11:13:38 PM | 10/7/2012
Keeping pace with the whole nation in the process of international integration, Quang Nam province has recorded important progress and comprehensive development in all fields. From a low starting point, with concerted efforts over 15 years, Quang Nam has made impressive development, overtaking other provinces in Vietnam. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Le Phuoc Thanh, Chairman of Quang Nam People’s Committee, for more information on the efforts of the authorities and people of the province in their process of industrialization and modernization. Thanh Kieu reports.
What are the milestones and impressive figures of the socio-economic development of the province since its re-establishment?
In the 15 years since its re-establishment, Quang Nam maintained high economic growth of 10.6 percent in the period of 1997-2011, with 12.2 percent in 2011, over 4 times that of 1997. The economic structure was transformed, with industry and service increasing from 52 percent in 1997 to 79 percent in 2011, and agriculture decreasing from 48 percent in 1997 to below 21 percent in 2011. The average annual increase in export value was over 27 percent; in 2011 it was US$336 million, 22 times that of 1997. Budget revenue increased 27 times over that of the first year of re-establishment. GDP per capita increased over 10 times, from VND2.1 million in 1997 to VND22.5 million in 2011, and household poverty decreased by 2.5-3 percent and social welfare improved.
The progress of the province is not only proved by statistics but also by ongoing development at industrial zones and infrastructure projects, bumper crops and ever-increasing living conditions of the people. With achievements already recorded in the 2010-2015 period, Quang Nam will focus on industrialization of the province in 2020 to improve the welfare of the people.
What are the strategies and measures to attain those objectives?
We will accelerate economic restructuring, developing industry-service in 2010-2015 and especially the service sector after 2015. Regarding improving the investment environment, we will increase the support of the local authorities, focusing on administrative reform, facilitating business activities to attract more investments and more resources for the development of economic and industrial zones, especially Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, accelerating the building of auto-mechanics centre as a driving force of the Economic Zone. We will increase the ratio of processing industry and supporting industry with modern, high technology.
In addition, the province will develop the service sector with the advantages of two world cultural heritages: Cham towers in My Son and Hoi An ancient town. Cultural and historical relics, landscapes and new tourist products will promote Quang Nam tourism at home and abroad and develop it into a spearhead sector of the economy.
Infrastructure, especially in communication and transport, is vital for socio-economic development. How will you address this issue?
Up to now, 100 percent of national and provincial roads in the province have been asphalted; 40 percent of district roads concreted or asphalted, and 3,400 km of rural roads concreted. 24 bus lines have been developed connecting districts and communes, coastal and mountainous areas. Road networks have also been developed linking Ho Chi Minh road and National Highway 1A.
With the development of road networks, urban areas of the province have increased both in number and size. So far, the province has 21 urban areas including Tam Ky and Hoi An cities of Grade 3 with the development of many economic, cultural and social projects. Urban and rural areas have been markedly developed. Infrastructure of Chu Lai Open Economic Zone has been upgraded, meeting the demand of investment projects, facilitating business activities and contributing to the economic development of the province. In particular, the airport and seaport network has been developed, promoting investments and import-export activities. Meanwhile Dien Nam – Dien Ngoc industrial zone and other industrial centres have also been expanded.
Furthermore, development has also been made in tourism. The province has increased the number of hotels from 13 with a total of 500 rooms in 1997 to 108 hotels with 3,500 rooms in 2011, while several tourist centres can sponsor regional and international events. Infrastructure for education has also been developed with two universities, 6 high and 3 secondary training schools, and 754 grade schools. Most schools have been upgraded to meet the increasing demand for high efficiency.
As Quang Nam is next door to Da Nang City, Dung Quat Open Economic Zone and the East-West Economic Corridor, how will you utilize those advantages?
Quang Nam lies in the key economic region of Central Vietnam and the East-West Economic Corridor. In the economic planning, the Resolution of Quang Nam Party Congress defined that the plain, coast area and islands of Quang Nam will attract investments for the development of industry, tourism and service in conjunction with the expansion of the province, the key economic zone of Central Vietnam and the Highlands, connecting with Da Nang City and Dung Quat – Quang Ngai. The province will apply appropriate policies to attract more investments and develop Chu Lai Open Economic Zone into a comprehensive model, with auto-industry as a spearhead combining supporting industry and high technology, and at the same time developing tourism, international travel and trade. Industrial zones and centres will be expanded. Dien Nam – Dien Ngoc industrial zone will be fully occupied by investment projects.
The western part of Quang Nam next to the Highlands will be connected with the East-West Economic Corridor. Already in operation are the Ho Chi Minh road, National roads of 14 B, E and D, East Truong Son, and South Quang Nam. On the West side, Da Nang – Quang Nam highway will be built parallel with the North-South National Highway 1A, bypassing Hai Van tunnel and connecting with road networks of Tuy Loan, Highways 604, 14B and Ho Chi Minh. The road networks connect the coastal plain with the highlands, facilitating the development of hydro power, mining and forestry processing.