Hai Phong Boosts Business Environment Improvement

2:31:17 PM | 15/9/2016

By constantly improving the business environment and diversifying investment promotion activities, Hai Phong City has attracted considerable resources for socioeconomic development. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Le Trung Kien, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Hai Phong City, on this issue. Song Uyen reports.
Hai Phong City ranked first in the country in new investment projects attracted in the first eight months of 2016; and first out of 63 provinces and cities as of August 31, 2016. What do you think of these results?
As a transport hub of the region with important seaport, overland, inland waterway, seaway and airway traffic systems, Hai Phong City is one of a few localities in Vietnam to receive the first foreign direct investment (FDI) flow. The city attracted 31 new FDI projects with a total registered capital of US$1.86 billion in the first 8 months of 2016, ranked first among 63 provinces and cities. FDI projects in city focused on high-tech, processing, manufacturing, electronics, engineering and rare earth product. Investors from various countries and territories poured their capital into the city, including Japan and Korea and they brought with modern advanced environment-friendly technologies. Typical investors are Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Vietnam Limited Liability Company with an automobile tyre production project (US$1.224 million), NIPRO Pharma Vietnam Co.,Ltd with a drug production plant (US$250 million) and Fuji Xerox Hai Phong Co.,Ltd with a printer and photocopier production facility (US$119 million), LG Electronics Vietnam-Hai Phong (US$1.5 billion), LG Display Hai Phong (US$1.5 billion ). In addition to foreign-invested projects, the city also drew many big and reputed projects from domestic investors like Vingroup Joint Stock Company and Him Lam Group to develop tourism and commercial services, thus giving a helping hand to the city to promote economic restructuring towards service and industry.
These figures are first of all resulted from a modern synchronous infrastructure system which connects and promotes potential markets and a labour force of 20 million people in northern Vietnam. From a certain angle, these figures partly reflect the openness, liberality and determination of the city government in FDI attraction. With a very high political determination of the entire apparatus to carry out administrative reform, especially administrative procedures, and improve the investment environment, investors are pleased with the change in service, manner and working style of the administrative system. Site clearance is quick thanks to close guidance and support of local authorities. Many projects completed site clearance and land handover in a couple of weeks. Hai Phong also has abundant studious human resources for investment projects. Its preference mechanisms on reduction and exemption of corporate income tax and personal income tax for economic zones have stimulated investors to seek investment opportunities. Dinh Vu - Cat Hai Economic Zone entitled the highest incentives is attracting many investors to the city. The city is speeding up infrastructure projects in industrial zones like Dinh Vu - Cat Hai Economic Zone, Trang Due Economic Zone, VSIP, Dinh Vu IZ and industrial zones to welcome new investors.
How do you assess investment administrative reform in Hai Phong City in the spirit of Resolution 30c/NQ-CP of the Government dated November 8, 2011 and Resolution 01-NQ/TU of Hai Phong Party Committee dated November 15, 2011?
Executing Resolution 30c/NQ-CP of the Government dated November 8, 2011 on promulgation of the overall programme for State administrative reform in the 2011 - 2020 period and the Resolution 01-NQ/TU of the Hai Phong City Party Standing Committee dated November 15, 2011 on acceleration of State administrative reform in the 2011 - 2015 period, the Municipal People’s Committee issued Plan 410 dated March 30, 2012 on promoting State administrative reform in the 2011 - 2015 period. On that basis, the city also issue annual plans on administrative reform with specific goals and tasks for each level and branch. Based on decisions of the Municipal People’s Committee, municipal and local governments and agencies at all levels work out detailed and effective administrative reform contents. To date, Hai Phong City tops the nation in fulfilling the overall programme for State administrative reform of the government in the 2011 - 2020 period, combines the construction of port - urban area government model, builds a system of transparent and modern administrative bodies, and develops a professional, dedicated public personnel.
To carry out the above policy of the city, the Department of Planning and Investment advised the Municipal People’s Committee to issue many different documents concerning investment, including the proposal for reducing at least 30 per cent of time required to perform administrative procedures relating to investment, land and construction. In reality, the service time at the Department of Planning and Investment was reduced by over 40 per cent. Specifically, the granting/adjustment of business registration certificate is completed in only 2-3 days and the granting/adjustment of investment registration certificate is shortened to 7-9 days.
The department has actively reviewed, adjusted and replaced the set of administrative procedures and publicised it on the mass media, particularly administrative procedures related to enterprise establishment and investment registration certificate. Based on the set of administrative procedures issued by the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, the department has actively reviewed, adjusted and proposed the recompilation of the set of administrative procedures concerning investment and business registration to guide investors to carry out. The new set of administrative procedure is based on the principle of being easy to understand and easy to implement with clear regulations on steps, procedures and time taken for investors. Besides, the department has directed all employees responsible for carrying out administrative procedures for enterprises to regularly update new legislations to give timely advice and guidance to citizens and businesses to comply with the law. Moreover, information technology application in administrative procedures relating to investment and business has been strengthened and ISO international quality management system has been applied in State agencies. Currently, at the Department of Planning and Investment, the single-window division and specialised units have effectively applied information technology to the receipt and processing of administrative procedures on two systems - the national business registration system (applied to business registration) and the national foreign investment information system (applied to granting/modification of investment registration certification). Investors can log in their registered accounts on the systems to keep track of their documents filed to authorities. Once processed, results will be sent to their accounts.
2016 is the first year implementing the 2016-2020 medium-term plan. Would you be kind enough to tell us the major orientations and solutions in investment attraction of Hai Phong City in the next five years?
In the 2016 - 2020 period, Hai Phong City targets to achieve at an average annual GDP growth of over 10 per cent, attract VND400 trillion of investment capital, introduce eight essential tasks and solutions to speed up investment, take advantage of new opportunities of expanding domestic and international markets, promote the efficiency of utilising its advantages of economic location and modern synchronized infrastructure system, particularly seaports, airports, motorways, expressways. The city will further restructure the economy, change growth model, strive for rapid and sustainable green growth, accelerate industrialisation and modernisation, and build Hai Phong into a strong centre of highly competitive services and industries.
On that basis, Hai Phong will focus on drawing more FDI, especially from big international corporations. Priority is given to large investors and transnational corporations engaged in growth-driving sectors like tourism development in Do Son and Cat Ba; offshore fishing boat fleet and advanced seafood processing; ocean shipping fleet and maritime service development; shipbuilding and heavy engineering; international hospital, high-quality healthcare for sailors, tourists and patients with high affordability; international and regional universities; and trade, finance and banking. It will actively build feasible projects and create counterpart funds to attract official.