Tra Vinh Proactively Enhancing Economic Competitiveness

11:20:25 PM | 7/5/2015

After five years of implementing the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress of Tra Vinh (2010-2015 term), Tra Vinh province has witnessed a lot of changes, featured by higher proportion of industry and more developed urban and rural areas. Mr Dong Van Lam, Chairman of the Tra Vinh Provincial People's Committee, said, “From these successes, Tra Vinh is focusing its efforts on economic restructuring, with emphasis placed on the development of key economic sectors to spur breakthrough growth and enhance economic competitiveness." Minh Kiet reports.
Could you tell us the outstanding achievements Tra Vinh province has attained in the 2010 - 2015 term?
The Resolution of the 9th Provincial Party Congress was enforced when domestic and world economies are volatile. However, the Party, the government, army and people of Tra Vinh province have promoted unity and initiative to overcome difficulties to realise the Resolution and achieve very important results like good economic growth and right-track economic restructuring. The province’s policies and mechanisms have been gradually perfected and generated effective effects. Local potential has been unlocked to meet socioeconomic development requirements. Specifically, the annual economic growth rate averaged 12.21 percent in the 2010 - 2015 period. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contributed a decreased proportion to the local economy, while industry and services accounted for higher proportions. GDP per capita was VND25 million in 2013 and estimated VND30.7 million in 2015.
All locally advantageous sectors witnessed steady growth. Total production was estimated at 6.313 million tonnes in five years. Fishery sector was projected to climb 9.94 percent a year in five years. The value of industrial and handicraft production expanded 15.52 percent a year on average. Trade - service sector went up 16.13 percent a year. Export revenue was forecast at US$370 million in 2015, up to 23.3 percent higher than the plan.
Total mobilised capital was estimated at VND76,600 billion in the 2010-2015 period, an increase of three times over the previous five-year stage. New investment projects added more production capacity and upgrade socioeconomic infrastructure for development.
Domestic and foreign investment increased year after year, with more and more fields to receive investment capital. In the 2010 - 2015, the province attracted 50 projects, including 13 FDI projects, with a total investment capital of VND66,549.34 billion and US$84.88 million, totalling 134 projects thus far, including 30 FDI projects, with investment capital of VND70,559.4 billion and US$188.84 million.
The province also saw significant progress in culture, education and health. Poverty alleviation was carried out synchronously and effectively, and the poverty rate was brought to 10 percent. National security and defence were upheld.
Public administration reform is considered a key to sustainable and efficient economic development. So, did the province make any headway in public administration reform in the past five years (2010-2015)?
Public administration reform was one of the key tasks that the Tra Vinh Provincial People's Committee closely directed all bodies concerned to firmly implement. Particularly, the province streamlined administrative apparatus to boost operational efficiency. It merged and split units and modified, supplemented and announced 138 new administrative procedures.
To modernise the administration, all eight districts and cities installed modern equipment at citizen reception units, used Microsoft Office 2010, and applied ISO9001: 2008 quality management system. Regarding public administration reform, 36 provincial-level administrative units and 148 district-level units apply self-financing and self-employment operations in accordance with the Decree 130/2005/ND-CP and 129 provincial-level units and 253 district-level units implemented the Decree 43/2006/ND-CP. Besides, the province focused on public relations and effectively settled complaints and denunciations.
To bring administrative reform to life, improve the investment environment, reduce troubles and create favourable conditions for businesses and citizens, the province will continue to review current regulations that hinder investment and business activities to propose for repeal or abolition, and arrange procedures into one place of service. In addition to applying information technology to reception and settlement of administrative procedures under single-window mechanism, the province will also focus on improving the quality of M-Office electronic office system and TCVN, ISO9001:2008 quality management system in administrative units. Furthermore, Tra Vinh province will step up measures to improve and raise the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and Provincial Economic Integration Index (PEII).
Would you mind telling us the progress of national key projects invested in the province, as well as the role and importance of these projects to local socioeconomic development?
Tra Vinh has received some big projects from the Central Government that have important impacts on socioeconomic development of the province and the entire Mekong Delta. Three typical projects are Duyen Hai Power Centre, Co Chien Bridge, and a passageway for big ships into Hau River
The 4,400-MW Duyen Hai Power Centre is a very big important power station that supplies electricity to Tra Vinh province and the Mekong Delta region from 2015. Duyen Hai 1 Thermal Power Plant was built in 2010 and inaugurated on December 13, 2014. The first turbine of the plant has completed the first burning stage and prepared for test-run. Duyen Hai 3 Thermal Power Plant was kicked off in December 2012 and the expanded facility was started on December 13, 2014. The feeding seaport for Duyen Hai Power Centre, capable of handling 12 million tonnes of coal and 100,000 tonnes of oil a year, was commenced April 2013 and expected to be completed in 32 months.
The passageway for heavy-load ships into the Hau River was built in December 2009. Upon its completion, the project will serve ships of 10,000-20,000 tonnes into ports on the Hau River and handle 21-22 million tonnes of cargo year, meeting 80 percent imports and exports in the Mekong Delta region. However, due to financial difficulty, the project was delayed and rescheduled after 2015. But, given its importance and urgency, the law-making National Assembly allocates money, sourced from government bonds in 2014 -2016, to restart the project. The project is expected to be completed in late 2015.
Co Chien Bridge plays a very important role in economic development in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces in particular and the Mekong Delta in general. Once completed, the project will link Tra Vinh province with Soc Trang province, shortening travel distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Tra Vinh province. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Agriculture and fisheries are considered key economic sectors of Tra Vinh. How is Tra Vinh province developing these sectors to restructure the economy?
As agriculture and fisheries are defined drivers to local economic development, Tra Vinh province targets to develop a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable agriculture towards commerciality, productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness. Currently, the province has developed and implemented an agricultural restructuring scheme to increase value and sustain development; deploy large-sample farming production models, effectively carry out 50,000 ha of high-quality rice, develop intensive-farming zones, and apply VietGAP standards to agricultural production.
The province has also improved the efficiency of seedling centres and aquatic breeding centres to supply seeds, livestock and aquatic creatures for local farmers, upgraded offshore fishing boats, and set up commercial fishing groups and logistic service providers. Besides, the province has prioritised and encouraged scientific and technological progress to agriculture and fisheries and introduced preferential policies to encourage investment into agriculture and fishery.