Strongly Improving Business Environment

10:10:17 AM | 25/10/2021

With a strategic vision and the strong and drastic action of the entire political system, Bac Giang province has achieved very impressive results to become a leading star of investment attraction. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Ms Bui Thi Thu Thuy, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Bac Giang province, on this topic. Ngo San reports.

Innovations - Capturing new opportunities

Bac Giang province has achieved a lot of socioeconomic development successes in the 2016-2020 period, especially in investment attraction. Could you please tell us the important factors for the province to achieve more outstanding results than other localities in the region?

In the 2016-2020 term, Bac Giang completed and exceeded major targets. The province attracted 898 investment projects with over US$5.887 billion, 3.5 times higher than that in the 2011-2015 phase. Of the sum, the province licensed 599 domestic investment projects with VND48.016 billion (over US$2 billion), up 69.6% in project number and 2.68 times in value, while the foreign direct investment (FDI) fund rose by 4.6 times to US$3.84 billion.

At the same time, during this 5-year period, over 6,100 enterprises were established with VND63 trillion, up 141% in numbers and 6.2 times in value. Cumulatively, the province had 10,060 companies, including 459 FDI firms with US$3.53 billion of investment capital and 9,600 domestic companies with VND82,000 billion (US$3.5 billion) of registered funds. Non-state companies accounted for a large share and increasingly affirmed their important role in the economy. This sector currently makes up 93.1%, 1.3% higher than in 2015.

To achieve those impressive results, Bac Giang province has carried out many consistent and drastic solutions and policies to "roll out the red carpet" to invite investors. On May 6, 2016, the Bac Giang Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 73-NQ/TU on improving the local business and investment environment in 2016 - 2020. This resolution stated 45 tasks assigned to various agencies and shaped consistent actions for a better business investment environment and sharper advantages to investors.

To really support businesses and investors, leaders of Bac Giang province regularly meet them and listen to their thoughts and aspirations to promptly solve emerging problems. As a result, the province's business investment environment has been significantly improved as expressed in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) which ranked high in the country.

Given the importance of infrastructure to industrial zones, Bac Giang province has actively called for many investment sources. To date, many key traffic works have been completed and put into use, including Hanoi - Bac Giang - Lang Son Expressway, Provincial Road 293, Dong Son Bridge and Hanoi Belt Road 4.

Moreover, the province focused on completing the Bac Giang Master Plan in 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, to lay the foundation for attracting investment. Particularly, the province clearly defines locations for industrial and urban area development, areas for service development, areas for planning and exploiting natural resources and minerals, and areas for key agricultural production development.

How is the public administration reform in the province?

Public administration reform is always a top priority in investor attraction strategy. In 2016 - 2020, the province issued 102 decisions to announce 8,748 administrative procedures, with the service time reduced by 25-30% from the regulatory framework applied to formalities that need 15 days or more to be completed. Bac Giang established the Public Administration Center and applied the Zalo application for settling administrative procedures at the center. At present, Zalo has engaged 18,000 users to work with administrative procedures. Bac Giang also launched the electronic single-window mechanism to solve administrative procedures in 19 departments and branches, all 10 districts, cities and all 230 communes, wards and townships since 2015 (now, the province has 209 communes, wards and townships). The successful rate of handling administrative procedures in the electronic single-window mechanism is as high as 99%.

Moreover, to facilitate investors when they come to Bac Giang, the Department of Planning and Investment compiled a guidebook “How to carry out an investment project” which provides information about administrative procedures and processes for an investment project in all stages such as business registration, investment licensing, land renting and construction permit. The Department of Foreign Affairs translated the handbook into four languages: English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, to help foreign investors and companies deal with administrative procedures more easily.

US$1.3 billion investment target set for 2021

What are Bac Giang province’s priorities in investment attraction in the coming time?

This year, Bac Giang is striving to draw US$1.3 billion of investment capital.

In the industrial sector, the province will draw investment funds for high-tech industries and products and give priority to projects using new advanced green technologies to source domestic resources and parts, and pledging to transfer technology, train and employ local workers.

Bac Giang province will attract electronics companies into industrial zones. Priority is given to large strategic investors that make computers, peripheral devices, semiconductors, electronic components, household electrical appliances and smartphones for export and global value chains.

In addition, Bac Giang calls for and encourages large-scale agricultural development investment projects engaged in clean production, high-tech friendly technological application.

To achieve the above goals, which solutions will Bac Giang focus on?

Over the past time, Bac Giang has effectively controlled, prevented and fought against the epidemic; upgraded transport infrastructure and industrial zones and strongly improved the investment environment. Thus, the province continues to be considered an attractive destination and draw FDI flows.

The investment fund reached US$871.43 million in the first eight months of 2021, equaling 94.41% from a year earlier, including VND1,505 billion (US$65 million) from 21 new domestic projects, US$643.2 million (2.01 times) from 17 new FDI projects, VND90.4 billion from seven existing domestic projects and US$158.87 million from 30 existing FDI projects. Bac Giang province witnessed 863 new enterprises, almost unchanged from a year earlier, which registered to invest VND17,635 billion (1.9 times higher).

Bac Giang province has consistently carried out business support policies. It will further accelerate public administration reform and improve the business climate to maximize business support. Provincial leaders will regularly host meetings with investors and enterprises and listen to their business ideas; direct departments, branches, districts and cities to actively grasp business operations; and review and cut administrative procedures for them.

The province will apply the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI) in 2020 - 2025, and use secondary seals to quickly solve administrative procedures in the “five actions in one place” principle: Receiving, appraising, approving, stamping and returning results at the Provincial Public Administration Service Center.

Knowing that convenient transport infrastructure is crucial to attracting investors, Bac Giang will focus on mobilizing and allocating large capital sources for traffic and infrastructure development in industrial zones and site clearance support for key projects in industrial zones.

With a strategic vision and the drastic action of the whole political system, by carrying out many consistent solutions, Bac Giang strives to reaffirm its position and become a reliable destination for domestic and foreign investors.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum