Ha Giang Creating Attractive Investment Environment for Economic Development

4:05:31 PM | 13/5/2014

On May 16 2014, Ha Giang Province will hold an investment promotion conference with the theme “Our Potential - your opportunity” to introduce and promote natural, socio-economic conditions as well as investment opportunities in Ha Giang to domestic and international partners and investors. Ahead of the conference, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Dam Van Bong, Chairman of Ha Giang’s People Committee to learn more about the process of improving investment environment as well as the development direction of the province.
Could you give us some brief introduction about the potential and advantages of Ha Giang?
Ha Giang’s geography is divided into three specific areas, the northern rocky mountain region, the western highland mountains and the low hills region. These three regions share the common characteristic of natural conditions favourable for developing tourism, services, economic agriculture and forestry, agro - forestry production.
Northern rocky mountain area includes districts of Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh, Quan Ba with average height from 1,000 metres to 1,600 metres. Rocky desert terrain creates dramatic landscapes, with many geological heritages of valuable scientific value as well as cultural and spiritual characteristics. The area has been recognised by UNESCO as a global geological park and of which master plan was approved by the Prime Minister to conserve, restore and promote the values of the global geological park Dong Van Karst Plateau period 2012-2020 and vision toward 2030. The region also has the potential to develop many kinds of valuable medicinal plants and livestock sector.
Next, the western highland mountainous area has weather conditions and climate suitable for semi-temperate crops and fisheries. The region favourable for the development of processing industries associated with forestry, cold water fish (salmon, sturgeon, etc), perennial industrial crops such as tea, pine, betel, and especially Shan tea. Characterised by terraced fields, Hoang Su Phi district has been officially recognised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as a national monument, paving way to the introduction of an area of high potential for eco -tourism, resort and community tourism.
The third, the low hills region has been planned as the driving force of provincial economic development. This area has international border gate Thanh Thuy located in the economic zones of the same name of which general construction plan has been approved by the Prime Minister toward 2030. This region also has industrial parks and complexes in a favourable position in terms of traffic (on Highway 2), convenient in connecting with economic centres all over the country, a great condition for developing industry, trade and logistics relating with cross-border trade. At the same time, the vast land area make it suitable for the region to promote all types of citrus fruit (orange tree), industrial crops (tea, betel, mulberry) as well as livestock, poultry, seafood, there’s also potential for processing industry associating with green agriculture, organic agriculture.
What specific actions would you propose to improve the investment environment in Ha Giang?
Along with the implementation of current documents on attracting domestic and foreign investment, the province has set up the Investment Promotion Centre and ODA Mobilisation Board to be in charge of advisory work in investment activities both domestic and foreign, mobilising ODA and NGOs investment. Those investing in Ha Giang province are entitled to investment preferences including land rent, water rent, land use fee exemption, enterprise income tax, investment areas, etc. Settlement time for administrative procedures is also reduced one third for investment procedures compared with regulations, file receiving and settling of investment projects are carried out under the mechanism of one-stop shop mechanism.
 In addition, the province has efficiently accelerated the construction of e-government to reduce the time of administrative procedures, making provincial files and documents more transparent. Thereby, Ha Giang has implemented this process step-by-step through propaganda raising awareness from the high level of provincial authority, focusing on the topics and realisation of civil servants. Along with that, the province also has accelerated the review, adjustment and timely publicised the policies and mechanisms on preferences on tax, industrial premise, plans of socio-economic development, land-use planning to provide enterprises and investors easy access to necessary information, helping them make investment choices. Provincial authorities also hold meetings to discuss and hear feedback from businesses to timely resolve difficulties and problems, perfecting the provincial mechanisms and policies. The province has focused more on advisory work of specialised agencies, strengthening the directing and inspecting from the leadership to overcome the limitations of environmental investment, production and business.
However, Ha Giang is still facing many challenges. Currently, the province has the six poorest districts in the country; Infrastructure for production is limited, posing difficulties to the socio-economic development. To have investment resources commensurate with the potential and advantages of the province, the Provincial People's Committee has directed the Mobilisation Board to create a list of projects need attracting ODA and preferential loans period 2014 - 2016 and after 2016 in Ha Giang, hoping to receive support from the Government, ministries, international organisations, donors in the process of poverty reduction and sustainable socio-economic development in border region.
Developing tourism is one of the key missions for the province in the upcoming time, what are the specific strategies for this mission?
Ha Giang is gifted by the Mother Nature a spectacular beauty, the land of Ha Giang is also the roof of Vietnamese 19 ethnic groups with diverse, rich cultural life and characteristics. The province has Hoang Su Phi terraced fields recognised as a national heritage, Dong Van Karst Plateau – a member of the Global Geological Parks, etc, full of potential for cultural, geological, spiritual, historical tourism, community-based tourism, and eco-tourism and resort. Ha Giang currently is focusing on building and perfecting plans such as: the general planning of tourism development in Ha Giang towards 2020 with a vision of 2030, the master plan to develop the national tourism zone of Dong Van Karst Plateau toward 2020 with a vision to 2030, the conservation planning of geological, cultural – historical heritages and bio-diversifying global geological park of Dong Van Karst Plateau toward 2020 with a vision of 2030, the general planning of construction of functional areas of Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark. At the same time, the province would direct tourism development following schemes such as: conserving and promoting cultural, geographical, biodiversity heritage value, focusing on developing human resources for tourism, boosting service system to respond to tourism demand; strengthening training and propaganda to raising public awareness of conserving the global geological park. Besides, the province plans to boost production and development of tourism products, creating local product brands to make Ha Giang a hot spot for tourism; Promoting Ha Giang’s images, culture and attractive destinations to national and international tourists, attracting more investors in tourism sector; focusing on the development and exploitation of the border gate economic advantages, especially in Thanh Thuy International Bordergate, associating border trade with tourism to further increase the number of tourists coming to Ha Giang, thereby, increasing revenues from tourism, creating jobs, enhancing the cultural life of ethnic minorities, thus contributing to the economic restructuring in the province.