Advancing Reforms to Attract Investment Resources for Development

9:58:16 AM | 17/8/2021

Carrying out administrative reforms, improving the business and investment environment, enhancing competitiveness, and facilitating business development is a crosscutting policy of Lao Cai province which places people and businesses at the heart of local development, said Mr. Phan Trung Ba, Director of Lao Cai Department of Planning and Investment, in an interview granted to Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter. Tran trang reports.

What are your opinions about Lao Cai province’s investment promotion and attraction in recent years?

In 2016 - 2020, Lao Cai province approved 190 new domestic investment projects with a total registered value of VND31,353 billion (US$1.3 billion), including 16 new projects with VND2,315 billion in economic and industrial zones.

The province had 23 valid foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total registered value of US$571.45 million as of July 2021, which are mainly engaged in mining, processing, tourism and service. Agriculture accounted for a low share and a small scale. They are largely located in industrial zones, Sa Pa town and Van Ban district, where advantages for industrial and tourism development are available.

Licensed projects are working very well and generating good jobs for workers. They contribute to perfecting the trade service system in the locality.

Many large-scale land-intensive projects have also played a part in changing occupations and arranging affected people.

How has Lao Cai province prepared for great progress in investment attraction and development acceleration in the coming years?

Carrying out administrative reforms, improving the business and investment environment, enhancing competitiveness, and facilitating business development is a crosscutting policy, an important task and an urgent solution stated in the Resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress (2020 - 2025 term) in a bid to attract development investment resources, a decisive factor for successful implementation of socioeconomic development goals.

The Department of Planning and Investment advised the Provincial People's Committee to focus on drastic improvement solutions to create a friendly, safe, clear and transparent investment environment; formulate policies and conditions for business operation; provide maximum encouragement and support for startups and innovation companies to mobilize domestic and foreign investment fund for development and serve rapid and sustainable growth goals.

Wherein, the most important is the radical and substantive transformation of the working style from “administration” to "service" delivered to people and businesses, who are placed at the center of local development.

Does Lao Cai province have any changes in development direction and investment attraction in the 2021-2025 period?

The opportunity for investors to come to Lao Cai to tap local potential and advantages, and boost socioeconomic development is huge, especially in locally advantageous industries and fields like industrial processing, manufacturing, tourism, service and agriculture. Accordingly, Lao Cai province is resolved to attract investment funds in the following three key areas:

Industry: The industry will be developed from extensively to intensively from now to 2025. After 2025, focus will be strongly shifted to depth to improve productivity, quality, resource efficiency, energy conservation and friendly environment. The province will select some core industries for prioritized development on the following principles: Based on objective analysis into remarkable potential and competitive advantages, selected industries will capably join global production networks and value chains; use land economically and apply environmentally friendly technologies; capably create high added value and make great contributions to export growth and budget revenue growth. Priority will be given to post-metallurgical manufacturing, agriculture and rural areas, food processing, textile and garment, and footwear industries that create high added value and promote smart and automated production processes and labor-intensive industries. Manufacturing investment projects are located in industrial zones as planned. Outside industrial zones, only projects that produce great impacts on the province's socioeconomic development are considered for approval, beside projects invested in poor localities (Muong Khuong and Si Ma Cai districts) and projects that cannot be located inside industrial zones.

Service: The province will concentrate on urban service development by forming national tourist zones and provincial service areas. Based on its advantageous geographical location, Lao Cai will unlock its potential strengths for high value-added service development and for socioeconomic development requirements at the same time. The locality will focus on tourism products and services like ecological resorts, spiritual tourism products and supporting services such as hotel, restaurant, entertainment, sports, logistics, finance - banking and post - telecom.

Agriculture, forestry and fishery: The province will accumulate land for specialized agricultural production to attract smart agricultural investors seeking to increase added value. Lao Cai will draw investment funds for terrain-based crop farming and livestock farming, given priority given to high-tech farming and environmental distancing.

The Market Entry Index rose by 1.29 points in 2020, ranking No. 28 out of 63 provinces and cities - a much lower standing than previous years. Would you mind explaining this standing and solutions to it in the coming years?

In 2020, the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) of Lao Cai province climbed nine places to No. 16 from No. 25 out of 63 provinces and cities, but the overall score slipped 0.31 points to 65.25 points. During the Covid-19 epidemic, all well-performing provinces dropped their score in economic administration. Optimistically, the PCI Index of Lao Cai had five rising component indices and seven climbing index rankings. Regarding component indices, the “Market Entry” Cost Index scored 6.56 points in 2019 and 7.85 points in 2020. Lao Cai province aimed to raise this index to 7.9 points or more in 2021. The Department of Planning and Investment advised the Provincial People's Committee to assign it - a standing unit of the Business Support Group - to act as a lead agency for collecting and integrating information, pressing on business support, enabling enterprises to develop their business operations and contribute to local development in the coming period. The department continued to reduce the time for handling administrative procedures concerning business and investment registration and continued to assess the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI), aligning DDCI results with its consultations on emulation, commendation and competition to boost management capacity.

At the same time, the department advised the Provincial People's Committee to assign agency leaders and local authorities to actively handle specialized administrative procedures with respect to business establishment registration and revised business registration to reduce the time for official business operation.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum