In order to promote the advantages of its border gate economy and the potential of developing agriculture - forestry and tourism, Lang Son province has applied many attractive mechanisms and policies, removing barriers on administrative procedures and creating an open environment. Mr. Nguyen Huu Chien, Director of Department of Planning and Investment of Lang Son province, shared with Vietnam Business Forum about the above contents. Ngo Khuyen reports.
Can you assess some outstanding results in promoting and attracting investment of Lang Son province in recent years?
Investment attraction is always paid close attention and unified guidance from the Provincial Party Committee, People's Council, People's Committee and local authorities. Carrying out the assigned functions and tasks, the Department of Planning and Investment has strengthened mobilization, promotion or advising the provincial People's Committee to contact, work, and invite strategic and prestigious investors such as VinGroup, SunGroup and Military Petroleum Corporation. Currently many big investors such as FLC, TH, Apec and TNG are interested in exploring investment opportunities in the province.
The Department has developed and submitted to the Provincial People's Committee for approval the list of projects to attract investment capital in Lang Son in the period of 2018-2020, and at the same time focused on researching and assessing market potential, trends and investment partners; established information channels and identified potential partners among investors from China, Japan, Korea and Australia to connect and attract to the province. The Department also presides and coordinates with other departments, agencies, localities to develop and submit to the Provincial People's Committee to promulgate mechanisms to encourage and support investment in the province. At the same time, the Department actively supports businesses and investors to study investment laws, policies, procedures, market and opportunities and accompany investors throughout the project implementation process.
From such efforts, more and more investors come to learn and register for investment in Lang Son. Investment projects have increased in both quantity and size. Specifically, in 5 years from 2014 to 2018, the province decided to advocate and grant investment certificates for 183 new DDI projects with a capital of VND33,862 billion. Currently, there are 28 valid FDI projects with a total registered capital of US$234.68 million. So far, Lang Son has attracted a number of big projects such as: Trade centers, hotels, commercial townhouses; Ecological tourist area, Mau Son cable car; infrastructure investment project for goods transshipment, and export processing zone 1. In the past 5 years, Lang Son has also had 1,500 newly established enterprises, bringing the total number of enterprises in the whole province to 2701 enterprises with total capital of VND21,868 billion.
However, the achieved results are still not commensurate with the potential and expectations of the provincial government. Many advantageous sectors have not been promoted and attracted many investment projects. The number of FDI projects is small in number and modest in scale. Projects have small production and low business scale and weak management capacity, not enough to promote socio-economic development. Many investors have limited capacity so projects have not worked as expected.
At the Lang Son Investment Promotion Conference in 2019, the province is expected to issue certificates and sign memorandums of understanding for over 100 projects with a total investment of over VND 80 trillion. In your opinion, what do these projects mean for the province's current process of attracting investment as well as promoting socio-economic development?
Projects that are expected to award investment decisions and grant memorandums at Lang Son Investment Promotion Conference in 2019, together with past and existing projects, will be a factor to attract more investors and investment projects to Lang Son. Projects not only attract investors' capital to the economy, but it is especially important to attract good experts, acquire new and modern technology, good management practices, advanced production and business processes, high productivity, creating highly competitive products. Thereby, it creates a large market, creating jobs, increasing labor collection and increasing provincial budget revenues, creating a strong transformation in socio-economic development.
What are the results of Public Administration Service (PAR) reforms related to investment?
In January 2019, the province established and put into operation the Public Administration Service Center of Lang Son province to build an effective and professional service to meet the requirements of providing public administrative services to organizations and individuals.
The province issued Decision 1863/QD-UBND dated September 25, 2018 on a set of criteria for determining the PAR Index applicable to the evaluation of the results of implementing the annual administrative reform task for departments, agencies, People's Committees of districts and cities.
Lang Son province has also established a group to receive information, responded to petitions of businesses, and maintained a hotline that reflects comments on administrative regulations on the provincial web portal; establish and publicize the hotline on the website of departments and branches in order to promptly grasp the reflection for handling and answering enterprises' instructions in time.
Department of Planning and Investment has presided over and coordinated with departments, agencies to advise the provincial People's Committee to organize regular meetings and dialogues with businesses every year to receive and promptly handle petitions of enterprises and cooperatives in the province; advise the Provincial People's Committee to promulgate mechanisms to encourage, give incentive and support investment in the province. The Department continues to review administrative procedures in time to report to the competent agencies to reduce unnecessary procedures. Coordinating with tax agencies, police continue to improve the mechanism of one-door, one-stop shop to serve people and businesses most effectively.
The "Enterprise development plan of Lang Son province for the period of 2019-2025" has been approved by the Provincial People's Committee with many goals and solutions to support businesses, which are expected to create new impetus for businesses and investors. Can you share your opinion about this issue?
The "Enterprise Development Plan for Lang Son Province for the period of 2019-2025" was approved by the Provincial People's Committee in Decision 1642/QD-UBND dated August 23, 2019. The project has properly assessed the actual situation of production and business activities of enterprises in the province, clearly pointing out the causes of the inadequacies, limitations, and bottlenecks that are hindering the development of enterprises, thereby proposing policies and supporting solutions to develop enterprises, exploit well potentials and advantages in the area.
Consistent perspectives of the province are: Developing business to increase rapidly in both quantity and quality, scaling up, technological innovation, high technology application, creating products of high economic value and development stability; Strongly improving the business investment environment, creating favorable conditions, encouraging organizations and individuals to invest in developing production and business activities in the area; Supporting businesses to access production resources. The province will adopt specific mechanisms and policies to support and attract investment in a number of advantageous branches and domains, in accordance with the province's investment encouragement policy, as a basis for concentrated formation and development of a large number of enterprises to promote spillover effects for the development of businesses, related industries and sectors.
Some goals set out are: On average, there are 500 newly registered enterprises / year; Striving to have 6,500 businesses by 2025; Striving by 2025 to have about 300 enterprises with capital of over VND100 billion, in which 8-10 enterprises have capital of VND 500-1,000 billion; The average contribution of enterprises to the state budget increases by 15% annually.
On the occasion of Lang Son Investment Promotion Conference in 2019, do you want to share or emphasize anything?
2019 is chosen by Lang Son Province as "The year to promote investment attraction”. Lang Son will dedicate the most appropriate resources for supporting investors, businesses and startups. The province always determines that enterprises must be partners that are served in the spirit of equality among businesses, so that Lang Son is an attractive destination for potential investors and startups with strong aspirations.
Thank you very much!