From a purely agricultural province with a very low development starting point, in over 30 years since re-establishment, Quang Ngai province has reaped a wealth of encouraging achievements. The most prominent is the successful construction of Dung Quat Economic Zone, a growth nucleus and a driving force of the provincial development, focusing on petrochemical refining industry. According to Chairman of Quang Ngai Provincial People's Committee, Mr. Tran Ngoc Cang, the achievements are very valuable but responsibilities in the future are also greater. Cong Luan reports.
What remarkable achievements has Quang Ngai province strived to obtain since its re-establishment 30 years ago?
In the past three decades, the scale and structure of the province's economy has undergone huge changes, especially after the Dung Quat Oil Refinery came into operation in 2009. The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) was estimated at VND54,906 billion in 2019, an increase of 19.5 times over that in 1989, with agriculture, forestry and fisheries expanding by 5.02 times; industry and construction by 132.85 times; and services by more than 21.97 times. From a purely agricultural economy where agriculture, forestry and fishery dominated in the 1990s, the province’s economy has shifted significantly towards a higher share of industry and services. In 2019, the share of industry and construction rose to 53.01%, the share of services expanded to 29.83% and the share of agriculture, forestry and fishery declined to 17.16%. Per capita income increased significantly, from VND909,000 per month in 2010 to VND2.8 million per month in 2018. The province’s budget revenue has grown gradually over time, especially after the refinery went into operation. In 2019, the budget revenue was estimated at VND20,000 billion, 1,227 times higher than that in 1989.
Agriculture has developed stably to ensure food demand and gradually form raw material areas for processing industries. The value of agricultural, forestry and fishery production in 2019 was projected at VND15,904 billion, 5.02 times higher than that in 1989, or an annualized growth of 5.5%.
The industry has made a lot of breakthroughs and booms. In 2019, the industrial production value was projected at VND124,870 billion, nearly 207 times higher than the first year after provincial re-establishment, and rising 19.5% a year on average. In 2009, when Dung Quat Petrochemical Refinery came into operation, it created a breakthrough and played a key role in the local industry. Up to now, the province is home to nearly 500 industrial manufacturing projects, factories and complexes of large scale, high capacity, highly added value and high high scientific and technological content. Typical projects included Dung Quat oil refinery, polypropylene plastic factories, Doosan Vina heavy industrial equipment factory, GE electrical equipment factory, and electronic equipment factories. Local industrial facilities not only meet the domestic market but also export their products to nearly 20 advanced countries in the world.
Commercial and service activities have been constantly expanded. Total retail sales of consumer goods and services were estimated at VND55,947 billion in 2019, up to 492 times higher than in 1989. The export value jumped from US$3.92 million in 1989 to VN$560 million 2019, an increase of 150 times. The province’s exports have been shipped to 30 countries and territories such as South Korea, Japan, India, Germany, Denmark, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and ASEAN countries. Tourism activity has progressed significantly. Tourism infrastructure is focused for investment to create new tourist sites and areas. The hospitality industry has attracted 26 investment projects with a total registered capital of VND3,137 billion. In 2018, the tourism industry of Quang Ngai served 1 million visitors, 70 times more than in 1989. Tourism revenue reached VND950 billion, 300 times more than 30 years ago. In particular, Ly Son district welcomed more than 230,000 visitors.
The mobilized social investment resources kept expanding, reaching VND43,000 billion in 2019. Transport, urban and industrial infrastructure has been invested to effectively serve economic development.
Beside economic development, the province also achieved much cultural, social, medical and education progress to ensure full, timely and effective implementation of social security policies. In 2019, the poverty rate was expected to fall to 7.79%, with the rate in mountainous areas sliding to 25.96% (according to multi-dimensional poverty standards for the 2016 - 2020 period. The material and spiritual life of the people has been improved. Political security, social order and safety have been well maintained. Management and operation is increasingly effective to provide favorable conditions for the next development path.
As the head of the Provincial People's Committee, besides important achievements that excite you, are there still anything that concerns you?
At present, a part of our people are still living a hard life, particularly those living in rural, mountainous areas, people entitled to policy support, low-income laborers and ethnic minorities. The economy has witnessed slow changes in growth quality, performance and competitiveness. Social and cultural fields are extensively developed but many aspects are still limited in quality. The socialization of health and education has not achieved much progress and environmental pollution has occurred in some places. Traffic accidents and social evils have been evolving complicatedly. Investment capital falls short for key projects and essential infrastructure.
In order to address the above shortcomings, promote every available potential, and further develop Quang Ngai in the course of international integration, what are the key tasks and solutions the province will focus on?
In the coming time, Quang Ngai will focus on successfully carrying out tasks and objectives set by the 19th Provincial Party Congress, including three key tasks (agricultural development, countryside construction and sustainable poverty reduction; service, tourism and maritime economic development; and public administration reform, particularly administrative procedure reform) and three breakthrough tasks (industrial development; infrastructure system development investment, especially transport infrastructure and urban infrastructure; and human resources quality improvement). The province will speed up investment, construction and operation of key projects (upgrading and expansion of the oil refinery from 6.5 million tons to 8.5 million tons a year, power plants fueled by gas from Ca Voi Xanh - Blue Whale field, Hoa Phat Dung Quat integrated steel complex, FLC tourism complex invested by FLC Group, and the National Petrochemical Refinery Center in Dung Quat Economic Zone) to generate ripple effects on other regions in the province, speed up inter-provincial, inter-regional and international connectivity and facilitate the province to strongly develop towards industry and services.
Quang Ngai province will effectively carry out the Agricultural Restructuring Project in association with the National Target Program on countryside construction; identify potential and advantageous agricultural products to be invested for higher added value. It will continue to rapidly develop trade, service, tourism and maritime economy; build Ly Son Island into a tourist hub with strong economy, firm defense and security; and quickly prepare proofing documents to submit to UNESCO for recognition of Ly Son - Sa Huynh Global Geopark.
The province will further improve the investment and business climate; enhance the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI); encourage innovative business startups; coordinate with relevant bodies to organize key promotion activities to specific addresses, particularly domestic large economic groups. Quang Ngai will focus on building infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure and urban infrastructure; accelerate construction of Cua Dai Bridge, upgrading and expansion of National Highway 1 (Doc Soi - VSIP section), National Highway 24B, Ben Dinh Port, breakwater for second-phase Dung Quat Port, procedural completion for deployment of second-phase Dung Quat - Sa Huynh Road to connect with coastal routes of Quang Nam and Binh Dinh, and Thach Bich - Tinh Phong route. It will continue to mobilize resources for urban infrastructure development, especially My Khe - Tra Khuc Road and the southern bank of Tra Khuc River and accelerate the construction of urban infrastructure in Quang Ngai City and urban infrastructure across districts.
Last but not least, the province will strengthen environmental protection and improvement, proactively prevent natural disasters and respond to climate change, pay attention to social, cultural, educational, training and medical development in all aspects in association with securing political security, social order and safety. With strong determination throughout the political system, Quang Ngai province strives to complete ahead of time all targets and tasks set by the 12th National Party Congress and the 19th Provincial Party Congress, and successfully organize the 20th Provincial Party Congress, heading for the 13th National Party Congress.
Thank you very much!