An Giang Removes "Bottlenecks" in Investment Attraction

10:02:17 PM | 24/8/2011

Compared with other Mekong Delta provinces, An Giang is considered to hold good potential for economic development. Seeing this advantage, the province is speeding up the development of infrastructure systems and implementing investment attraction measures to create momentum for industrialisation and modernisation. The Vietnam Business Forum Magazine interviewed Mr Pham Thanh Thai, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of An Giang province, concerning this matter. Dinh Thanh reports.
What are the investment attraction achievements An Giang province made in the five-year period from 2006 to 2010, as well as in the first months of 2011?
In the past years, the provincial administration has firmly directed the entire province to improve the investment environment, introduced and supplemented investment preference and incentive policies, and supported investors to carry out approved projects. From 2006 to 2010, An Giang received a total of 487 investment applications with a total registered capital of VND69,383 billion, and it granted investment certificates to 359 projects capitalised at VND21,263 billion.
The province also attracted 11 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total registered capital of US$105 million, of which US$34.679 million has been disbursed, accounting for 33.02 percent of total registered. Seven projects are in operation and four others are underway.
2011 is a tough year as rising inflation is dragging on the economy. However, thanks to effective investment attraction activities, the amount of investment capital registered so far in 2011 is going up. Since the beginning of this year, the province has received 31 projects with an aggregate registered investment capital of VND2,029 billion. It has granted investment certificates to 63 projects (34 newly licensed projects and 29 operational projects registering to hike their investment capital) with a total registered capital of VND4,390 billion, an increase of VND2,319 billion over the corresponding period last year.
Many investors are reportedly abandoning their projects in some provinces and cities because of problematic administrative procedures. What has An Giang province done to keep investors?
To keep investors, An Giang province always supports and teams up with investors and enterprises in the light of the motto “Responsibility, openness, one-stop.” Particularly, we actively cooperate with investors to deal with all difficulties they are facing and endeavour to create a truly open, favourable investment environment for investors and enterprises to do business effectively. Furthermore, we boost the transparency of socioeconomic development policies; map out land-use plans; align business and investment registration documents and procedures for investors to easily grasp; and focus administrative reform to strengthen the confidence of investors. Through these efforts, we not only keep investors but also catch the interest of new ones.
Notwithstanding these endeavours, investment attraction in An Giang remains modest, especially foreign investment. What obstacles are there to your province’s foreign investment attraction, in addition to these objective seasons?
Despite being encouraged by good results achieved, the investment attraction in the province has also revealed certain limitations which create "bottlenecks" in catching investment capital flows.
First, the infrastructure system in the Mekong Delta region and An Giang province in particular remains poor, especially transportation systems like bridges, roads, airports and seaports, the first thing investors look at. Second, the region and the province fail to supply enough human resources, particularly highly qualified, to foreign-invested projects.
Third, investors confront a lot of problems in completing administrative procedures, although the Provincial People’s Committee is applying the one-door policy. Fourth, the province has missed a lot of foreign-invested projects because of slowness in amending central foreign investment policies like decentralisation, land policy, tax policy and one-level price policy. Finally, the province’s investment promotion is limited because the financial capacity is not strong enough, while central support seems not to be quick enough. Besides, the lax coordination and cooperation in this work between central, regional and local levels is also behind the poor investment attraction result.
What measures will your province focus on to remove such limitations?
To eliminate the aforesaid "bottlenecks", An Giang province will reform and improve the efficiency of investment attraction operations. Accordingly, the province will give priority to investment projects using modern technology, generating high added value, employing large workforce, and oriented to environmental friendliness. We will enhance the efficiency of public administration reform in general and investment administrative procedure reform in particular.
Besides, the province will implement consistent encouragement and attraction policies for both domestic and foreign investors, including tax, credit, land, trade promotion, product advertisement, business matching, domestic and foreign market expansion policies. We will expeditiously invest in socioeconomic infrastructure, especially transportation networks, expand Binh Hoa and Binh Long industrial parks and build new Vam Cong and Hoi An industrial parks; and create a clean land fund for new projects.
Last but not least, we will promote the training and development of human resources to meet diverse requirements of investors. We will adopt different training courses like short-term, medium-term, long-term and on-demand, to bring the proportion of trained workers to above 50 percent of the workforce by 2015.