Can Tho City: Economic Restructuring and Growth Quality Improvement

10:18:31 AM | 6/6/2019

After three years enforcing the Resolution of the 13th Can Tho City Party Congress and carrying out the 5-year Plan in 2016 - 2020, the Party, the government and people of Can Tho City have adopted many consistent and effective guidelines and solutions based on local practical situations; endeavored to achieve important and comprehensive development in all fields. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Pham Van Hieu, Chairman of the City People's Council. Hoang Lam reports.

Could you please tell more about outstanding socioeconomic development achievements of Can Tho City in the last three years?

In the past three years, the city's gross regional domestic product (GRDP) was as high as 7.56% per year. GRDP per capita reached VND80.4 million, an increase of VND 21.4 million over 2015. The economy continued to shift toward a desired pattern in the order of trade, service, industry and agriculture. State budget revenue reached and exceeded annually assigned estimates. The index of industrial production (IIP) expanded over 7.2% a year, with the incremented value rising by 8.74% a year on average. Total retail and service revenue increased from VND81,248 billion (in 2015) to over VND120,500 billion (in 2018), representing an average annual growth of 14%. The export value of goods and services in foreign currencies grew by an average of 28.9% annually. The import value was estimated at US$1.35 billion, up 10.9% a year on average.

Tourist arrivals increased year by year, from 4.7 million visitors in 2015 to over 8 million visitors in 2018. The number of tourists staying overnight rose from 1.62 million in 2015 to 2.45 million in 2018, an average increase of 15% a year. Total tourism revenue grew sharply by 28% a year on average.

Agricultural production gradually developed, driven by industrialized farming, high-tech agriculture, urban agriculture and organic agriculture. Local agriculture was firmly focused on commercial production, crops and livestock diversification, biotech application, and formation of raw input areas to make high-quality goods.

In addition, the city concentrated on directing administrative reform, significantly improving the business and investment environment, and enhancing business support activities. As a result, investment capital attracted into industrial parks has been increased, with more projects and higher investment value year by year. By the end of 2018, Can Tho City had 442 non-State funded investment projects with a total registered capital of nearly VND80,000 billion. Investment capital sources increased, especially from non-state economic sectors. The total social investment capital was estimated at VND156,332 billion, rising 11.8% a year on average.

The urban face has become more and more prosperous. Many residential projects, housing projects, urban development projects, trade centers, and urban upgrading projects were invested and constructed toward modernity, helping raise the environment and livelihood of local people. In particular, the National Target Program on New Countryside Construction in 36 rural communes continued to be implemented synchronously, actively and extensively. To date, 33 out of 36 communes and two rural districts have met new countryside standards.

The cultural and social sector continued to grow and achieve many important results. Education quality at all levels and grades and schooling rate continues to increase. The quality of health services and public healthcare was further improved. Social security, employment, poverty reduction policies were ensured. By the end of 2018, the poverty rate fell to 1.53%, an average annualized decrease of 1.19%.

At the Can Tho Investment Promotion Conference in 2018, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed, “Can Tho has the potential to become a desirable living city”. So, to translate this potential into reality and make Can Tho a river city and an ecological urban city worth living in, what solutions will the city focus on?

To become an ecological river city that is worth living in, Can Tho City focuses on promoting synergized strength of political system, solidarity, dynamism and creativity of the Party Committee, government and people in carrying out of political tasks. The city continues to effectively speed up economic restructuring, improve growth, competitiveness and international integration. The city aligns economic growth with cultural development, comprehensive people development, democratic progress, social justice, environmental protection and response to climate change for sustainable development.

The Party Committee and the government of the city will also direct strong policy and institutional reforms; carry out administrative reform and synchronously deploy solutions for better investment and business environment to ensure openness, equality, transparency and friendliness in order to create the most favorable conditions for investment attraction and business development. At the same time, the city continues to direct the construction and deployment of specific programs, plans and projects of high feasibility with appropriate roadmaps; clearly define the focus, focal point, breakthrough stage and priority of investment to match local conditions and practical situations. The city continues to strengthen Party construction, build a strong political system, promote the role and responsibility agency leaders; and consolidate determination and effort for successful delivery of assigned tasks.

Can Tho City is reportedly speeding up the delivery of its targets set in the Resolution of the 13th City Party Congress in 2019. So, what are core directions of the Standing Board and the Executive Board of the Municipal Party Committee to make 2019 another banner year of success for Can Tho City?

This year, Can Tho City will continue to consistently implement tasks and solutions as per the Resolution of the 13th Municipal Party Congress to sustain its achieved targets; drastically carry out some new tasks and solutions to accomplish all set targets in 2019 and 2020 - the last year of fulfilling the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress. In particular, the City has focused on promoting economic restructuring, changing growth model, regarding quality, productivity, efficiency and competitiveness as top priorities; and developing the knowledge economy based on the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution. The city has reinforced cooperation and connectivity with Mekong Delta provinces and key economic zones and promoted the leading role of a centrally run city in socioeconomic development.

Can Tho City has stepped up trade promotion, developed markets and implemented regional and sub-regional links to take advantage of every opportunity to tap local potential and advantages for rapid and sustainable economic development. It has robustly reshuffled and reorganized large-scale production in value chains to tap local advantages and market demand, and adapt to climate change.

In addition to the rapid and synchronous development of socioeconomic infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure, to meet local development requirements and regional connectivity, Can Tho will also speed up socialization and mobilize investment resources for the development of education - training, science - technology, health care, culture, sport and environment; constantly improve the material and spiritual life of the people in line with maintaining political and social security and order to meet development objectives.

Thank you very much!