Yen Bai province has created an open and attractive business environment and is willing to provide timely support for businesses and investors, said Mr. Doan Huu Phung, Director of the Yen Bai Department of Planning and Investment in an interview with Vietnam Business Forum.
What do you think about Yen Bai province’s investment attraction in the past five years? How will the province promote its achievements and address existing limitations in the coming time?
In order to draw investors, in recent years, Yen Bai province has effectively carried out investment promotion programs. The province has made great efforts to create and carry out flexible investment promotion activities to seek potential investors and introduce its increasingly open, dynamic and transparent business investment environment.
In particular, investment promotion programs are designed on Party and government policies and adhered to provincial socio-economic development plans. The Department of Planning and Investment has worked closely with relevant agencies, businesses and investors in investment promotion programs. Administrative procedures have been greatly simplified.
Besides, the province has attached much importance to appealing to existing investors to recommend the province to other potential investors. To do this, Yen Bai has focused on supporting investors to prepare and submit procedures for investment license, complete post-licensed administrative procedures to speed up project progress (especially procedures concerning construction, land and site clearance).
With those efforts, in addition to open and favorable policies, Yen Bai is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for domestic and foreign enterprises. In 2015-2020 period, the province had 285 new projects with a total registered investment fund of nearly VND52,788 billion (US$2.1 billion) and US$302.5 million. These projects largely focused on industry, trade, services, agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
In 2020 alone, the province licensed 66 projects with VND4,488 billion (US$200 million) and US$2.08 million of investment capital. To date, the province has licensed 520 projects with VND112,006 billion (US$4.8 billion) and US$381.83 million of the investment fund.
Some giant corporations such as Vingroup, TH, Sungroup, EuroWindow, Hoa Sen, APEC, Alphanam, Cuong Thinh Thi and Bao Lai have been carrying out large-scale projects in the province. This will be the driving force for local socio-economic development in the coming time.
However, the province's investment attraction still faces certain limitations. The licensed investment value is not commensurate with its potential. Investors still feel hesitant to locate their investment projects in local industrial zones because of lack of synchronization.
These matters need the province’s focus for a better investment climate, and stronger competitiveness in the coming time to make breakthroughs of investment attraction and create a driving force for rapid and sustainable socio-economic development.
What sectors and fields will the province focus on attracting investors in 2020-2025? How about the size and quality of the projects the province is keen on?
The Resolution of the 19th Yen Bai Provincial Party Congress outlined solutions to create investment attraction breakthroughs toward a modern, environmentally friendly direction, creating a driving force for rapid and sustainable socio-economic development. Therefore, regarding investment attraction in the coming time, the province will give priority to strategic investors, who have experience and real potential with environmentally friendly high-tech projects as follows:
In agriculture and forestry: Focusing on attracting businesses to produce, culture and process agriculture, forest and aquatic products; encouraging industrial development, applying quality management standards, high-tech application to slaughtering and processing facilities; attracting large tree-afforestation projects and wood processing projects; developing clean and high-tech ecological production zones; and developing production aligned with value chains to promote key products.
Industry: Attracting investment capital for building and operating industrial zone infrastructure, with priority given to large-scale labor-intensive production projects; drawing projects that process agricultural and forest products, process timber to make consumer goods for export, developing supporting industries for mechanical engineering, electronic and medical equipment; attracting biotech and IT projects; developing energy-efficient mining and mineral processing; manufacturing high-quality energy-efficient construction materials for domestic consumption and export; prioritizing the development of clean energy and renewable energy projects.
Tourism - service: Focusing on developing advantageous service sectors with strong local advantages, advanced technology; applying Industry 4.0 achievements to healthcare, education, finance, banking and other sectors; prioritizing the development of key tourism services such as ecotourism, cultural tourism, historical and religious tourism and MICE tourism in four key tourist areas of the province.
Yen Bai province’s PCI Index has kept rising since 2013. What do you think about this performance? How have you advised the provincial government on further improvement of this index in the coming time?
According to VCCI's PCI report, in the last seven years, Yen Bai province has continuously made breakthrough PCI scores and rankings. Specifically, it climbed from No. 60 out of 63 provinces and cities with 50.38 points in 2013 to No. 36 with 64.98 points in 2019, and ranked No. 5 out of 14 provinces in the northern midland and mountainous region. The province secured a position in the group of well-governed localities in the country and a high position in the northern mountainous region. Particularly, many component indices have increased strongly and stably every year.
The above results come from the province’s efforts for public administration reform, with the focus placed on administrative procedure reform. The business environment has been upgraded with greater opening, dynamism and transparency. Besides, the infrastructure system, especially the transport infrastructure, has been upgraded, synchronized and highly connected with other localities, especially via Noi Bai - Lao Cai Expressway. The province has also gradually completed the technical infrastructure of industrial zones.
Meanwhile, the province has paid close attention to supporting businesses and investors by improving the quality of advice and guidance with respect to procedures for businesses. The province has applied appropriate mechanisms and policies to encourage all economic sectors and boost investment funding from businesses and investors into the province.
Given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities and businesses in the province have focused on performing the so-called “dual tasks” to prevent and combat the Covid-19 pandemic while carrying out solutions to support businesses to deal with emerging hardships to prevent an economic decline.
These determined actions have confirmed the openness and attractiveness of the province to businesses and investors. In order to promote the above achievements to further improve local competitiveness in 2021 and the following years, the Department of Planning and Investment has advised the Provincial People's Committee to introduce the following tasks and solutions:
First, advising on the Program and Action Plan to implement the Government's Resolution 02 on improving the business environment, enhancing the competitiveness in 2021 and effectively providing business support and development;
Boosting the performance of the PCI Steering Committee and working groups to better help and encourage enterprises to remove difficulties, attract investment; and assist the provincial government;
Closely grasping the administration of the local government, departments, and branches by gauging business satisfaction;
Second, speeding up the introduction of the local investment environment, potential and opportunities that investors are interested in, particularly natural resources, human resources and policies; further reviewing and simplifying administrative procedures relating to business registration and investment; improving the quality of consultation and guidance with respect to procedures for citizens and businesses to ensure full compliance with the law;
The results of improving the business investment environment plus the determination, effortful companionship and strengthened connectivity between enterprises and the government will leverage investment attraction in 2021 and beyond. Thus, Yen Bai province is expected to offer more new investment cooperation opportunities to investors.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum