Lang Son Actively Improves Investment and Business Climate

5:09:52 PM | 18/4/2012

Lang Son province is developing. It has to overcome numerous challenges ahead to achieve its development objectives and these are opportunities for investors to pick up suitable projects. This information was shared by Mr Nguyen Van Binh, Vice Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People’s Committee, at a meeting on provincial investment and business climate. Tran Tung reports.
Would you kindly introduce the potential and strengths of Lang Son province in investment attraction?
Lang Son is a mountainous province in the northeast of Vietnam. It is bordered by Cao Bang province in the north, Bac Giang province in the south, Quang Ninh province in the southeast, Thai Nguyen province in the southwest, and China in the northeast. It has two international border gates (Huu Nghi - road, and Dong Dang - railway), two national border gates, and seven pairs of border markets for favourable cross-border trade. Lang Son is 154 km away from Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam, 165 km from Noi Bai international airport, 114 km from seaports, and is linked to national traffic arteries like National Roads 1A, 1B, 4A, 4B, 31 and 279. Vietnam - China railway also runs through the province.
Geographical advantages like proximity to seaports and airports, Lang Son province is defined to hold an important position in the Hanoi - Hai Phong - Quang Ninh economic triangle. It links the northwest market with the rest of the country, and serves as an important cargo transhipment market for Vietnam and ASEAN countries with China and European countries and vice versa. This is a good opportunity and condition for the province to accelerate socioeconomic development, especially border economy, trade, service, tourism, foreign affairs and international cooperation.
Apart from geographical advantages that enable the province to develop services and industrial production, Lang Son province is also blessed with a plenty of resources, especially forestland. For that reason, the province expects to have the opportunity to cooperate with investors to plant forests and process agricultural and forest products. It also coordinates with other provinces to develop and preserve forests for timber exploitation. Tourism is also a potential of the province. From this province, tour operators can extend tours to other northwest provinces and China.
Lang Son is developing. The province has to overcome numerous challenges ahead to achieve its development objectives and these are opportunities for investors to pick up suitable projects. The province will support investors to do business here.
On February 23, 2012, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) released the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) ratings for 2011. Lang Son province ranked 53rd out of 63 provinces and cities, an increase of six places from 2010. What do you think about this result?
On February 23, VCCI released the 7th annual provincial competitiveness index (PCI) 2011. Lang Son province ranked 53rd out of 63 provinces and cities, a jump of six places from the 2010 rankings. Although this is not a long stride, it asserts the efforts of Lang Son province to improve the investment and business environment.
Lang Son province’s PCI ranking is usually at a relatively low level because of its distant location, poor infrastructure and human resource quality. Many investors show their interest to do business in the province but they lack resolution. The province attaches much importance to investment attraction but results do not come up with expectations.
How has the province improved investment and business environment? What solutions will the province adopt to upgrade the investment and business environment?
The Provincial People’s Committee is focusing on planning, site clearance, land compensation, resettlement, job creation and vocational training.
The province continued reforming administrative procedures, applying single-window mechanism for administrative procedures, enhancing the quality and capability of administration, accountability of civil servants, stepping up IT application to administrative procedure system, and carrying out the Government’s Resolution No. 30c/NQ-CP dated November 8, 2011 on State administrative reform programme in the 2011 - 2020 period.
Key tasks to be implemented in the coming time include improving infrastructure conditions; enhancing the quality of human resources; increasing the transparency of public policies and procedures to facilitate enterprises to do business.
A top concern of investors when considering an investment location is about local administrative procedures. What is your opinion about this work in the province? What are breakthrough steps?
Defining that public administration reform is a key task, the Provincial People’s Committee effectively implements the Government’s policies and guidelines to this effect, like the Decree No. 63/2010/ND-CP dated June 8, 2010 on administrative procedure control, and the Decree No. 20/2008/ND-CP dated February 14, 2008 on receiving and handling feedbacks and recommendations of individuals and organisations on administrative regulations. The Provincial People’s Committee builds annual plan for administrative procedure control. In 2012, the province deployed the Plan 02/KH-UBND dated January 11, 2012 on administrative procedure control.
In recent years, there are obvious progresses in administrative reform in the province. Single-window mechanism and e-office are applied to all State administrative units at provincial and district levels. The province applies the ISO 9001-2008 quality management system, information disclosure, and online services to boost up the transparency of investment and business procedures, and enhance the service quality. These efforts and progresses play an important role in attracting external investment capital for socioeconomic development and social security guarantee.
On August 30, 2011, VCCI and Lang Son province signed a cooperation agreement on PCI uplifting. How do you think about VCCI’s support for the province? And, to improve the investment and business climate, what else should the province take from VCCI?
On the basis of the cooperation contract between two parties, VCCI has helped Lang Son province to have a more correct view about PCI and identify weaknesses to be resolved. VCCI’s specialists have worked with the province’s competent units to conduct surveys on investment and business environment. The surveys have been basically completed. Initial results showed that Lang Son is a poor province with weak infrastructure, weak governance, and small business scale. These limitations put a brake on the progress of upgrading business and investment environment. To have useful and practical solutions to create breakthroughs in bettering investment and business climate and attracting investment capital, the Provincial People’s Committee hoped VCCI will play a greater part. In addition to completing surveys and supporting the province to spot out short-term and long-term solutions to lift provincial competitiveness index, introduce investment opportunities to investors, promote trade promotion activities, and join human resource training programmes.