributed to constant efforts for a new mindset in management and administration to create the most favorable environment for investors and businesses.

To maintain reform momentum in the coming time, the city determined that:

First, improving the investment and business environment must be continuous and persistent, requiring the full participation of the entire political system. The city must be creative in thinking, flexible in action and creative. It will never be satisfied with what has been achieved.

Second, the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI) has a strong role and impact on the PCI score and ranking.

Third, all levels and sectors will actively launch many new initiatives in business support, especially building new support models for easier online business licensing and online public payment.

Fourth, the city will focus on building trust, an open, friendly enabling government for investors and businesses.

Fifth, Hai Phong City will grasp and quickly resolve investors' questions at theme-based business dialogues.

Sixth, each public employee performs his/her duties well with the desire for innovation in the spirit of “supportive - attentive - understanding - friendly - enthusiastic - business supportive."

Hai Phong leaders award investment registration certificates to FDI and Vietnamese-invested projects (in September 2023)

After three years, DDCI has provided more access channels and new perspectives on how administrative reform has been sped up, the business investment environment has been improved and the competitiveness has been enhanced. What do you think about this?

DDCI is considered an "extended arm" for PCI. Therefore, sharpening competitiveness is not only a task but also an extensive movement from each agency and locality.

According to 3-year DCCI results in 2020 - 2022, the quality of governance at all levels of government has been clearly raised. At the departmental level, the average score was 74.66 points, with the top and bottom gap of 7.4 points. In 2021, the score was 76.3 points, an increase of 1.64 points. In 2022, the score was 76.39 points, with the top and bottom gap of 8.91 points.

Regarding administrative reform, Hai Phong City is determined to reform institutions and the single-window mechanism, reshuffle the administrative apparatus, build and improve the quality of public employees and modernize the administration.

In the local level, in 2020, the average score was 76.84 points, with the top and bottom gap of 16.51 points. In 2022, the score was 80.78 points, with the gap widened to 19.28 points. This showed that the persistent effort of localities gradually has a positive impact on the quality of management and is recognized by the business community.

In particular, during the three years of applying DDCI, the city's PCI performance looked up, with the standing losing just one place in 2022. Notably, Hai Phong City is among a few centrally run cities to launch DDCI, which is considered a helper for the city's PCI ranking to lead the five centrally run cities.

Hai Phong City was the only advancer among centrally run cities which steeply dropped both scores and rankings. This showed that DDCI is an effective tool to boost the city's PCI performance.

Thank you very much!

By Ha Thanh - Ngo San, Vietnam Business Forum