Striving to Make another "Dien Bien Phu Victory" in Economic Sector

11:22:00 AM | 6/4/2015

In the past years, with the investment of the central government, the support of central agencies and other provinces, the consensus and unity of the people, Dien Bien province has taken advantage of good opportunities and resources, and overcome difficulties and challenges to perform comprehensive renovation, maintain political stability, ensure social order and safety, promote economic development, address important social issues and achieve significant results. The government and the people of Dien Bien province are making every effort to be “Dien Bien Phu Victory" on the economic front. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine’s reporter has an interview with Mr Mua A Son, Chairman of Dien Bien Provincial People's Committee. Duy Binh reports.
How did Dien Bien province administer economic development in 2014? What were some of the remarkable results?
In 2014, despite facing difficulties and challenges, with the support and investment of the Party and the State, the Provincial People's Committee built and focused on directing the implementation of eight central tasks and 10 groups of key measures in accordance with the government’s Resolutions 01 and 02. With effective and close administration, the provincial government timely addressed emerging issues and achieved progresses in social and economic development as follows.
Gross regional domestic product (GRDP) increased 9.08 percent over 2013. This higher growth than in 2013 showed more stable economic development than the previous year. The economic structure continued to be shifted towards the desired pattern.
Agricultural and forestry production comprehensively developed in area, productivity and output. Total food output reached 247,047 tonnes, representing an increase of 4.78 percent over 2013 and exceeding the year plan by 4.42 percent. Food output per capita was 462 kilograms in the year, up 3.32 percent against 2013. Key crops continued to be effectively grown and developed in the province, including Dien Bien rice, Tua Chua tea and Muong Ang coffee. Rubber farming has created breakthroughs in agricultural economic restructuring in the province.
Industrial production also made positive progress in 2014. The value of industrial production reached VND2,036.3 billion in 2014, representing a year on year increase of 9.85 percent, driven by hydropower, mining, cement, construction material production and agricultural and forest product processing.
Trade and services were developed rapidly in network, scale and quality. Total retail revenue of consumer goods and services reached VND6,888 billion in 2014, up 20.75 percent versus 2013. The relatively stable prices of goods and services showed the effectiveness of inflation-curbing policies. Pluses in historical tourism, ecotourism and cross-border economy were invested, tapped and developed to propel the local economic development.
Social investment capital valued VND5,400 billion, up 12.48 percent from 2013. The funds primarily went to social and economic infrastructure. Social and cultural aspects were developed. Universal education reached secondary level. Good preventive medicine thwarted disease outbreaks while healthcare quality was improved. Culture, information and sporting activities were deployed to grassroots levels to better meet cultural enjoyment needs and uphold national cultural identities. The province effectively carried out government-funded target programmes on employment, poverty reduction and social security. Annually, the province creates over 7,000 new jobs and reduces poverty rate by 4-5 percent.
In 2014 the province successfully hosted the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory. A lot of commemorative events were held, including the Dien Bien Cultural Tourism Week in combination with Mountain Ebony Flower Festival. Tourists flowed into Dien Bien province, particularly prior to the victory celebration on May 7. Tourist arrivals reached 440,000 as expected, up 15.6 percent over 2013, including 75,000 international tourists, up 12.3 percent year on year. Tourism revenue was estimated at VND540 billion in 2014, up 24.5 percent against 2013.
However, Dien Bien is still a poor province. Thus, in the coming time, in addition to the support of the central government, Dien Bien province will step up synchronous solutions to quicken economic development and reduce poverty to end its current status as an especially difficult province.
In 2014, Dien Bien kicked off many big projects. This proved the positive development in investment attraction. Could you tell us more about this?
Investment promotion and attraction in the province progressed in 2014. The province approved in principle of seven projects, allowed three existing projects to add VND3,632 billion to their investment base (including Nam Muc hydroelectric plant, Long Tao hydropower plant and Song Ma 3 hydropower plant), and granted investment certificates to six projects with a total registered capital of VND49 billion. These projects have tapped local potential, created jobs for local people, increase tax revenue for the province and lower basic construction costs because of shorter transportation distances. Many projects are effectively operated, including a VND52.5-billion particle board production factory in Tuan Giao district, 16-MW Nam He hydropower plant costing VND467.7 billion, a VND17-billion limestone production project in Muong Ang Town). The investment in VND1,943-billion Nam Muc hydropower plant has been basically completed. So far, the investor has disbursed over VND500 billion for the project. These results came as the effort and sharing of local governments, investors and people.
However, the actual demand is much higher than the result achieved. According to the Dien Bien Socioeconomic Development Plan in the 2016-2020 period, Dien Bien province will need VND9-11 trillion of investment capital, or an average of VND2 trillion a year. This will require a tremendous effort of the province in the coming time.
Would you be kind enough to share the groundbreaking solutions Dien Bien province has taken to improve the investment environment?
Based on socioeconomic development momentums in 2014, Dien Bien province expects GRDP growth of 10 percent (much higher than the country’s target of 6.2 percent) in 2015. The economic structure is shifted towards the desired pattern: agriculture, agriculture and fishery (23.1 percent, down 1.01 percent), industry and construction (31.35 percent, up 0.43 percent) and services (45.54 percent, up 0.57 percent)
On July 14, 2014, the Dien Bien Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 529/QD-UBND on the issue of the plan for implementation of the Government’s Resolution 19/NQ-CP on major tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance the national competitiveness index, and the Prime Minister’s Directive 11/CT-TTg dated May 21, 2014 on solutions to problems of enterprises to boost production and business development.
Key measures are as follows:
One - Administrative procedure reform: The province carried out the overall programme on public administration reform for the 2011-2020 period as stated in Resolution 30c/NQ-CP of the Government dated November 8, 2011. The province has reviewed its legal documents to adjust, supplement and remove inappropriate contents, ensure the transparency and consistency of regulations in accordance with international norms and treaties to which Vietnam signed. The province has also applied IT to administrative procedures to reduce time and expenses for businesses and citizens and prevent corrupt acts.
Two - IT infrastructure investment for State agencies: The province now has 96 servers and 2,250 workstations. Computer-to-staff ratio is nearly 1 at provincial and district agencies and 0.3 at communal level. 95 percent of provincial agencies and 100 percent of district agencies are equipped with document management software and network-based administrative operation. 100 percent of State agencies had high-speed internet connections and 75 percent of communes are connected to the internet.
Three - Human resource training and skilful manpower supply: The province has built human resources training programmes to meet demands by local enterprises.
Four - Basic infrastructure construction: The province has built infrastructure for investment projects, particularly site clearance for investment projects.
If these works are done well, investment flows into the province will surely increase.