Dien Bien Creating Favourable Business & Investment Environment

9:57:20 AM | 13/12/2012

In the context of domestic and international economic slowdown, in order to maintain the friendly investment and business environment to attract outside capital, Dien Bien province is emphasizing further reforming administrative procedures, allocating investment capital for key infrastructure works, and renovating methods to introduce local attractions and access potential investment channels. To learn more about these practical activities of Dien Bien province, the Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Nguyen Quang Sang, Deputy Director of Dien Bien Department of Planning and Investment. Trong Linh reports.
The investment environment in Dien Bien province has significantly progressed and improved, as evidenced by the 2011 4.84 point rise in Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), to the 29th rank out of 63 provinces and cities. Although it is too early to see the fruit of this, the amount of investment capital into the province has increased as the PCI picked up. Notably, the province drew over VND6,000 billion in registered investment capital in 2011.What is your opinion about this figure?
Comparatively, the amount of investment capital attracted (excluding State budget) hit nearly VND7,000 over five years from 2006 to 2010, but the value exceeded VND6,000 billion in 2011 alone - an impressive figure illustrating the new thinking as well as perception of provincial investment climate. More specifically, Dien Bien province has granted investment certificates to 43 projects with a total registered capital of VND10,200 billion in three years (2010 - 2012), including 16 projects worth over VND6,000 billion in 2011.
However, most projects are invested by domestic investors, even in 2011's record value. This is a limitation. Furthermore, the amount of VND6,000 billion is just registered capital. It demonstrates the interest of investors in Dien Bien, but this amount has not been disbursed to bring in real social and economic effects. In fact, in six years from 2006 to 2012, only 20 projects were completed and 15 per cent of registered capital was spent on projects.
What are the pluses and minuses of projects and investors in the past time, from your experience of monitoring and supervising investment projects in the province?
Generally, all investors aim to tap local potentials like hydropower, forestry, tourism and minerals. Most investors take a long-term view. However, many are young, financially weak and inexperienced in dealing with difficulties and crises. Thus, when banks tighten lending conditions, their investment activities are interrupted or delayed.
With its close, regular monitoring of investment activities, the Department of Planning and Investment has grouped investment projects, encouraged investors, and assisted them to complete necessary administrative procedures. Especially in 2012, the province has directed the drastic implementation of the Government's Resolution 13. In particular, the banking system (Dien Bien Agribank and BIDV Dien Bien) has taken solutions to increase capital for the economy by lowering lending interest rates to 15 per cent, reducing interest rates for or making exempt important projects, restructuring debts for enterprises, and disbursing capital for important projects like Nam He hydropower project.
In the current context, how will the department adjust its investment promotion strategies to achieve the best results?
Anticipate short-term and long-term market potentials, and analyse the effectiveness of projects to provide economic parameters to convince investors when they consider projects. (The department will introduce information about specific projects for interested investors rather than general information).
Focus on promoting industry-based and project-based investment attraction and intensifying contacts with potential investors.
Utilise the Internet to boost popularity and information dissemination of investment projects.
Support investors with effective projects to make good examples for other investors.
Advertise effective projects to seek ODA sources through governmental guarantees or government sub-lending for enterprises with financial capability to carry out projects.
From PCI components, how will the department advise the Provincial People’s Committee to be friendlier to investors and businesses?
PCI is a tool and a measure of competitiveness and economic development governance of the locality. With the result in 2011, Dien Bien province made significant progress, jumping 18 spots from 2010 to 29th place out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide.
Delving into the component indexes, Dien Bien province (compared to other provinces in the region) was weak at business support service (2.06 points - a low level), labour training (5.19 points - an average level), transparency (5.92 points) and time cost (6:53 - pretty average), and unofficial costs. Therefore, the Department of Planning and Investment has continued advising the Provincial People’s Committee to adopt solutions to improve component indices to create a favourable business environment for enterprises. Accordingly, the department has proposed important solutions as follows.
Rapidly and robustly deploy the second phase of Project 30 of the Government on simplification of administrative procedures; Strive to reduce administrative procedures by 30 per cent each year, focusing on such fields as land, construction, labour and employment, business registration, business establishment, banking and taxation. This is a breakthrough to improve the investment environment.
Apply the single-window mechanism at the Provincial People’s Committee to shorten time and reduce costs; Boost openness and transparency to please investors and business.
Strengthen dialogues with investors via business meetings or capture information through the Dien Bien Young Entrepreneurs Association to quickly assist businesses and investors in dealing with difficulties and obstacles, especially regarding procedures of appraising and approving investment certificates, business registration certificates, site clearance and land leases.
Regularly update information on mechanisms, policies and regulations related to investment activities to provide timely information to investors.
Strongly invest in human resource training to create a driving force for development and meet the demand of investors.
Thank you very much!