Advantages and Knowledge Help Advance Bac Lieu's Economy

3:01:17 PM | 19/4/2010

In an interview with Vietnam Business Forum, Mr Vo Van Dung, Chairman of Bac Lieu People’s Committee reaffirmed that the province will implement successfully the policy on socio-economic development, attract investments and elevate Bac Lieu to a new level of highly developed provinces of Vietnam.
 What is the comparative advantage of Bac Lieu and how do you develop such advantage?
In comparison with other provinces in the Mekong Delta, Bac Lieu has greater advantages in economic potential. In addition to rice cultivation, the province has a coastline of 56 km and 40,000 sq. km of waters most favourable for sea-based economy, aquaculture, processing, tourism and transport.
With determination to turn potential into economic efficiency, the province has developed the economic planning with stable steps and in conformity with local conditions and has attained initial successes. The province has applied credit policy encouraging the local people to build bigger fleets for offshore fishing, expand shrimp raising areas, upgrading processing factories with advanced technology for increased competitiveness in the world market.
The province has also developed fishery infrastructure, especially Ganh Hao fish port, important for both Bac Lieu and Vietnam.
The province has transformed 70,000 ha of rice and salt production to aquaculture, increasing the total area to 125,866 ha in 2009. The economic restructuring continues with fast development of fisheries in size and output. The province has also turned mono-culture of rice into diversified cultivation and animal husbandry with stable and higher income for the people.
In addition to economic potential, Bac Lieu with hospitable people and culture is most attractive to tourists. The province has several historical relics (6 of national classification and 11 of provincial classification) and beautiful landscapes. The province has made big investments in tourism, especially along the coast and developed tourist tours of historical relics, bird sanctuary, oyster collecting and gastronomy of Bac Lieu seafood. Due to diversification of tourist tours and products, the number of tourists increases in Bac Lieu and contributes greatly to social welfare and socio-economic development of the province.
How does Bac Lieu promote economic restructuring to develop local potential and ensure sustainable development?
Being located in a remote area with mono-agriculture, Bac Lieu has developed from a poor province to achieve significant progress in various fields. The province has developed infrastructure, attracted local and foreign investments, and accelerated economic restructuring in favour of economic growth. The province encourages agricultural development for cash crops, especially food production and fisheries with aquaculture as spearhead. The province also promotes industry and service to implement industrialization and modernization of rural areas. With those efforts, Bac Lieu has maintained a high economic growth rate with important successes in service sector, trade, tourism, post and telecom, financing, etc. improving the economic restructuring.
The province has also developed rural infrastructure for economic restructuring. From 2001 to 2008, the province invested nearly VND880 billion in 3,944 projects with 7,327 km of roads and 4,430 bridges (total length of 86.46 km), nearly VND297 billion in 96 power line projects with 1,249 km of medium voltage, 2,248 km of low voltage, 1,331 transformer stations with total capacity of 35,670 KVA. The province also built 73 water supply stations together with 96,300 wells increasing the %age of people using clean water to 85 %. To promote cash crops in agriculture, the province has invested over VND444 billion in water conservancy with canal networks Grade I and II, ensuring stable fresh water area and brackish water area North of Highway 1, at the same time promoting mechanization in agricultural production.
The development of agriculture and fisheries and technology transfer has been encouraged increasing the skill and efficiency of the farmers. Production organization and management have been upgraded in line with the development of industrialization, trade and service. The province has now 1,405 enterprises with total registered capital of VND2,200 billion. Trade and service have been developed in rural areas with newly built and upgraded market places accounting for 50 % of existing market places in the province.
 Due to the positive economic restructuring, by the end of 2009, agriculture accounted for 53 % of the economy together with 23.66 in industry and 23.34 in service. In 2009, the industry-construction value was VND3,110 billion, with VND8,591 billion in agriculture and VND11,600 billion in trade and service.
How do you evaluate the role of business community in socio-economic development of the province?
With Resolution 30/2008/NQ-CP of December 11, 2008 of the government on emergency measures to prevent economic recession and ensure growth and social welfare, Bac Lieu People’s Committee has attained certain success. In 2009, though failing to achieve the target of 12 % in economic growth, GDP increased 10.78 % against that of 2008, economic restructuring continued positive development and progresses recorded in other fields of socio-economic development. No doubt, entrepreneurs and business community have played their significant role in those developments. In face of the economic recession, many businesses have made great efforts to overcome difficulties, maintain their brands of high quality, and expand production and markets.
And how does the province help the business community play their role in socio-economic development?
Fully aware of the role of entrepreneurs and the business community, Bac Lieu has tried its best to remove the gap and develop a close relationship between authorities and businesses. For instance, we often organize meetings and listen to businesses on their recommendations and feedbacks to remove constraints so that they can expand further their business activities.
In 2009, Bac Lieu People’s Committee issued Decision 07/QD-UBND concerning solutions to improve provincial competition index (CPI) with emphasis on acceleration of administrative reform to create a favourable investment environment, promoting business activities for efficient and sustainable economic growth.
In addition, the province has established and maintained close linkage between businesses of major economic centres in the region to increase cooperation, exchanges of experiences and commodities. Each year, the province designs plans for businesses to participate in business forums, trade fairs to promote trade and investment at home and abroad, exchange experiences and opportunities for international economic integration.
Reported by M.Chau – H.Lam