Hai Phong City Committed to Closer Partnership with Investors

5:16:03 PM | 22/1/2019

Thanks to innovation, dynamics, and creativity, Hai Phong City has obtained breakthrough and comprehensive development with a high economic growth rate. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, Vice Chairman of Hai Phong City People's Committee, on the achievements in 2018 and the development direction in 2019.

In 2018, Hai Phong City had a breakthrough in socio-economic development, which was greatly attributed to the business community. Could you give more details about the highlighted achievements?
In 2018, Hai Phong City continued to affirm that it is the bright spot of the country on socio-economic development with Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth estimated at 16.25%, 2.3 times that of the national average, reflecting the breakthrough of its economic development. The index of industrial production (IIP) is estimated to increase 25.01% (the whole year plan is 22%). Export turnover is estimated at US$8.19 billion, up 25.55% (the whole year plan is 22-23%). Social investment capital is VND96,435.9 billion (US$4.1 billion), up 28.08%, equal to 117.46% of the plan. The throughput of the port is estimated at 109 million tons, up 18.43%, equaling 101.88% of the plan. The number of tourists is estimated at 7.79 million, up 16.18%, exceeding the target of the 5-year plan of 2016-2020 of 7.5 million visitors. Domestic revenue is estimated at VND24,365.6 billion (US$1.05 billion), up 11.88% compared to the same period of 2017, equal to 107% of the estimate assigned by the Party Central Committee. The foreign direct investment (FDI) reached US$2.4 billion, twice that of 2018 plan and 152.8% higher than 2017, and created 54,500 jobs.

The above results are importantly attributed to investors, large economic groups in the country as well as small and medium enterprises in the city. Thanks to an attractive investment environment, in 3 years (2016, 2017 and 2018), Hai Phong City has attracted 78 domestic investment projects with a total investment of nearly VND60,000 billion US$2.6 billion) and 11 projects to increase capital of over VND38,000 billion (US$1.6 billion), focusing on areas such as housing, tourism, industry, transportation and agriculture. Some significant projects are Vinfast Automobile Factory project of Vingroup with a total investment of VND7,337 billion; project of infrastructure development of industrial parks and non-tariff areas of Xuan Cau in Cat Hai district, invested by Xuan Cau - Lach Huyen Investment Joint Stock Company with an investment capital of more than VND14,162 billion; and project of two container terminals No. 3 and 4 of Hai Phong international gateway port in Lach Huyen invested by Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company with an investment of VND6,946 billion. In the coming time, when the projects are completed and operated, they will contribute to the socio-economic growth of the city.

In 2017, the PCI of Hai Phong City increased 5.05 points (from 60.10 points to 65.15 points), ranking 9th out of 63 provinces and cities. This is its highest ranking ever. What do you share about this result?
In order to secure the Top 10 PCI nationwide, Hai Phong City has implemented many synchronous solutions. From 2016 to 2018, the city focused on "Improving the investment and business environment" and issued many documents on the city's business and investment environment improvement and implemented the Government's Resolution 19 from 2015 to 2018; issued plans to implement the Government's Resolution 35 to support enterprises including Plan 171/KH-UBND dated August 22, 2017, Plan 183/KH-UBND dated August 7, 2018 on improving the competitiveness index (PCI) of Hai Phong City in the period of 2017 - 2018 and 2018-2019.

Moreover, from 2012 to now, Hai Phong City has issued and implemented many mechanisms and policies to mobilize investment capital to develop infrastructure systems. Every year, the city makes a list of key projects and allocates investment capital from the State budget to these key projects and works of the city, with a focus on technical infrastructure which has a great impact on the socio-economic development of the city and the whole region such as: Hanoi - Hai Phong highway; Tan Vu - Lach Huyen highway; some infrastructure projects of Dinh Vu - Cat Hai economic zone; Hai Phong international gateway port; infrastructure of industrial parks and clusters; investment on construction and expansion of Cat Bi international airport. The city also promotes mobilization of partners and donors to continue to provide ODA to develop infrastructure, especially big projects such as urban transport development; drainage of rainwater, wastewater and solid waste treatment of the city; and expansion of Hai Phong City water supply system in the phase 2.

In addition, the city promotes administrative reforms, builds e-government, and increases the rate of public administrative service delivery to levels 3 and 4. At the same time, the city is strengthening the implementation of connecting domestic enterprises with foreign-invested enterprises to deeply integrate with the international market.

Since the third quarter of 2016, the city has held a monthly business dialogue conference to resolve petitions of enterprises. From September 2016 to present, the City People's Committee has successfully organized 25 monthly business conferences and dialogues; thereby, addressing 173 out of 261 petitions completely (accounting for 66.28%). The city has actively implemented policies to support small and medium enterprises under the Law on Small and Medium Enterprise Support, effective from January 1, 2018. The businesses are supported to improve their management capacity through business start-up and corporate governance courses.

On the occasion of welcoming Lunar New Year 2019, what message does Hai Phong send to the business community in the area?
2019 is a breakthrough year for the city to strive to successfully complete the socio-economic development plan for 2016 - 2020 of the Resolution of the City Party Congress XV. The city has identified 2019 as the year of continued breakthrough development with the estimated gross domestic product (GRDP) growth of 15.5% or more compared to that of 2018.

Promoting the results achieved in 2016-2018, the city has selected the action theme for 2019: "Enhance budget revenue and expenditure discipline; promote improvement of business investment environment." This is also the commitment of the city to investors as well as the business community in the locality.

In order to improve the business and investment environment, the city will focus on directing the implementation of some tasks and solutions as follows:

Improve the quality of plans of socio-economic development and urban development as a basis for building and attracting investment projects.

Continue to promote administrative reform and electronic government building. Reform administrative procedures, enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of State management, particularly in the areas of taxation, customs, state treasury, social security, minimize inspections, check and audit the overlapping and strictly handle the negative acts, violating laws, harassing people and businesses. Effectively implement the monthly business dialogue conference to resolve business proposals.

Enhance the transparency and access to information of enterprises.

Strengthen the connection of small and medium enterprises with large enterprises, foreign-invested enterprises, develop a contingent of dynamic businesses, entrepreneurs, and integrate into the international market.
Actively implement policies to support small and medium enterprises under the Law on Small and Medium Enterprises Support, effective from Jan 1, 2018.

Develop human resources, especially high quality human resources; closely link human resource development with science and technology development and application. Incorporate training in scientific research, technology transfer, and start-up.

Step up the building of a synchronous socio-economic infrastructure system with a number of modern and environmentally friendly projects. Mobilize a lot of resources to invest in building infrastructure and urban development systems; focus on investing in large and essential projects, spreading development among sectors, fields and localities, especially in areas with potential for development, and solving congestion and overload.

Thank you very much!