Vinh Long towards Sustainable Green Economy

10:16:07 PM | 5/5/2015

From an agricultural province, after 22 years of establishment, Vinh Long has managed to increase its industry - construction and trade - services. In the development and integration trend, Vinh Long is trying to restructure its economy to diversify products and services and modernise of agriculture towards a green economy to enhance economic competitiveness to make Vinh Long a top-class locality in the Mekong Delta. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Tran Van Ron, Chairman of Provincial People's Committee. Cong Luan reports.
Could you please introduce Vinh Long province’s successes in economic restructuring?
When the province was established, agriculture made up 68 percent of the economic structure, trade and services accounted for over 22.44 percent, and industry - construction only contributed 9.56 percent. To speed up socioeconomic development, Vinh Long has introduced many mechanisms and policies to boost the contribution of industry, construction, trade and services in the province’s economic structure.
The proportion of industry and construction in the province’s GDP markedly increased from 9.56 percent in 1992 to 21.18 percent in 2014. To develop industry, the province focused on strengthening the development of traditional industries and handicraft sectors to effectively utilise local human and material resources. Besides, the province focused on developing industrial sectors of local advantages like food processing, building material production, chemical and pharmaceutical.
Given robust growth in recent years, the trade - service sector replaced agriculture to become the biggest contributor to the provincial economy, with 44.06 percent in 2014, outpacing the proportion of agriculture, forestry and fisheries with 34.76 percent.
Agriculture is still a strong field of Vinh Long over the past years. Although the proportion of agriculture, forestry and fisheries declined from 68 percent in 1992 to 34.76 percent in 2014, the sector still maintained a steady growth rate. To improve efficiency and maintain reasonable growth in this sector, the province has mobilised more investment resources for irrigation infrastructure and expanded the irrigation and drainage systems to protect agricultural and aquaculture production area, which currently stands at 107,518 ha. Vinh Long province has accelerated crop and livestock restructuring, applied scientific and technical progresses, encouraged agricultural production standards like VietGAP and GlobalGAP, converted unproductive rice fields into fruit orchards, and formed specialised production zones and large-area field to earn higher economic values for farmers.
How do you assess local business operations in 2014 and early 2015? What policies and mechanisms has Vinh Long province taken to support enterprises to stabilise and develop production and business operations?
Last year, the province licensed 256 new companies and 63 branches and representative offices of companies with total registered capital of VND849 billion. They employed 3,174 employees at the time of business registration. However, 42 companies registered to terminate operations (16 fewer than in 2013) and 74 companies settled dissolution procedures with a total investment capital value of VND260 billion (40 more than in 2013).
Although business conditions were not really convenient, local businesses introduced effective production and business plans. They also received policy support like business and market development and debt settlement from the government to maintain and develop production and business operations. But, some businesses, mainly SMEs, could not have effective business operations due to limited financial resources, backward production technologies, and low-quality human resources.
To support businesses to stabilise and develop production and business, the Provincial People's Committee has directed relevant agencies to carry out tasks and solutions to support businesses like reforming administrative procedures, carrying out the ceramic tile manufacturing scheme, funding production equipment and machinery, strengthening domestic trade promotion, linking businesses with banks, supporting businesses to access credit sources, rescheduling tax collection, reducing taxes, and resolving land and construction issues.
In addition, provincial and district governments have actively coordinated in drafting suitable mechanisms and policies to promote production and attract investment capital, like buying local agricultural products together with agricultural restructuring, regulating policy supports, encouraging rural investment, and regulating cooperative development policies.
Vinh Long has reportedly created many products and projects for a green economy. What are some solutions the province has taken to develop a green economy and bring practical benefits for the province in three pillars of economy, society and environment?
To promote green economic development, the province has focused on developing scientific - technological market, supporting scientific and technological capacity building for businesses, assisting businesses to renovate and invest in environment-friendly technologies to turn out environment-friendly products, enhance the efficiency of resources, and gradually remove outdated technologies and equipment. The province has also reorganised commercial agricultural production, zoned out specialised farming areas to supply inputs for processing industries for export and domestic consumption, upgraded and built seedling, breeding, high-tech agriculture, clean and safe farming models.
The province will also actively and positively cooperate with enterprises to improve product quality and competitiveness on the market; strengthen scientific and technological researches, effectively use resources, expand business cooperation, build corporate culture, and take part in socioeconomic development activities.
More importantly, Vinh Long will step up building corporate culture, create a healthy, positive and professional environment to motivate creativity and competitiveness of enterprises; focus on developing human resources to meet technological innovation requirements, production and business processes, engage in global business chains to diversify high-quality products and world-class service quality. The province will also enlist special supports from international cooperation organisations, academics, scientists, and particularly green businesses, to discuss and propose solutions to seize opportunities and minimise green industry development in the current period.
In the current development and international integration, to restructure and improve economic quality towards enhancing local competitiveness, what fields will Vinh Long focus on? How does the province mobilise resources for economic development investment and allocate reasonable investment resources?
To enhance economic competitiveness and become a top province in the Mekong Delta, the province will focus on exploiting and maximising local potential and strengths, and accelerate industrial and service development based on agriculture. Accordingly, Vinh Long province will implement the trade and sector restructuring scheme and the agricultural restructuring scheme, with a priority placed on crop and livestock quality and productivity improvement, and develop high-value agricultural processing industries to serve domestic and export markets.
In addition to raising the quality of human resources and train new work forces for local demand, the province will upgrade infrastructure system, particularly traffic systems and urban zones, as well as information technology infrastructure.
With respect to mobilising resources for economic development investment, the province had VND10,806 billion in 2014, accounting for 29.17 percent of the local GRDP, of which non-state capital accounted for 72.88 percent, followed by the State sector with 24.83 percent and the FDI sector with 2.28 percent. Knowing that investment capital is a decisive factor in economic growth, quality growth and macroeconomic stability in the 2016-2020 period, the province will draw up to VND89,000 billion of investment capital from domestic and foreign economic sectors.

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