Can Tho - Innovation for Development

4:57:25 PM | 29/1/2015

After six years of implementing Decision 366/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister on the issue of plans for continued execution of Resolution No. 45-NQ/TW dated February 17, 2005 of the Politburo on Can Tho City construction and development in the 2009 - 2015 stage, the growth quality and competitiveness of Can Tho City has been significantly improved. The city is playing a clear role as a leading economic, cultural, education - training and health centre and a development driver of the Mekong Delta region. The following is the interview with Mr Le Hung Dung, Chairman of Can Tho City People’s Committee. Hoang Lam reports.
Could you please tell us more about the city’s successes after six years of enforcing the Prime Minister’s Decision 366/QD-TTg?
After six years of enforcing the Prime Minister’s Decision 366/QD-TTg, major objectives and tasks of the city have been performed well. Specifically, in urban development, Can Tho City was recognised by the Prime Minister as a first-grade urban zone in 2009. Planning and construction has been synchronously carried out to lay the overall groundwork for the city development towards modernity, civilisation and sustainability.
In economic development, economic growth averaged 13.73 per cent in the 2009-2014 period. The economic structure was shifted towards the weighted order of services - industry - agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Growth quality was significantly improved. The formation of industrial zones strongly affected the attractiveness of the city for industrial investors who are making quality products for domestic consumption and for export. For the time being, the city’s industrial production makes up 16 per cent of the region’s industrial production value.
The city’s trade has seen significant development from 2004 to present. The local market has been continuously expanded thanks to good commodity supplies. Exportation was quite good in the 2009 - 2014 phase. So far, Can Tho City has exported its products to nearly 100 countries and territories around the world, an increase of 20 markets over 2005. The total social investment reached VND189,938 billion in the 2009 - 2014 stage, up nearly 4 times over the 2004-2008 period, with an annual value growth of 17.2 per cent. The spiritual life of the people has been constantly raised. GDP per capita climbed from about VND31 million in 2009 to over VND70 million in 2014.
How has public administration reform fared in the city? Would you be kind enough to tell us the top objectives of the city in working towards a clean, strong and people-centred administration?
For two consecutive years (2013 and 2014), the Party Committee of Can Tho City defined the city’s action theme as "Reforming public administration, mobilising all resources and looking to the grassroots." This showed the determination of the entire political system in administrative reform.
In 2014, administrative reform was synchronously and comprehensively carried out in the following contents: Institutional reform, administrative reform, bureaucracy reform, servant quality improvement, public finance reform, and public administration modernisation. The Can Tho People’s Committee issued many legal and administrative documents relating to administrative reform like single-window coordination, digital signature and leader accountability.
Particularly, in administrative modernisation, most administrative organs at all tiers applied information technology in single-window units and accelerated the application of digital signatures to cut expenses in copying, sending and receipt of documents. So far, 100 per cent of provincial administrative agencies, 100 per cent of district administrative agencies and 100 per cent of commune administrative units have implemented an electronic single-window model and applied it in many fields like land, business registration, construction, labour and social affairs, advertisement licensing, civil status, residence and judicial record.
By stepping up the progress towards e-government, the city has enhanced openness, transparency, simplicity and convenience around administrative settlements for citizens and businesses. Single-window units at all levels have been modernised with new IT applications. Time and procedures for settling administrative works have been reduced. Most conducts and processes of civil servants and officials are institutionalised, paving the way for building a professional administration. As a result, the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and the public administration reform index (PAR) improved in recent years.
The top objective of Can Tho City in building a clean, strong and people-centred administration is to create favourable conditions for citizens and businesses. To achieve this goal, the city will carry out consistent solutions to intensify civil service examination, train and retrain civil servants and officials; apply information technology; improve the accountability of all-tiers of government; and publicise administrative procedures.
The central government has given investment priority to Can Tho City, including important projects which produce strong effects on the region. Would you mind telling us about remarkable projects which play important role to the development of Can Tho City in particular and of the Mekong Delta region in general?
In the past years, Can Tho City has regularly received support from the central government. Many important projects have received investment, including Can Tho Bridge, Cai Cui Port and Can Tho International Airport. Many traffic routes have been built, upgraded, expanded and put into use, including Bon Tong - Mot Ngan route, National Road 91B, National Road 61B, Vo Van Kiet Road, and Nguyen Van Cu Road. Many important economic development projects have been brought into operation, such as the first turbine of O Mon thermal power plant. In addition, big supermarkets and commercial centres have also been upgraded, including Metro Cash&Carry, Co-opmart, Vinatex, Maximart, Big C and Nguyen Kim, which make Can Tho the largest commercial hub in the Mekong Delta.
The medical network, both private and public, has been invested for expansion, thus making Can Tho a health centre of the Mekong Delta region. In addition, the city has actively coordinated with central authorities to develop tertiary education system to supply qualified human resources for the Mekong Delta. Can Tho has gradually become an education and training centre of the region.
To tap its potential and advantages to become a development-driving centre of the Mekong Delta, does the city has any recommendations for the central government?
At his working visit to Can Tho City on August 14, 2014, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong agreed on the technical and economic infrastructure upgrade scheme to 2020. The city expects that the central government will have instructions for the deployment of this scheme. It also hopes to receive more support from the central government to realise the objectives stated in Resolution 45-NQ/TW of the Politburo.
The city also expects to have development support policies for training high-quality human resources, attracting investment for Vietnam - South Korea industrial and technological incubator, opening domestic air routes to Lien Khuong Airport (Lam Dong province), Cam Ranh Airport (Khanh Hoa province) and international routes to Singapore, South Korea, Cambodia and Thailand. Furthermore, the city suggested the central authority have more regional connectivity policies.