To seize the opportunity of Vietnam’s increasing integration, along with the global investment shift, Can Tho is innovating investment promotion approaches and upgrading infrastructure to attract resources for faster development. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Thuc Hien, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Can Tho City, about this topic. Ngo Khuyen reports.
What are the promotion and investment attraction results of Can Tho city in recent years? What will it be like in the coming years?
In recent years, Can Tho city has identified that promoting investment attraction for socio-economic development is a key task. The city has been promoting FDI attraction by reviewing regional planning, sector planning for management; proposing projects calling for investment; welcoming foreign investors; organizing domestic investment promotion conferences; and organizing delegations abroad to call for investment such as to Korea, Japan, Singapore.
Such efforts have brought positive results. From 2017 up to now, the city has attracted 37 domestic capital projects (outside industrial parks) with a total registered investment capital of VND38,667.5 billion. 63 projects are being implemented, with a total registered investment capital over VND48 trillion. To date, the city has 83 foreign investment projects with a total registered capital of over US$752 million. In particular, at the Investment Promotion Conference in 2018, the city called for direct investment into 54 projects, and investment in the form of public-private partnerships (PPP) into 10 projects. Up to now, the city has granted investment policies to 14 out of 64 projects.
It has strived to build Can Tho city into a modern, green, clean, beautiful city, worthy of being the gateway to the lower Mekong region; a center of industry, trade – service - tourism, education - training and science - technology, healthcare and culture. It will serve as an important hub for regional and international transportation; a key area holding a strategic defense and security position of the Mekong River Delta region and the whole country.
In the coming years, the city will prioritize and focus on attracting investment in some areas such as projects in the local potential list: hi-tech agricultural development (especially rice-related products); ICT industry, biological industry; industrial park infrastructure development; tourism; high technologies, and environment friendly technologies. The city is preparing feasible projects to attract an investment wave from leading technology corporations in production chains, high-tech partners from Japan, Korea, the United States and Europe.
What bottlenecks will Can Tho city focus on removing?
To attract resources to accelerate development in the coming years, Can Tho city will focus on removing bottlenecks such as: Incomplete infrastructure; not sufficient clear land fund; incomplete information on investment projects, and unattractive investment incentive policies.
With many opportunities opening up from free trade agreements between Vietnam and EU and ASEAN countries, and the global investment shift, how has Can Tho prepared for a new wave of investment?
With an expected inflow of international investments, Can Tho city has prepared all necessary factors to attract investors to the city. Specifically:
1. Promoting investment and improving infrastructure, including investment in infrastructure of industrial parks, and inviting enterprises to invest in industrial development projects, including processing industry, supporting industries, high-tech industries. Preparing clean land in industrial parks for investors. Stepping up the planning and construction of resettlement areas, serving the ground clearance work for project implementation.
Promoting investment in the development of technical infrastructure to support project implementation, coordinating with related units in improving the quality of human resources to meet the requirements of investors.
2. Making the list of projects calling for investment with detailed information; collaborating with the Investment – Trade Promotion Center and the Exhibition Fair of Can Tho City to build and update information on the local investment environment in many foreign languages: English, Korean, Japanese.
3. Advising the appropriate and effective allocation of public investment capital, avoiding spreading and meeting the completion of key projects as a lever to promote socio-economic development.
4. Continuing to study and propose the central government to consider and approve specific preferential policies for localities to develop professions with strengths and growth orientations in the coming time.
Can Tho's market entry index in 2019 was 6.51 points - the lowest ever. What is the cause of this and what solutions have you been advising and implementing to improve it in the coming time?
According to PCI results in 2019, Can Tho's “market entry” index decreased slightly at 0.56 points. The "market entry" index in the PCI is based on 10 component indices, including the indices related to business registration procedures and completion of other procedures to officially operate. Currently, the administrative procedures related to business registration have been greatly shortened, even the establishment of a business is easy, and the business registration mechanism has changed from “pre-check “to “post-check". According to data from the National Business Registration Portal in 2019, Can Tho had an average time of 2.18 days to process a new registration application, faster than requirement of the Enterprise Law (03 working day); The rate of dossiers handled on time was 99.55%, above the national average of 98.36%. Can Tho city has also well implemented the application of online business registration with the rate of business registration dossiers done by this method reaching 49.8%.
However, in addition to the business registration procedure, depending on the business sectors and industries of enterprises, they must carry out relevant procedures to enter the market, such as procedures related to construction including: appraisal of design, fire prevention and controlling conditions, environmental emission treatment, conditions related to import and export of machinery and equipment, and a series of permits of all kinds and other types of conditions for business sectors having requirements.
Can Tho city has also implemented many solutions to improve the investment environment, and improve "market entry" in order to attract investment and create a favorable investment and business environment for enterprises. In order to improve the score of the "market entry" index, we have also advised the City People's Committee to direct sectors and districts to continue implementing a number of solutions such as: Continuing to implement Plan 22/KH-UBND dated February 11th, 2020, and Resolution 02/NQ-CP of the Government; enhancing competitiveness at provincial and city levels; local authorities need to review and improve the quality of handling and shortening the time to grant qualified licenses to organizations and individuals; enhancing professional training, communication skills, and behavioral skills for staff in charge of guiding and receiving records, thus improving the components of the “market entry” index.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum