The introduction of consistent solutions for better business investment environment has enabled Tra Vinh to become a new potential destination for investment flows in the Mekong Delta. Let’s explore the “golden opportunities” that Tra Vinh province has brought to investors in an interview with Mr. Chau Van Hoa, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment. Cong Luan reports.
Could you please tell us about the current investment attraction picture in Tra Vinh province?
Although the value of invested capital in Tra Vinh is not very big, it has produced very practical effects on local socioeconomic development and created increasing momentum to attract more investors to the province in the coming time, thus helping raise budget revenues, generate more jobs, improve people’s living standards and promote local available potential.
Invested programs and projects in recent years have started to produce effects. Operational industrial production projects have boosted capacity and performance of many industries and fields. Especially, Co Chien Bridge, Duyen Hai Thermal Power Center, and passageways for large vessels into the Hau River have facilitated investors to explore the investment environment and investment opportunities in the province.
The infrastructure system in economic and industrial zones has been upgraded and completed. Particularly, with Dinh An Economic Zone added into the list of eight key coastal economic zones by the Government of Vietnam, Tra Vinh has more favorable conditions to call for investment funds and carry out investment projects.
At present, Tra Vinh province has 338 effective investment projects, including 41 FDI projects with US$3.1 billion of investment capital (Duyen Hai 2 Thermal Power Project costs US$2.41 billion) and 297 DDI projects with VND105,889.12 billion (US$4.6 billion). Particularly, local economic and industrial zones are currently accommodating 79 projects, including 16 FDI projects with US$2.87 billion of investment capital and 63 domestic investment projects with VND99,745.42 billion (US$4.3 billion). As many as 259 projects are situated outside economic and industrial zones, including 25 FDI projects with US$230 million and 234 domestic projects with about VND6,143.70 billion (US$267 million).
What programs and policies have Tra Vinh province focused on to draw more investment capital, especially FDI funds?
To attract more investment capital, Tra Vinh province has launched investment promotion programs under the Prime Minister's Decision 03/2014/QD-TTg dated January 14, 2014. Accordingly, the province built an Investment Promotion Program for the 2016-2020 period and annual investment promotion programs, built data, documents and communication information for investment promotion and projects in search of investment fund; opened and took part in seminars, conferences and events associated with investment promotion; contacted and connected with local and external promotion centers, investment promotion agencies affiliated to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, bureaus and departments subordinated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign investment and trade promotion agencies in Vietnam and Vietnamese diplomatic missions in foreign countries to coordinate and cooperate in launching investment promotion activities. It also joined the Mekong PC Club to enhance coordination in investment promotion.
On support policies, in addition to those promulgated by the Government of Vietnam, Tra Vinh province introduces its own support policies for investors to carry out projects under Resolution 11 of 2016 of the Provincial People’s Council, including support for land compensation and ground clearance, financial support of technical infrastructure investment, business support for tenants in planned industrial complexes without invested technical infrastructure, construction support for environmental treatment facilities, and support for recruitment and labor training.
Tra Vinh issued, amended and supplemented some attractive incentive policies for investors such as tax holiday, preferential land rents, water surface rents, credit loans, and ground rents for SMEs. For example, agricultural projects are particularly encouraged and investors are totally free from land rents. Investment projects engaged in socialized fields like education - training, vocational training, healthcare, culture, fitness - sports, environment and judicial expertise are free from land rent if they are located in socially, economically poor localities (not more than 40 years) and in other localities (not more than 30 years). External infrastructure of their projects will be invested by the province.
How has the province focused on business development?
Tra Vinh province signed an agreement with VCCI Can Tho in which the key task is to create an enabling business environment for businesses to develop and reform administrative procedures, especially deploying single-window mechanism for business, investment, construction, environment and insurance fields. Other important tasks include developing and implementing the Tra Vinh SME Development Plan for the 2018-2020 period; building communication and advocacy documents to transform business households into enterprises in order to help district-level authorities with consistent guiding documents to persuade business households to be converted into enterprises.
To have 4,000 businesses by 2020 as expected, the Department of Planning and Investment submitted two startup policies to the Provincial People’s Committee for approval (Tra Vinh startup support scheme for 2019-2022, and to 2022; and handover strategy for Tra Vinh business incubator operation processes) in order to timely support and promote local startup development. The department advised the provincial government to direct relevant agencies and units to effectively implement the Prime Minister's Decision 939/QD-TTg dated June 30, 2017 ratifying the scheme for women-led business startup in 2017-2025; and the Prime Minister’s Decision 1665/QD-TTg dated October 30, 2017 approving the scheme for student-led business startup to 2025.
We will also focus on promoting the role of the Advisory Group on Business and Investor Support; hold regular investor dialogues to promptly identify and tackle difficulties and problems relating to carrying out investment projects and business activities.
To elevate Tra Vinh to a higher position in the PCI rankings, which programs and action plans have the province specifically taken?
In 2018, Tra Vinh province dropped nine places to No. 46 on the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). To improve its PCI standings in 2019 and beyond, the Provincial People’s Committee assigned the Department of Planning and Investment to work with relevant agencies and localities to advise the Provincial People’s Committee to hire consultants to build the Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI) for pilot deployment in Tra Vinh province, aiming to raise the PCI performance and assist the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee to gauge the performance of departments and localities in 2019 and the following years. At the same time, the province directed provincial and local authorities to focus on developing remedying plans for low and medium PCI sub-indices (Labor and training, business support services, proactivity of provincial leadership, market entry cost, fair competition, legal institutions and security); maintain and further improve good performers (transparency and access to information, land access and security of tenure, time costs and regulatory compliance, and informal charges).
Thank you very much!