Nghe An in Close Cooperation with Investors

3:45:14 PM | 21/2/2019

An invitation to a reliable and loyal partnership was delivered by the government of Nghe An province to investors at the annual New Year meeting, an initiative to unite authorities, businesses and banks. Ahead of the 11th Meeting with Investors Conference 2019, the Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Thai Thanh Quy, Chairman of the Nghe An Provincial People’s Committee, on this issue.

Could you briefly introduce important development milestones of Nghe An province in 2018?
2018 was not only a banner year to complete the 5-year development plan from 2016 to 2020, but also marked the 5-year implementation of the Politburo’s Resolution 26-NQ/TW on Nghe An development tasks to 2020. Therefore, right from the start of the year, the Provincial People’s Committee aggressively requested provincial departments and localities to implement tasks and solutions to this effect, worked out quarterly growth scenarios, and established working groups to speed up the process. With the involvement of the entire political system, the effort of the business community and the people, Nghe An obtained many important and comprehensive achievements, with all 27 major indicators reaching and exceeding the targets. Specifically, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanded 8.77% (with the target of 8.5-9%), higher than the country’s average. GRDP per capita reached VND38 million. Budget revenue rose 9.4% to VND13,936 billion.

Despite hardships, agricultural production still grew 5.09% year on year, the highest rate for years. Agricultural restructuring was further advanced. The province harvested 1.23 million tons of food grains, 225,000 tons of meat, 580,000 cubic meters of timber. The new countryside construction movement strongly improved, with 37 communes meeting new countryside standards (higher than the plan of 27 communes), bringing the total certified communes to 218. Three district-level units met new countryside standards.

Industrial output climbed 20.92% year on year. The output of some key products also surged, for example fresh milk growing by 24.29%, yogurt by 37.03%, sugar by 30.56%, cement by 79.05%, hot rolled steel by 44.54% and corrugated iron sheet by 36.71%.

Social investment fund increased by 12.9% over a year earlier to VND70 trillion. Many key projects were sped up, including Cau Hieu 2 Bridge, Northern Vinh Bus Station, Pier 5 at Cua Lo Port, Vinh - Cua Lo Road, and Vinh International Airport.

The trade and service sector performed well. Total retail sales increased 12.99% to VND55,853 billion; service revenue (except accommodation, catering and travel services) was up 12.7% to VND5,719 billion; accommodation, catering and travel revenue climbed 13.34% to VND8,654 billion; and export value looked up 5.85% to US$1.05 billion. Tourist arrivals reached over 4.29 million, up 11.5% year on year. Deposits mobilized by credit institutions valued VND123,552 billion, up 15%; and outstanding loans reached VND192,327 billion, up 15.2%.

The investment and business climate continued to improve. Investment promotion activities were more effective. In 2018, the province licensed 114 new projects with a total registered capital of VND9,119 billion and allowed eight existing projects to add VND1,279 billion. Nghe An had 1,907 new enterprises with VND10,496 billion registered capital, or VND5.5 billion per enterprise. The province had 19,708 enterprises in total.

The cultural and social fields continued to make good progress. Nghe An province continued to lead the country in the number of students winning high prizes in national, regional and international contests. The province created 37,650 new jobs, of which 13,655 were sent to work overseas. The poverty rate was expected to fall to 5.54% by the end of 2018. In 2018, Nghe An also successfully organized cultural, arts and sports activities to celebrate major holidays and political events such as Sen Village Festival, the 128th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's birthday, and 50th anniversary of Truong Bon victory.

State administration and administrative reform also made headway. The deployment of online public services and the application of information technology to administration forged ahead. Nghe An province’s Public Administration Reform Index ranked 31st out of 63 provinces and cities, seven places higher than in 2016. Its Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) ranked 21st nationwide and 1st in North Central region.

What are major goals of Nghe An province for 2019? What are central tasks of all-tier authorities?
Anticipating advantages and difficulties in 2019, Nghe An province targets to achieve a GRDP growth of 9.0 - 9.5%, an export value of US$1.09 billion, total development investment fund of VND74 - 75 trillion, GRDP per capita of VND42 - 43 million, 27 more communes to be certified new countryside standards, 37,000 - 38,000 new jobs, and a poverty rate of below 4%.

To successfully accomplish the above objectives, the province will carry out consistent measures, focusing on the following tasks and solutions:
Firstly, strongly improving the investment environment, the business environment and the competitiveness index; promoting foreign relations and changing innovation activities, attracting investment capital and carrying out solutions and activities to tackle hardships against enterprises and investors, particularly in documents and procedures for ground clearance for key projects.

Secondly, accelerating economic restructuring to enhance quality, efficiency and competitiveness, speeding up growth and economic restructuring; focusing on directing five key points and three key areas in economic development; effectively carrying out development plans and building Nghe An development Plan in 2021 - 2030; proactively building provincial socioeconomic development plan for the 2021 - 2030 period in line with the national development strategy.

Thirdly, mobilizing and effectively using resources, focusing on development investment, promoting economic growth; mobilizing investment resources, especially non-State resources for infrastructure development; prioritizing investment in large traffic and urban infrastructure projects and traffic projects; speeding up the construction of key projects; strengthening financial and budgetary discipline, practicing thrift and fighting against waste; restructuring the state budget and public debt towards safety and sustainability, increasing the share of development investment expenditures.

Fourthly, effectively managing natural resources, environmental protection, natural disaster prevention and adaptation to climate change; appraising mineral reserves, auctioning mineral rights and auctioning land use rights; considering minimizing new licensing and strictly handling illegal exploitation of natural resources and minerals; improving the efficiency of using land resources; studying and calculating some specific principles, criteria and regulations on the scale of land area for investment projects to ensure rationality, effectiveness and economy of land resources.

Fifthly, accelerating administrative reform; reshuffling administrative apparatus; strengthening discipline; improving the effectiveness and efficiency of State management; seriously fulfilling resolutions of central authorities and the Politburo on renewing and reorganizing the apparatus, streamlining the staff, and restructuring the contingent of public employees and officials; stepping up public inspection; drastically reviewing, simplifying and reducing administrative procedures and business conditions; resolutely handling cases of harassing by civil servants and officials; improving public service and strengthening inspection and examination of administrative discipline.

2019 marks the 11th edition of the Meeting with Investors Conference. Would you share some remarkable outcomes of this event over the past 10 years?
The New Year Investor Meeting 2019 is the 11th straight year Nghe An province has cooperated with the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) to open the this meeting in order to form a tripartite investment forum consisting of authorities, investors and banks to gather the strengths and support investment and socioeconomic development in the province.

The past 10 years witnessed the biggest investment flow into Nghe An province with over 1,100 licensed projects. At the past 10 gatherings, Nghe An province signed 119 investment cooperation agreements for 119 projects with a combined registered capital of VND186,548 billion, granted investment certificates to 41 projects right at the meetings. In the upcoming meeting for 2019, the Year of the Pig, the province will grant six certificates to investment projects, sign 13 memorandums of understanding on investment, call investment capital for 13 projects and kick off/inaugurate three projects.

To date, many projects have been put into effective operation, including the US$1.2 billion cow farming and dairy processing project invested by TH Group, the VND2,423 billion 520-ha greenhouse vegetable and flower cultivation project, the VND1,896 billion Nghe An Wood Factory, the US$15.2-million VSIP Nghe An Industrial, Urban and Service Area, the VND900-billion Vinpearl Cua Hoi Resort, the US$1 billion WHA Hemaraj Industrial Park, and the VND1,200 billion Northern Nghe An Food Industry Center.

On this occasion, what message or commitment would you like to deliver to partners and investors?
The Meeting with Investors Conference this year takes place in the context of the whole country celebrating the 50th anniversary of carrying out President Ho Chi Minh's will, and also the 50th anniversary of his sending the last letter to the Provincial Party Committee and local people (July 21, 1969) wishing Nghe An to soon become one of the best provinces in the North. Therefore, in 2019 and the years to come, the Party, government and people of Nghe An province will continue their efforts to strive not only to fulfill the objectives and tasks set out in the Resolution of the 18th Provincial Party Congress (term 2015-2020); but also to carry out the direction and suggestion made by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the last meeting: Nghe An must work to double the size of its economy in the next five years, to become a prosperous province by 2025, and to turn "Aspiration of the Lam River” into “the Lam River of Miracle".

In order to make Nghe An really an ideal destination, we have been improving the investment and business environment and providing favorable conditions for businesses. The government of Nghe An province is committed to working closely together with businesses and investors in the province. All difficulties and obstacles in administrative procedures in the investment field are handled in the shortest time.

At this meeting, we welcome more comments on how to do better in the future. We expect to build Nghe An into a center of finance, trade, tourism, education - training, science - technology, health, culture, sports and high-tech industry of the North Central Region as stated in Resolution 26- NQ/TW of the Politburo on Nghe An development directions and tasks to 2020.

Thank you very much!