Creating Momentum for Fresh Investment Inflows

2:49:11 PM | 30/5/2022

Vinh Long province has taken strong, consistent solutions to enhance competitiveness, improve the business environment and reform investment attraction methods to create momentum for fresh investment inflows, said Mr. Vo Quoc Thanh, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, Vinh Long province.

What do you think about the province’s results of investment attraction and business development in recent years? Would you mind telling us both the good and unsatisfactory aspects?

Investment promotion of Vinh Long province has been made more active, positive and professional. In 2015 - 2020, the province contacted and worked with 276 investors and granted investment licenses to 137 projects with a total capital of VND11,512 billion and US$503.5 million (from 44 FDI projects). Vinh Long introduced a list of investment projects and attracted 24 projects with VND19,865 billion in 2015-2020. Currently, six projects are in operation with a total registered capital of VND2,593 billion and 12 projects with VND13,530 billion of investment capital are completing investment procedures.

Regarding business development, by the end of 2021, Vinh Long had 3,335 active companies with combined registered capital of VND39,053 billion, 1,140 company branches and representative offices and 1,074 business locations of companies. They employed 40,020 workers.

However, investment attraction in Vinh Long remained slow, incommensurate with local potential. The province has not attracted many foreign direct investment (FDI) projects and lacks large-scale influential projects from well-reputed investors. Companies invested in small-scale agriculture and fishery and they thus could not strongly boost production and consumption development.

These weaknesses are attributed to a poor technical infrastructure system that fails to match development requirements, especially urban infrastructure, traffic and technical infrastructure in rural areas. In addition, planning management is still inadequate, inconsistent and insufficiently predictable. While the progress of site clearance and investment in industrial zones is still prolonged, investment project inspection and monitoring remain lax. These limitations have significantly affected investment attraction and business development.

What solutions is the province carrying out to address these weaknesses in the 2021-2025 period?

To overcome investment attraction limitations, all levels of government are focusing on carrying out the solutions:

(1) Strengthening responsibility and activeness of competent provincial and local agencies to take the lead in improving the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and each PCI subindex.

(2) Accelerating administrative reform, reducing the time to execute administrative procedures relating to investing and business operations of enterprises.

(3) Enhancing the effect of State management in addressing existing difficulties and supporting business development.

(4) Speeding up business support services and encouraging innovative startups.

(5) Intensifying inspection to improve transparency, reduce informal costs, and create fair competition for businesses.

(6) Enhancing meetings and dialogues and resolving difficulties and problems faced by enterprises.

On December 10, 2021, Vinh Long Provincial Party Committee issued Program 11-CTr/TU on implementing the resolution of the 11th Provincial Party Congress on investment attraction in Vinh Long province in 2021 - 2025, which highlighted the goals of mobilizing VND83 trillion of investment capital, including VND48.9 trillion of private investment in 2021 - 2025. What tasks and solutions is the Department of Planning and Investment advising and carrying out to successfully accomplish these goals?

The Department of Planning and Investment advised the Provincial People's Committee to issue Decision 247/QD-UBND, dated February 11, 2022 promulgating Action Program 11-CTr/TU dated December 10, 2021 of the Provincial Party Committee. Besides, the department is advising and implementing solution tasks below.

(1) Devising workable and effective Vinh Long Plan for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, to meet regulations on time, order and procedures of investment formulation, appraisal and approval

(2) Cooperating in researching and reviewing central documents to update, amend or supplement investment policies and orientations in each field; advising the Provincial People's Committee to amend and supplement regulations on investment procedures from investment preparation to investment implementation.

(3) Building investment criteria to select and attract investment projects suitable for local and sectoral planning and development; advising the Provincial People's Committee on socioeconomic development plans and measures to enhance the business investment environment.

(4) Advising the Provincial People's Committee on solutions to diversify and effectively promote public-private partnership (PPP) model in infrastructure investment; strictly managing investment, especially investment through capital contribution, share purchase, merger and acquisition (M&A) form for foreign investors.

(5) Reviewing, researching, and proposing suggestions to the Central Government to improve institutions and policies for industrial zones, hi-tech agricultural zones and other similar models to work out focused development and outstanding mechanisms and policies suitable with local and sector-specific characteristics.

(6) Controlling “underground investment” and “shadow investment”; reducing small investment; strictly managing foreign investment, especially via equity investment and share purchase.

(7) Consulting the Provincial People's Committee on prioritized capital allocation for building land database to create a land fund for investment projects; improving the quality of investment project appraisal in residential areas and urban areas from non-budget capital sources; requesting investors to prioritize the land fund for infrastructure to build resettlements.

(8) Balancing and prioritizing fund allocation for infrastructure construction; implementing solutions to increase the disbursement rate of State-funded investment capital.

(9) Building an open, transparent and equal investment environment, actively implementing solutions to improve the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), effectively launching District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI); and maintaining regular government-investor dialogues in order to promptly handle difficulties and problems emerging out of projects.

(10) Develop a list of key investment projects in the 2021 - 2025 period; organizing domestic and overseas investment promotion delegations; and strengthening connectivity and cooperation with diplomatic missions of EU members, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and other markets to boost investment attraction

How do you assess the performance of Market Entry Subindex? What solutions and activities is the department currently carrying out to strongly raise the score and ranking of this subindex in the coming time?

In 2021, according to the PCI report released by VCCI, Vinh Long province ranked No. 23 out of 63 provinces and cities, scoring 65.43 points to stand among good performers.

According to Decision 1267/QD-UBND dated May 28, 2021 of the Provincial People's Committee, Vinh Long targets to have 400 new businesses a year in the 2021-2025 period. 

The score and standing of Market Entry Index changed year by year, specifically: 8.47 points, ranked No. 6 in 2017; 6.91 points, ranked No. 51 in 2018; 7.91 points, ranked No. 12 in 2019; 8.10 points, ranked No. 23 in 2020; and 7.57 points, ranked No. 6 in 2021 (17 places higher than in 2020). The performance from 2019 to 2021 showed that, although the province made much effort for a better performance, it still declined in score but rose in rankings in 2021. Vinh Long province needs to make more efforts for a better outcome.

Performing its assigned tasks, the department will direct the Business Registration Office to further reform working methods to reduce the time for business registration and revision; guide and facilitate enterprises to quickly carry out procedures for corporate seal registration and incorporation announcement. It will also enhance publicity and transparency of administrative procedures relating to business registration, foster information technology application to enable more enterprises to carry out online business registration and raise the attitude of public officers at single-window divisions.

In addition, the province will continue to work with relevant agencies, sectors and localities to review and propose amendments or abolition of licenses, certificates of business eligibility and unnecessary documents as per the Government's Resolution 02 on continued implementation of key tasks and solutions for a better business and investment environment and stronger national competitiveness. It will implement an inter-coordination mechanism in handling administrative procedures, apply joint cooperation in enterprise registration, labor management, digital signature registration, and cooperate in State management of enterprises after establishment registration.

Thank you very much!

After a slowing period due to Covid-19 pandemic, Vinh Long is stepping up investment promotion by launching and advancing the Investment Promotion Program 2022 (according to Decision No. 3331/QD-UBND dated December 2, 2021.

According to the program, the province will further boost investment promotion in the province; pay attention to regional connectivity, production supply chain, transportation and consumption in investment attraction; target strategic investors, key markets and highly value-added projects that are friendly to the environment and have strong ripple effects on the overall development.

With this program, Vinh Long province aims to effectively unlock local potential strengths to boost economic growth, employment, human resource development, import and export expansion, clean and green development and social security.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum