Appeal from Open and Transparent Investment Environment

1:23:36 PM | 1/9/2024

Resolved to fully tap all available potential advantages and efforts to create an open and transparent business investment environment, Kien Giang province has obtained many important achievements in investment attraction. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporters have an interview with Mr. Giang Thanh Khoa, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, Kien Giang province, about this matter.

Kien Giang's product portfolio captivates Indian businesses during the India-Kien Giang Investment Trade Promotion Conference 2023

What are the potential strengths and advantages of Kien Giang highly appreciated by investors?

The province's first advantage is its prime location. It lies in the southwest of Vietnam, conveniently connected to Southeast Asian countries, especially Cambodia and Thailand by road, sea and air.

Kien Giang has diverse terrain, a long coastline, many rivers, mountains and islands. The province is rich in mineral resources such as limestone for cement production, stone for construction, clay and peat. Favorable location and natural conditions endow the province with a lot of potential and diverse economic advantages such as agriculture - forestry, marine economy, construction materials production, agricultural and aquatic processing, and tourism, and has many famous landscapes and historical and cultural relics. In addition, with its position as a gateway in the southwest to the Gulf of Thailand, Kien Giang province possesses great potential for border economic development, maritime and international trade.

Moreover, Kien Giang province planned to have five industrial parks with a total area of 770 ha, with Thanh Loc Industrial Park that has been put into operation. The province has Rach Gia domestic airport, Phu Quoc international airport, Ha Tien international border gate and Giang Thanh national border gate. It has four key tourist areas: Phu Quoc Island, Rach Gia - Hon Dat - Kien Hai, Ha Tien - Kien Luong, and U Minh Thuong National Park.

Island tourism has developed significantly, making an important contribution to marine economic development. Coastal localities and islands are actively attracting investment capital for many large construction projects like Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc Safari Zoo, Bai Khem luxury eco-tourism resort, Hon Thom Phu Quoc cable car and beach entertainment complex, Corona Resort & Casino, Phu Cuong urban area, and Vincom shopping and entertainment center (Rach Gia City).

Travel business services have gradually developed to meet tourists’ needs, especially international travel businesses. Tourist accommodation facilities are developing quite quickly, with many luxury hotels in operation. Tourism products are gradually becoming clearer and more developed with resort tourism, eco-tourism, sea and island tourism, cultural and historical tourism, spiritual tourism and MICE tourism, helping attract tourists to Kien Giang in general and Phu Quoc in particular.

VRG Kien Giang's MDF Wood Processing Factory Project

Amid domestic and world economic slowdown, Kien Giang province has made efforts to synchronously launch investment promotion and attraction solutions and achieved very encouraging results. Could you please tell more about this success?

To date, the province has attracted 749 projects with a total registered investment capital of VND588,725.61 billion (US$25 billion), including 371 projects in operation with a combined total investment capital of VND111,024.537 billion (US$4.72 billion). Among licensed investment projects in Kien Giang, 54 FDI projects came from 19 countries and territories with a total registered investment capital of VND2.76 billion, of which total realized capital was US$812.5 million, accounting for 29.41% of total registered capital. 44 projects have been put into operation, with a total registered capital of US$552 million and 10 projects are being implemented with a combined registered capital of US$2.2 billion.

In general, investment projects in Kien Giang have basically met investment needs, suitable for potential and advantageous industries and fields like service, tourism and resort, mining, construction materials manufacturing, industrial production and processing, agricultural production and aquaculture. The province is home to many giant projects in operation, including Sonasi Villa and Resort Complex - Phu Quoc (CEO Group), projects of Sungroup and VinGroup, Corona Resort & Casino, Phu Cuong Urban Area and 16-ha Hoa Bien Residence. Operational industrial parks have attracted VND1,400-billion VRG Kien Giang MDF wood factory, VND1,000-billion Saigon - Kien Giang Brewery, VND761.51-billion TBS Kien Giang export footwear factory, and VND945.88 billion Hwaseung export sports shoe manufacturing factory. Operational projects have created jobs for workers, generated added value, promoted economic restructuring and contributed to local socioeconomic development.

What are key areas, programs and projects where Kien Giang province will prioritize investment promotion and attraction?

In the future, the province will attract more investment capital into key large-scale national projects and high-tech projects and woo strategic investors and multinational corporations. In particular, priority is given to drawing investment capital into five pillar areas (High-tech agriculture; renewable energy and clean energy; tourism; trade services - education and training - high-quality healthcare; and marine economy) in addition to attracting investment capital for synchronous infrastructure development and services.

The province will resolutely refuse foreign investors using outdated technologies that pose environmental pollution risks and are resource-intensive. Kien Giang will give priority to developing sectoral clusters and value chains and help improve the added value and competitiveness of products of international standards.

Resolved to improve the business investment environment, how has Kien Giang's PCI Index been enhanced recently? To further raise the PCI Index to bring Kien Giang back to the group of well-performing provinces and cities in the country, what solutions will the Department of Planning and Investment implement and advise the Provincial People's Committee to implement?

In 2022, the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) of Kien Giang province scored 62.24 points, an increase of 2.51 points from 2021, and ranked 56th out of 63 provinces and cities in the country (climbing four places from 2021). In the Mekong Delta, Kien Giang ranked 11th out of 13 provinces and cities (climbing two places from 2021).

Two PCI subindices were ranked good: The Market Entry Cost Index ranked 13th out of 63 provinces and cities, and the Fair Competition Index ranked 10th. The Transparency Index ranked 45th, up 18 places from 2021 (many PCI component indices advanced in score and ranking). Although the remaining indicators were not ranked high compared to the province's expectations and existing spaces, their scores and rankings still increased from 2020-2021.

In 2023, to bring its PCI Index to the group of good performers, the Provincial People’s Committee directed relevant agencies and district governments to develop specific plans to upgrade the PCI Index and the Provincial Green Index (PGI) in 2023 and the following years. Accordingly, relevant agencies and localities will further implement tasks assigned by the Provincial People's Committee to conduct administrative reforms and upgrade the PCI Index and the PGI Index. They closely coordinated and promptly advised the Provincial People’s Committee to work out a plan to upgrade the PCI Index and the PGI Index in 2021 - 2025, with an eye to 2030, and devise a plan to launch the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI).

The department regularly informed and disseminated PCI, DDCI and PGI indices to raise awareness of public employees, enterprises and individuals to implement the process; continued to strengthen coordination in improving the PCI Index, the DDCI Index, and the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index); continued to upgrade index scores and rankings in 2022; and developed and issued specific action plans to upgrade low scores and rankings. The Kien Giang Business Association actively coordinated with relevant agencies and localities to propagate PCI, DDCI and PGI indices for businesses to understand and properly evaluate these indices when they joined surveys.

Thank you very much!

By Cong Luan, Vietnam Business Forum