Quang Binh: Efforts to Turn Potential into Motivation for Socio-economic Development

2:21:16 PM | 30/12/2014

Located on the East-West economic corridor system with uniform transport infrastructure including airports, seaports, roads, railways, waterways, and international border, Quang Binh is facing tremendous growth opportunities. The Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Nguyen Huu Hoai, Chairman of the Quang Binh provincial People’s Committee, on the results that the province has achieved in recent years, as well as the opportunities and challenges in the new phase .
Could you share some highlighted social and economic results that Quang Binh has achieved in recent years?
The economic growth rate on average in the period of 2006- 2010 increased by 10.56 percent, by 7.1 percent from 2011 to 2014; the proportion of industry and services has risen from 70.3 percent in 2005 to nearly 80 percent in 2014; the revenues increased from US$742.5 billion in 2005 to US$2,360 billion in 2014; and the exports from US$28.7 million in 2005 to US$150 million in 2014. The tourism in Quang Binh has developed significantly with recorded number of over 2.7 million tourists in 2014, which is 3.2 times compared to 2010. As predicted by some experts, Quang Binh by 2020 will be a major tourist hub of Asia.
Since Cha Lo International Border Gate was established, Hon La port has been officially put into operation and become an important gateway of the Central Laos and Northeastern Thailand. From 2012 to date, the number of goods, persons, and vehicles across Cha Lo gate have increased by 50 percent; this is the gate between Vietnam and Laos with the biggest number of goods across the nation with an estimate of US$1.65 billion. In the period 2011-2014, Quang Binh has issued investment certificates and signed a cooperation agreement to invest 115 projects with a total investment of US$34,608 billion; some significant projects include the Quang Trach Thermal Centre, the Phong Nha- Ke Bang tourist complex, and pipelines from Vietnam to Laos. This is the fundamental for a rapid sustainable development of Quang Binh in the near future.
Recently, the province has successfully organised the celebration of 410 years of the establishment of Quang Binh and completed administrative boundary separating Quang Trach district to establish the town of Ba Don and 6 wards attached. Dong Hoi was accredited the level 2 city. At the same time, the province in collaboration with the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) successfully organised the Investment Promotion Conference in Quang Binh. The conference is considered one of the largest and most efficient conferences with 23 projects that were certified and signed under a cooperation agreement to make a total investment of nearly US$1 billion. A new feature of this activity is the close link between four stakeholders including government, banks, entrepreneurs and media in promoting investment to ensure the feasibility of the project certified for investment.
The cultural and social areas have many achievements with poverty rate in 2014 decreased by 5.5 percent compared to 3.5 percent projected; this is the year the poverty rate fell from the highest to date. The traffic accidents dropped in all three criteria in terms of cases and the number of dead and injured.
However, Quang Binh is challenged by many problems. Such problems include natural disasters, epidemics; small scale economies, low competitiveness, weak socio- economic infrastructure and low quality of human resources, imbalance of the investment climate and the development requirements, dependent small producers, and many ineffectively untapped and used resources. This requires unity, determination of the Party, government and people of all levels to help Quang Binh soon reach the national development level on average and become a major tourist center of the Asia.
What has the province done to promote the tourism industry?
Recently, the People's Committee of the Quang Binh province has focused on advocacy and media mass to promote Quang Binh's tourism; additionally, the province has put many attractions into operation, such as Son Doong cave, Dark Cave zipline Dark and visits to the grave of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
Besides, Quang Binh has also implemented many measures on tourism sector to develop an environmentally friendly tourism. Namely, the province has assigned its functional agencies and tourist agencies to follow seriously the pricing regulations to guarantee the price stabilisation and eliminate the price fluctuation at the peak tourist season, to ensure the hygiene, food safety and sanitation, to inspect the tourist accommodation units and the business catering services and to develop the mechanisms and policies to encourage the investment in the construction of the residences and catering service units in the province.
As a leading province for three consecutive years with highest scores in the Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), what lessons learned will you share with us to improve the local index?
Quang Binh is considered one of the provinces with the good investment and business environment in Vietnam; as seen in the past 3 years, the province has taken the lead on the PAPI index for 3 consecutive years from 2011 to 2013. The results come are due to the public-serving attitude of the province towards the people, which help the province implement the guidelines and policies of the government efficiently, enhancing transparency in management and administration, strengthening anti-corruption, and effectively implementing the one-stop system in the administrative agencies at all levels. These are important factors affecting the performance of the governance and public administration as well as the investment climate and confidence of the people for the administration of the local government.
To remove difficulties for the business community, improving business and investment environment in the spirit of Directive 11 / CT-TTg dated May 21, 2014 of the Prime Minister, what action is Quang Binh taking? The dynamic leadership of the province is one of 10 PCI indicators, how has the province improved this indicator?
Facing with the difficulties due to the economic crisis, Quang Binh province has implemented many positive measures to remove difficulties for enterprises such as extension and rescheduling of the debts and new loans, reduction of the interest rates to share and support the businesses, renewal or extension of time to pay tax, tax exemption under the regulations, acceleration of the evaluation on the needs, introduction to the leasing office and clearance. In 2014, the province has made tax exemptions, reducing the rent for investment projects in the province with total of nearly US$33 billion, creating favorable conditions, shortening time of the business registration, shortening the registration for the investment certificates, evaluating the projects, allocating the capital investment plan, ensuring the investors and the units to construct the projects on schedule as proposed.
Besides, the province has had many meetings with businesses to direct the implementation of policies and propose the appropriate measures to timely help the enterprises overcome the difficulties and seek for the business opportunities to stabilize their production.
Indeed, the dynamics of leadership is an extremely important factor to improve the efficiency of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI); with the motto "the success of the businesses are our success", the leaders of Quang Binh always try to make the business environment more open and the government always companion with the businesses in the investment and production processes to overcome all obstacles and reach the development goals.