Hai Duong Province on Path of Int'l Integration

3:26:27 PM | 8/7/2005

Hai Duong Province on Path of Int'l Integration 


With many open-door policies in attracting investment and great efforts in bringing potential and internal strengths into full play, the Party Committee and people of northern Hai Duong province have obtained remarkable socio-economic achievements, contributing an important part in the country's development. On the occasion, Vietnam Business Forum magazine's reporter The Nam held an interview with Mr. Bui Thanh Quyen, Chairman of the People's Committee of Hai Duong province.


Could you introduce outstanding socio-economic achievements of Hai Duong province in recent years?

Hai Duong's economy has continuously seen high, stable growth rates in recent time, reaching an annual growth of 9.2 per cent in 1996-2000 period and 10.5 per cent in 2000-2004, and this year's GDP is estimated at VND7,525.9 billion, 2.3 times higher than that in 1995. The province has become one of provinces and cities in Vietnam having the largest industrial production scales to date, though its economy mainly based on agricultural production in the past. The proportions of industry and services increased from 59.4 per cent in 1995 to 65.2 per cent in 2000 and 71 per cent in 2004, while the agriculture proportion reduced from 40.6 per cent in 1995 to 34.8 per cent in 2000 and 29 per cent in 2004. The economic restructure has also created around 22,000 new jobs annually in 2000-2004.


Industrial production plays a key role in the province's economic development strategy with a diversified range of industrial production bases of all economic sectors, especially the private and foreign-invested sectors that are useful in mobilsing capital, technology, management skills and creating jobs (the foreign-invested industrial proportion has topped at 24.8 per cent in 2004 from 3.6 per cent in 1996. Industrial production in 2004 is 4.6 times higher than that in 1995 and accounts for 42 per cent of the province's GDP. The province has established key industries such as construction materials, garment, leather shoes, processing frozen foodstuff, and manufacturing and assembling engineering products, engines and automobiles. Hai Duong will become the country's major province in cement production next year when Phuc Son Cement Plant is put into operation.


The province has had six concentrated industrial parks (IPs) so far with total area of 645.72 hectares and eight industrial complexes with total area of 504.97 hectares, which have been home to more than 110 projects. In addition, some traditional handicraft villages have been strongly recovered and developed and their products have been familiar in both local and international markets such as embroidered items in Tu Ky district, fine art wooden furniture in Cam Giang district, ceramic products in Binh Giang and Nam Sach districts, and green bean cakes in Hai Duong City.


Hai Duong's agricultural production has firmly with extended with many kinds of plants and animals and the average volume of food per capita is ensured at 495.5 kilograms. The province has 513 farming-scale agricultural production bases and nearly 20 per cent of agricultural land sees the production value of over VND50 million per hectare. Specific areas for aquaculture and plantation of organic vegetables, litchi, carrot, garlic, onion and others have been formed.


Total budget revenues of the province in 2004 is estimated at VND1,705.8 billion, up 4.5 times over 1995, and total investment for development in 2001-2004 stands at VND15,729 billion, including VND3,048 billion from the province's budget. Socio-economic infrastructure and infrastructure in rural areas and IPs have been built and improved thanks to a wide range of capital channels, creating a new face for Hai Duong province and an attractive investment environment for investors. Over the last four years, the province has reinforced 706.8 kilometres of canals, built and upgraded 5,705 kilometres of rural roads, 14,000 sq. m of rooms in hospitals, and 2,500 classrooms. Some important works has been completed and under construction, including the automatic system of Song Huong sewer in Thanh Ha district, the water supply plant in Hai Duong City, Nguyen Trai Temple, the new general hospital, and new urban areas in the East and West of Hai Duong City.


Together with the economic development, the cultural and social sectors have gathered attention of provincial authorities. There is no households facing hunger in the province and the poverty rate reduces to 5.2 per cent in 2004 from 20 per cent in 1995. Particularly, Hai Duong is one of the six provinces nationwide that completed the education compulsory programme at primary and junior secondary schools earlier than the country's plan.


What are socio-economic development criteria in 2005-2010, vision 2020?

