Creating an Open Business Environment

9:31:40 AM | 13/10/2020

By applying many attractive mechanisms and policies, removing barriers to administrative procedures and site clearance, and creating a favorable business environment, Hau Giang province is catching increasing interest from many Investors. Mr. Nguyen Huu Nghia, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, gives an exclusive interview on this matter to Vietnam Business Forum Magazine. Ngo Khuyen reports.

What do you think about Hau Giang province’s investment promotion and attraction in recent years?

In the past time, Hau Giang province has carried out many investment attraction activities like organizing seminars on domestic and foreign investment promotion, signing cooperation with many localities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Soc Trang and Bac Lieu, as well as big domestic enterprises. In particular, the province successfully hosted the Investment Promotion Conference on September 28, 2017, awarded investment certificates to five projects with a total capital of nearly VND2,000 billion and signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with a total registered fund of VND94,500 billion.

In December 2018, Hau Giang province also cooperated with the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, the Institute of Organic Agricultural Economics and the Managers Magazine to successfully organize the Green Economic Forum. Accordingly, leaders of Hau Giang province signed an agreement on promoted export of agricultural products to China with representatives of the China - ASEAN Agriculture Association; signed a memorandum of understanding with the GEUMSAN Group (South Korea); signed a research agreement on investment in a vegetable and fruit processing factory with LaviFarm and many domestic and foreign units.

With the efforts of all-tier authorities and agencies, Hau Giang province achieved good progress in investment attraction. In early 2020, the province had 355 investment projects with a total investment of nearly VND127,623 billion (US$5.5 billion), including 30 FDI projects with US$553 million. Business development has been given much importance. In five years, the province had 3,000 new corporate entities with a registered capital of nearly VND15,000 billion. Currently, the province is receiving investment proposals from investors, mainly involved in solar power, commercial residential infrastructure and 5-star hotels.

In the coming years, which fields will be given investment priority by the province? What “bottlenecks” will Hau Giang remove to unlock investment resources?

The province will give priority to supporting investors to soon complete large-scale projects such as thermal power and processing industries to increase the occupancy rate of local industrial zones (Tan Phu Thanh, Dong Phu and Nhon Nghia A). The province targets to develop local industrial zones to process local key agricultural products.

Hau Giang province gives priority to developing processing industries to tap existing agricultural advantages, forming a chain of agricultural production, preservation and consumption, increasing industrial production value to function as a driving force for agricultural development, paying attention to developing manufacturing industries, especially mechanical equipment, machinery and technology for processing industries and mechanization in agricultural production.

Hau Giang will focus on clearing “bottlenecks” to strongly unclog investment resources with various solutions, as follows:

1. The province will regularly update mechanisms, policies, trade information, markets, world political and economic changes, FDI inflows trends, new business models, scientific and technological development trends to supplement and perfect investment attraction policies. At the same time, the province fostered training of employees in charge of investment promotion and business support with basic and specialized foreign language skills, communication skills and public ethics build a strong force of public employees with full professional qualifications and ethical qualities, who are very adaptive in the integration period, to meet practical requirements of investment attraction.

2. The province will mobilize resources, increase budget expenditures, take advantage of central support and international organizations to prepare infrastructure investment, create a clean land fund and plan and create raw material areas to create the most favorable conditions for investors. Besides, Hau Giang will review and adjust land-use planning or investment locations for the list of investment attraction projects, and ensure land conditions for investors.

3. The province will accelerate information technology application, upgrade and operate electronic information portals of local agencies, and improve the province's websites informing investment promotion, legislation, policies, procedures and opportunities and basic and detailed project information to support enterprises and investors to access and study. Hau Giang will strengthen information and communication to boost the image, policy and investment environment to domestic and foreign partners and investors.

4. Hau Giang will boost cooperation with overseas trade and investment counselors of Vietnam, foreign promotion agencies and diplomatic missions in Vietnam; organize local and external conferences, seminars and delegations to meet and contact with investors and partners to exchange and seek investment cooperation opportunities; improve the outcome of investment promotion activities associated with local and central investment promotion activities.

To seize opportunities of investment attraction when free trade agreements between Vietnam and EU and ASEAN countries are enforced, along with the global investment shift in the coming time, how has Hau Giang province prepared to utilize resources?

The province has focused just on the value of FDI funds, not regarded it as a leverage to promote extensive economic integration and development. To address this limitation, the department will study the following proposals:

First, building investment criteria to select and implement mechanisms and policies to give priority and incentives to attract foreign investment in advantageous sectors; establish special preferential policies for investors such as import tax exemption for technology, VAT exemption, state credit incentives and land-use tax; planning priority fields for investment attraction such as high-tech agriculture, production processing, supporting industries, high value-added services in order to select appropriate investors.

Second, stepping up administrative procedure reforms, boldly abolishing unnecessary procedures, and applying information technology and social networks; ensuring publicity and transparency of investment attraction and approval activities; meeting information needs of people and businesses.

Third, reviewing all existing, ongoing and upcoming investment plans and projects to improve their quality, efficiency and competitiveness, and eliminating inappropriate and unsuitable plans; increasing the stability of electricity, water, telecommunications and transport infrastructure supply; engaging the participation of investors, businesses, people and leading planning experts to preserve and develop key plans to serve spearhead economic sectors; taking advantage of private capital, focused mainly on PPP and socialized funding.

Fourth, renewing investment promotion contents with key markets such as the European Union (EU), the United States, and Japan; diversifying channels to attract investment such as newspapers, television, forums and economic organization; developing and training investment promotion staff to catch up with international integration investment trends; enhancing support for businesses to carry out their projects.

Fifth, conducting research on local labor structure to speed up economic restructuring, have a plan for long-term training of human resources with managerial, technical and expert skills in accordance with business needs and improve education infrastructure; create an attractive environment to internal and external human resources, reduce labor mobility and imbalance of human resources.

Sixth, strengthening cooperation with investors, expanding and diversifying forms of foreign investment to encourage investment in the BT and BOT form, and carrying out public private partnership (PPP) investment with preferential policies to facilitate investment.

Seventh, cooperating with neighboring provinces to utilize and develop regional linkages to access new FDI capital sources and investors in the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces in the country.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum