Ha Giang Effectively Tapping All Potential for Breakthrough Economic Growth

9:27:47 AM | 29/1/2014

At the advent of the Year of the Horse 2014, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Dam Van Bong, Chairman of Ha Giang Provincial People's Committee, on the province’s development achievements and orientations. Thanh Nga reports.
What solutions has Ha Giang province taken to enhance its provincial competitiveness index (PCI) rating?
Like other localities in the country, Ha Giang province has endeavoured to carry out target programmes to reduce poverty, speed up public administration reform, develop economy, create development motivation, and attract investment capital. In 2013, the province reviewed and generalised administrative procedures applied at decentralised provincial and district public administrative centres to shorten required time for procedural settlement and accelerate e-government construction to reduce administrative procedures and expenses and boost the transparency of documents. Thereby, the province has gradually raised the awareness of public administrative agencies and improved the professional service of civil servants. It has adopted the single-window mechanism to help investors to reduce the time for handling administrative procedures and enhance the service quality of civil officials and servants. Together with that, the province has also reviewed and adjusted policies, tax incentives, industrial sites, socioeconomic development planning, and land-use planning to help businesses and investors access information and investment options. The province has met, discussed and listened to feedback from enterprises to have effective changes to policies. Investors have been allowed to settle investment procedures in accordance with the single-window mechanism at the Ha Giang province Investment Consulting and Promotion Centre. This new mechanism has reduced the time for the task by a third. The province has also focused on introducing its investment and business environment and investment support policies, restructuring infrastructure systems to attract more investors, and investing to build infrastructure systems in economic and industrial zones in the form of BOT and BT.
Ha Giang has abundant labour resources and the educational level of the people has been gradually improved. We are concentrating on upgrading and expanding training facilities to meet human resources demand for local employment demand. Then, the province will effectively implement potential and advantage exploitation projects to create breakthroughs in economic growth and sustainable development; strive to maintain annual GDP growth; promote economic restructuring towards commercialised commodity production, industrialisation and modernisation; and apply advanced science and technology, develop foreign economic relations, raise people's living standards, and sustain poverty reduction.
Ha Giang is appreciated for the effective use of ODA capital in recent years. Would you be kind enough to share something about this?
In recent years, the Government has implemented many programmes and projects in the province, including poverty reduction projects, social and economic development projects for Ha Giang province, national target programmes, Programme 134, Programme 135, Resolution 30a on rapid and sustainable poverty reduction support for 62 poorest districts, and programmes and projects funded by the international donors like the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Foundation for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Therefore, in recent years, Ha Giang has significant changes in essential infrastructure like transport and irrigation systems, response to climate change, health, education, agricultural and rural development combined with poverty alleviation, economic development, value -added industrial - construction production, and increased revenue for local budgets.
However, Ha Giang is still facing numerous challenges. Currently the province has the six poorest districts in the country. People’s access to health - education services is limited, production is small and segmented, insufficient production infrastructure is a challenge for the local socio-economic development process. To have development investment resources to tap local potentials and advantages, the Provincial People's Committee has directed the Board in charge of mobilising, managing and utilising ODA capital to build the list of projects in need of ODA capital and preferential loans in Ha Giang province in the 2014 - 2016 period and beyond, expressing with the desire and expectation to be shared and supported by the Government, ministries, agencies, international organisations and donors for poverty alleviation, rapid and sustainable socioeconomic development.
How has Ha Giang province realised the target of turning tourism into an economic engine?
Nature endowed a spectacular beauty on Ha Giang. The province is the common home of 19 ethnic groups with diverse and rich and characteristic cultural life. Hoang Su Phi terraced fields were recognised as a national heritage and Dong Van Karst Plateau is a member of the Global Geo-parks Network. With huge potential for cultural, geological, research and relaxing tourism, we have focused on developing tourism in the direction of preserving cultural values, investing in human resources, and rehabilitating service systems to meet tourism development till 2020. Specially, we have carried out the plan for construction of Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, preserve and promote cultural values, and raised public awareness of preserving and protecting geological heritage. In addition, we have enhanced communication, information and training to raise the public awareness of protecting and owning heritage, expanding production, developing tourism products and branding local products. We have also popularised the image, culture and tourism of Ha Giang province to domestic and international tourists to attract tourism investment and increase tourist arrivals to the province. Thus, the province has increased tourism revenues, created jobs, enhanced cultural life of ethnic minorities and boosted economic restructuring of the province.