Ninh Binh: Destination of Success for Investors

1:24:00 PM | 22/1/2016

In the 2015-2020 period, Ninh Binh province proposed 15 primary socioeconomic development objectives and set three breakthrough directions and seven central programmes, with a focus on improving human resources quality, applying advanced science and technology, and reforming management policies and mechanisms. These are driving forces for the province to improve the business and investment environment and enhance competitiveness to attract and stimulate development resources. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Dinh Van Dien, Chairman of Ninh Binh Provincial People’s Committee, on this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.
2015 was the final year to carry out the Resolution of the 20th Ninh Binh Provincial Party Congress and the 5-year Plan from 2011 to 2015. Could you please introduce remarkable economic development results of the province in the past five years?
In the past five years, Ninh Binh has achieved significant results in economic development. Economic growth was quite high, averaging 11.7 per cent a year, and GDP in 2015 expanded 2.1 times over 2010. The share of industry and services in the economy increased. In 2015, the share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries accounted for only 12 per cent, the share of industry and construction rose to 48 per cent, and the share of services was 40 per cent.
Together with the increase of key industrial products like steel, phosphate, cement and bricks, in the past five years, the province also had many big projects go into operation like automobile manufacturing plants, fertiliser plants and electronic component plants, which helped raise industrial production value by 20.2 per cent a year. In 2015, the value of local industrial production reached VND33 trillion, 2.3 times more than in 2010.
The province had 80,000 ha of rice and 20,000 ha of vegetables and harvested 50,000 tonnes of grain a year. The agricultural sector also carried out large-area field model and stepped up cooperation. The livestock husbandry sector also had positive progress in both quality and quantity and Ninh Binh had many farm models where farming and environmental protection are promoted. New countryside construction achieved many results. Ninh Binh was in the top group of provinces successfully carrying out new countryside construction programme. Up to now, 40 communes reached new standards, accounting for 36 per cent of total communes and exceeding the target of 15 communes set for the 2011-2015 period.
Notably, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex was recognised by UNESCO as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage. The province thus had more determination to invest in infrastructure, diversify tourism products and attract tourists. In 2015, Ninh Binh welcomed 6 million visitors - double the number in 2010, including 1.2 million international visitors. Tourism revenue reached VND1,400 billion. Trading progressed, with total retail revenue of goods and services rising 18.3 per cent a year. Export turnover amounted US$850 million in 2015, more than 9 times over 2010.
Resources mobilised for development investment also increased sharply, averaging VND20.7 trillion. The share of State funds decreased while other sources of investment capital like private sector and especially FDI accelerated.
However, the province also saw shortcomings in development process like economic growth, economic restructuring, GDP per capita, investment attraction and unsustainable agricultural development. These are also what the province needs to address in the 2016-2020 period.
Could you please talk about the development directions of Ninh Binh province in the 2016-2020 period?
By clearly defining its advantages and disadvantages, Ninh Binh province set 15 primary socioeconomic development goals for the 2016 - 2020 period, including the average economic growth of over 8.0 per cent, total social investment capital of VND22 trillion a year, GDP per capita of VND77 million in 2020, tax revenue of VND6 trillion, export revenue of US$1.5 billion, and tourism revenue of VND3 trillion. By 2020, its economy will be constituted by 48 per cent industry and construction, 42 per cent service, and 10 per cent agriculture, forestry and fishery.
To accomplish these goals, Ninh Binh province defined three key tasks: (i) Developing synchronous infrastructure and improving the quality and efficiency of travel services; (ii) issuing management mechanisms, reforming administration, and attracting investment, and (iii) training and retraining human resources.
The province also introduced seven key programmes as follows.
(1) Developing synchronous infrastructure; building and managing approved plans, investing in infrastructure of industrial zones and industrial clusters, developing clean and high-tech industries, boosting exports and attracting investment;
(2) Building a new countryside; developing comprehensive commercial agriculture; protecting the ecological environment;
(3) Developing tourism services, diversifying and improving the quality of products and services; promoting cultural roles, upholding a civilised, elegant, friendly and hospitable lifestyle, ensuring social security, and reducing poverty in a sustainable manner;
(4) Promoting administrative reform, clearly defining responsibilities of every unit towards administrative procedures, advancing publicity and transparency of administrative processes and procedures to create favourable conditions for citizens and businesses;
(5) Improving the quality of human resources, gradually creating high-quality human resources; enhancing roles and responsibilities of the head of executive and administrative committees and civil servants in performing duties;
(6) Building up strong local armed forces; strengthening national defence, maintaining political security, social order and safety; improving the quality of self-governed movements;
(7) Building clean and strong Party cells, authorities, Fatherland Front, political and social organisations.
On September 16, 2014, the Ninh Binh Provincial People’s Committee issued Decision 721/QD-UBND on the formation of the Industrial Economic Development Board. How is the performance of the Industrial Economic Development Board where you are the chairman?
In more than one year since it was founded, the Industrial Economic Development Board has quickly completed the personnel apparatus, assigned tasks and missions to every employee, and built and issued working regulations. The board has also strengthened investment promotion activities such as building friendship ties between Ninh Binh province and Assan in South Korea; sending officials to South Korea, Germany and India to work with partners; working with business entities from Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and South Korean like Hyundai, Cais Electronics, Queen Art and Clean Air Tech.
The board has also worked with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Industrial Policy and Strategy Institute (IPSI) and the Heavy Industry Department on investment policies and incentives; proposed appropriate incentives to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to add to decrees which will be submitted to the Government for approval. After more than one year of operation, the board has achieved initial results and paved the way for local industrial development in the present and in the future.
Improving the business environment and enhancing the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) are serious efforts for Ninh Binh province and it has produced remarkable successes. Would you mind talking more about this?
In the past years, the Provincial People’s Committee has focused on guiding agencies, units and localities to concentrate on major measures with the purpose of improving the investment and business climate and enhancing competitiveness. The province has effectively carried out business support policies, adopted the fast-track single-window to administrative procedures, and listened and resolved difficulties and problems against businesses. The province has also issued many mechanisms and policies to encourage investment in industrial zones, tourism resorts and service areas and stimulate exports.
Thus, the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) of Ninh Binh province has been increasingly improved, particularly ranked 11th out of 63 provinces and cities in 2014. This is an important indicator for provincial authorities to identify its strengths and weaknesses needed to be improved. Criteria of transparency and accountability, administrative procedure reform, proactiveness of and pioneering of provincial leadership, market access and labour training are high. This is one of important factors that Ninh Binh has done to improve its more flexible and attractive business and investment environment.
On the occasion of New Year 2016, do you have any message to investors?
Ninh Binh is integrating and sustainable is the message the province wants to send to all investors. We sincerely invite and stand ready to cooperate with all investors interested in tapping potential, advantages and material and humanistic values of the historical ancient capital of Hoa Lu. Continuing with changes in thinking and action and reforming administrative procedures, Ninh Binh always accompanies to provide best conditions and incentives for investors to make success in business. For us, those successes are the measure of the most compelling values for the development of Ninh Binh province.