Improving Business Climate, Enhancing Competitiveness

8:59:25 AM | 6/10/2024

Son La province has adopted many measures to improve the business investment environment, enhance competitiveness, accompany and support companies and investors to remove difficulties and obstacles, facilitate them to speed up their projects, and promote startups and business development. Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, Son La province, gives an exclusive interview on this issue to Vietnam Business Forum.

Given slowing global and domestic economies, Son La has still managed to attract many investment projects. Could you please tell us more about these successes? What key and innovative solutions has the province applied in local investment promotion?

In 2023, Son La province licensed 24 new projects, doubling that in 2022, with a combined registered capital of VND17,587 billion (US$760 million), a 5-fold increase. The province also allowed four existing projects to add a total of VND505 billion (US$22 million) to their investment capital base. By the end of the first quarter of 2024, Son La had 3,503 companies with a total registered capital of VND53,608.708 billion (US$2.33 billion). This was quite an impressive figure amid global and regional difficulties. Some big projects have been completed and put into operation such as Doveco Son La fruit and vegetable processing center, Song Lam Northwest fertilizer factory and Son La coffee processing factory.

In 2024, to attract investment, all levels, sectors and localities in the province will focus on reviewing and revising master construction planning, urban planning, commune planning, and special zone planning consistent with master planning and land-use planning to entice investors. They will accelerate preparation, appraisal and approval of master plans, zoning plans and detailed plans to lure investors in a timely manner.

The province will review the development of industrial zones; continue to unify the management and operation model of industrial zones; attract investment fund for agricultural processing facilities in industrial zones; carry out the “Developing Moc Chau National Tourist Area eligible for recognition by 2025” project, “Shaping the development of Son La hydropower reservoir area as a national tourist area in the 2022 - 2030 phase” project and the “Developing Quynh Nhai district into a provincial tourist area in the 2021 - 2030 period” project; establish tourism projects in Bac Yen district to turn the locality into a provincial tourist area; form Son La tourism product development projects to 2030; and create and execute a tourism product differentiation project for Son La Prison Special National Monument.

The province will launch a detailed roadmap to build and form high-tech agricultural zones; study a roadmap for building the National Center for High-tech Agricultural Research and Application in Moc Chau district; and pay attention to drawing investment funds for approved mining and processing projects such as nickel and copper extraction and processing.

Son La will encourage businesses to invest in logistics services, develop commercial centers in major urban areas and build general supermarkets in district centers. It will introduce, attract and prepare necessary conditions to woo foreign-invested projects; review and handle projects that break laws on land and investment, recover land of slow-moving projects for more prospective ones, and terminate investment projects by law; and intensify strict inspection, supervision and management of mining projects.

Each industry and locality will actively review and assess their investment incentive policies and propose competent authorities to amend and supplement contents to match current legal regulations, socioeconomic development orientations and practical conditions of Son La province.

Son La will concentrate investment resources on building synchronous and safe tourism infrastructure, especially transportation infrastructure linked to tourist areas, tourist attractions and other infrastructure; complete technical facilities and services to meet accommodation and dining needs of tourists; develop diverse and unique tourism products associated with preserving and promoting ethnic cultural identities; and enhance the effectiveness of tourism investment attraction.

The province will deploy specific steps for construction and formation of high-tech agricultural areas: Continuing the deployment of four high-tech fruit and industrial tree areas in Song Ma (two areas), Yen Chau and Thuan Chau districts; effectively carry out projects and plans for improving the operational performance of the Agricultural and Forestry Scientific and Technological Advancement Research and Transfer Area in Chieng Di, Nong Truong town, Moc Chau district; integrate master and regional plans for high-tech agriculture zones to 2030 into provincial master planning, regional planning and national planning.

The province will attract and improve the performance of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects; support, facilitate and accompany investors, businesses and cooperatives; encourage businesses to boost production and business operations, innovate technology, expand scale and motivate cooperation.

Son La will scale up communications, introduce local investment potential, advantages, policies and opportunities; and effectively advocate and use resources for socioeconomic development, contributing to the rapid, green and sustainable construction of Son La province.

How has the province endeavored to lift up the business environment? What are the province’s commitments to boost manufacturing and business activities in the coming time?

Knowing that improving the business environment, sharpening competitiveness, fostering innovations and moving towards sustainable development is an important task every year, based on the government's resolutions on efforts for a better environment climate and stronger national competitiveness, Son La province has specifically translated these approaches into provincial plans, sectoral plans and local plans.

In addition to the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), Son La also launched the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI) in a bid to adopt better response measures.

To date, 100% of administrative procedures have been applied with the single-window mechanism where all governmental agencies from provincial to commune levels provide online public services of Level 3 and Level 4 and apply the single-window mechanism in the network environment. All commune-level governmental agencies have sufficient information technology infrastructure for modern electronic single-window services. Besides, the province introduced mobile applications for online public services. It has also operated the intelligent operations center (IOC) with modern equipment, integrated with cutting-edge technologies.

The province has also introduced policies to strengthen business support, remove barriers and sharpen competitiveness for manufacturing and trading companies, including business support policies on public digital signatures, electronic bills, business space support, accountant hiring costs, technology improvements and training. Son La has assisted them to join e-commerce platforms; regularly contacted businesses in both face-to-face and online forms to promptly grasp and remove problems for them.

Son La is ready to support legal procedures, provide full information, and raise the sense of responsibility and service attitude of public employees. The province is committed to siding with businesses to solve emerging issues in project implementation.

Thank you so much!

By Duy Binh, Vietnam Business Forum