Bac Lieu Committed to Accompanying Businesses

5:04:38 PM | 19/8/2015

With abundant potential for economic development, Bac Lieu has endeavoured to create the most favourable conditions for investors to do business in the province. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Le Minh Khai, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee. Hoang Ngoc reports.
Could you please tell us about some of the remarkable socioeconomic development achievements of Bac Lieu province in recent years?
Complex economic developments in recent years have posed numerous challenges to the province’s socioeconomic development. But, the province has witnessed remarkable economic growth and guaranteed social welfare and national security. Annual GDP growth averaged 12 percent. The economic structure has shifted towards the desired pattern where the share of industries and services in GDP increased. All fields and branches have expanded, resulting in an increase in the economic size. Some driving projects with strong impact on socioeconomic development have been set up. Spiritual and material life of people has been significantly improved. GRDP per capita was VND39.33 million in 2014.
Besides, all tiers of government pay special attention to cultural and social development and achieve important results. Every year, the province generates jobs for over 20,000 people at working age. In 2014, trained labourers accounted for 43.8 percent of the workforce. Poverty reduction and implementation of social welfare policies are of particular interest. In the past four years, the province has mobilised over VND653 billion for the "Fund for the Poor and Social Security", thus helping reduce the poverty rate by 2.5 - 3 percent a year. The poverty rate was 4.48 percent in 2014. Such fields as health, education and new countryside construction attained good results and produced positive changes.
Facing heavy drag from the downturn, what measures has Bac Lieu province applied to uphold economic growth pace?
To maintain high economic growth, the province has focused on some tasks and solutions like perfecting overall socioeconomic development planning, sector development planning and product development planning to 2020, with a vision to 2030, in order to create a solid legal basis for attracting investment into advantageous fields and taking specific steps in selecting investment-prioritised projects.
The province firmly focused on restructuring industrial production, carrying out big projects with strong spill-over impacts on the province like Ganh Hao Seaport, wind-to-power plants, industrial zones, textile mills, commercial centres and tourist zones, encouraging investment into modern technologies for seafood and agricultural product processing plants, diversifying products, and improving the added value of exports.
The province sped up technical infrastructure investment for 15,000 ha of shrimp farms, built and expanded new effective farming models to ensure quality and enhance competitiveness, and encouraged the farming of fish of high sustainable economic value.
The province effectively carried out agricultural restructuring, expanded large-field farming models, encouraged effective business cooperation and production models, raised product quality and effect, and sought consumption markets. It has gradually modernised agriculture and rural areas, and attracted investment capital for applying science and technology to agricultural production to enhance the quality, effect and competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
Bac Lieu strongly developed tourism, especially religious tourism, turning the sector into a spearhead economic sector of the province and a breakthrough facilitator for economic development. The province also actively called economic sectors to invest in tourism projects and build markets, trade centres and supermarkets to raise the quality of services and serve production activities and people's livelihoods.
Bac Lieu province has rich potential and advantages for marine economic development. How has the province utilised these advantages?
Bac Lieu is one of 28 provinces and cities with marine economic potential. The province has a natural area of 2,468.72 square kilometres and a littoral surface area of 102.22 square kilometres. With mild weather, flat terrain and thick population density in estuaries, the province can form coastal residences. The distance from National Highway 1A ranges from 10 km to 30 km. With a coastline of 56 km and an exclusive marine economic zone of 20,742-square kilometres with abundant seafood resources, Bac Lieu can catch marine creatures throughout the year and develop fishing logistics. It has many estuaries, canals and rivers flowing into the sea like Nha Mat, Chua Phat, Cai Cung and Ganh Hao. Hence, the province has favourable conditions for socioeconomic development, especially marine economic development, international cooperation expansion, defence and security protection.
Being aware of the important role of marine economic development, Resolution 04-NQ/TW of the Provincial Party Committee dated April 24, 2012 defines “Striving to make Bac Lieu a province with a strong marine economy and to get riches from the sea, ensuring national defence and security, social order and safety on the exclusive economic zone and the southern region of National Road 1A.” Marine economic development is both an objective and a key task of the province.
More than ever, businesses play more important roles in the economy. However, they faced numerous difficulties and challenges in the time of economic downturn. How has Bac Lieu province helped local businesses to cope with difficulties?
With a view to accompanying and supporting businesses, the province regularly organises seminars, meetings and dialogues between Party and government leaders with businesses and investors to learn about their opinions, feelings and aspirations to better help them solve problems, overcome challenges, and secure business production.
With a view to accompanying and supporting businesses, the province regularly organises seminars, meetings and dialogues between Party and government leaders with businesses and investors to learn about their opinions, feelings and aspirations to better help them solve problems, overcome challenges, and secure business production.
The province at all times directs the banking sector to streamline lending processes and procedures, on the condition of capital security and legal compliance, for capital-thirsty businesses with development prospects and marketable products to borrow money to fund their production and business operations. The tax sector considers tax exemption and reduction for financially troubled companies to help them continue production and business operations.
As a provincial leader, do you have any message for domestic and foreign businesses and investors doing business in Bac Lieu?
Society always respects and honours entrepreneurs and enterprises as they are an inevitable force of socioeconomic development. In the spirit of “What is easy, it is for businesses; what is hard, that is for State agencies”, provincial and local authorities always pay attention to business operations of enterprises and provide the most favourable conditions for them to invest in Bac Lieu.
Businesses and investors in Bac Lieu make efforts to overcome difficulties, cooperate and support each other for co-existence and mutual development. They need long-term development strategies and good business cooperation with foreign partners to add their strength and competitiveness. All tiers of Bac Lieu province government will always accompany and share difficulties with enterprises and provide the most favourable conditions for them, so as to win their trust and raise its competitiveness index in relation to other localities in the country.