The province tries to gain the annual GDP growth of 10-11 per cent in 2005-2010 with the economic structure by 2010: agriculture-forestry-aquaculture 22 per cent, industry-construction 46 per cent and services 32 per cent, and raise funds for development investment worth VND32-33,000 billion, accounting for 37.8 per cent of GDP. By 2010, Hai Duong aims to create 25,000 jobs annually, have 35-40 per cent of labourers trained, and reduce the poverty rate to 1 per cent. 


By 2020, it remains GDP growth of 9-10.7 per cent/year with the economic structure: agriculture-forestry-aquaculture 16-18 per cent, industry-construction 47-48 per cent and services 35-36 per cent, and rise the income per capita to US$1,704, 4.2 times and 2.6 times higher than that in 2005 and 2010, respectively.


Can you list potentials of the province in the process of international integration?

The implementation of the Vietnam-US Trade Agreement, Vietnam-Japan Investment Encouragement and Protection Agreement, AFTA, and other bilateral and multilateral agreements will open big opportunities to call for investors with strengths in capital, technology and management capacity to invest in Hai Duong.        


Hai Duong is located in the Northern Key Economic Area, with important roads and railway such as National Highway 5A, national roads of 18 and 183, and near the big seaports of Hai Phong and Cai Lan. There are huge reserves of minerals in the province, including limestone: 200 million tonnes, bauxite: 200,000 tonnes, kaolin: 400,000 tonnes, and fire-resistant rust: 8 million tonnes, which are abundant material sources for the industrial production. Hai Duong can develop many kinds of plants and animals thanks to the tropical climate, and strongly boost trade and tourism sectors because it is home to 1,098 historical relics and landscapes, including 133 national-ranked ones like Con Son, Kiep Bac, Yen Phu. Moreover, the province owns a young, creative human resource.


Can you release development orientations in the coming time?

The province will focus on developing agro-products in line with market demands and the processing industry, handicrafts and services in rural areas, and agricultural infrastructure, quickly modernising the industrial production sector by targeting to key fields and products such as new materials, machinery and spare parts, electronics, and others that have been winning strong positions on both domestic and foreign markets, and widely expanding traditional handicraft villages.  


Notably, Hai Duong will diversify services, including insurance, tourism, banking, transport, post and telecommunication, gradually set up the capital market by forming a finance investment company, developing the stock market and support enterprises to issue company bonds.


It will continue injecting more money in improving infrastructure, particularly the transport system with the major projects of Kunming-Hai Phong Corridor, road and bridge 18, Ram, Bia, Han bridges, the expressways of Hainoi-Hai Phong (40.9 kilometres through Hai Duong) and Hanoi-Ha Long (16 kilometres), and construction of an additional 199 kilometres of national roads.      


The province will develop urban areas, small towns and big residential areas in Hai Duong City and districts in together with the development of IPs, industrial complexes and infrastructure, develop Sao Do Town with 2000-200,000 people, form a residential area and IP in Tan An and Van An in Chi Linh district, and convert Nhi Chieu small town in Kinh Mon district into a modern town with 150-200,000 people.


Hai Duong will keep on perfecting infrastructure in IPs approved by the Government such as Phu Thai, the IP in the West of Hai Duong City, Tan Truong, and Cong Hoa, and expand the IPs of Nam Sach and Dai An, and develop 14 more IPs. From 2010, the province will build and complete 19 concentrated IPs, including 7-10 IPs in the short term out of the six current IPs. Infrastructure works in and outside industrial complexes will also be completed.


Can you introduce major international cooperation and foreign investment attraction activities of the province?

Hai Duong has recently been active in enhancing friendly international cooperation relations. So far this year, it has received and worked with over 60 foreign delegations coming to the province to seek business and investment opportunities.


The province cooperated with Vientiane province in Laos to set up the Vientiane-Hai Duong Joint Venture Centre in Vientiane and with Montreuil City in France to establish the Hai Duong-Montreuil Cooperation Centre to directly help leaders of the cities implement signed cooperation programmes.        


To the end of November 2004, the province had 70 FDI projects from 18 countries and territories with total registered capital of US$650.9 million, of which 39 have become operational with total realised capital of 325.3 million. Annually, the province organises conference to meet foreign investors to create opportunities and the most favourable conditions to enterprises. Apart from FID, Hai Duong has been given financial support from non-governmental organisations, United Nations organisations such as UNICEF, WVO, World and foreign individuals worth more than US$1.2 million in recent years.