Boosting Business Support, Fostering Economic Recovery and Development

1:57:37 PM | 22/9/2022

In the past time, Ca Mau province has carried out various radical solutions to support businesses, improve the investment and business environment, enhance investment attraction, and advance infrastructure development to accomplish the post-pandemic socioeconomic recovery and development program as per the Government's Resolution 11/ND-CP dated January 30, 2022. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Huynh Quoc Viet, Chairman of the People's Committee of Ca Mau province, on this matter.

Could you briefly introduce some outstanding results of Ca Mau province in the first half of 2022? What specific goals and solutions will the province take to further promote this outcome?

In the past two years, Ca Mau province has been heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prolonged social distancing negatively affected all aspects of social and economic life. Many companies had to suspend production and business activities, causing a lot of unemployment and disrupting supply chains. But with the leadership of the Party and the government and the cooperation and contribution of people and businesses, the province managed to obtain impressive achievements in socioeconomic performance in 2021 and the first half of 2022. In the first six months of 2022, its economic growth was 4.23%; the social investment capital totaled more than VND8,923 billion (up 6.2% year on year); and the export value was US$727.9 million, equal to 63.3% of the plan and up 53% year on year. Simultaneously, the province had more than 350 new companies with a total registered capital of over VND7,200 billion (US$306 million), an increase of 50% in companies and 4.9 times in value over the same period of 2021. The province attracted seven new investment projects with a total registered capital of VND1,055.2 billion (US$45 million), totaling 433 active projects with over VND140 trillion (US$6 billion) of investment capital.

The province also made good progress in local educational, cultural and social activities. Social security continued to be fostered. National defense and security, social order and safety continued to be maintained. Outstandingly, more than 95% of people aged over 18 years received the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Tourism rebounded strongly with many successful programs like "Ca Mau - Destination 2022", with tourist arrivals grossing about 800,000, up 20% year on year and tourism revenue estimated at VND1,150 billion (US$49 million), up 38% year on year. Recruitment, vocational training and job creation for laborers increased, with 8,500 workers offered vocational training in the year to date, up 1.9% year on year, and 19,940 workers got employed, up 7.3%. Policy support for employees and employers hit by the COVID-19 pandemic was promoted to assist 413,142 people with an amount of VND619 billion (US$26.3 million). Gratitude, poverty reduction, social protection, child protection, care and education continued to be closely supervised. Moreover, administrative reform and digital transformation were stepped up in the province.

To further advance these results, in the coming time, Ca Mau province will take advantage of opportunities and implement consistent solutions to foster economic recovery and development, focusing on three strategic breakthroughs: (1) Synchronous infrastructure investment and development; (2) continued economic restructuring in association with changing the growth model, improving productivity and quality of human resources and adopting scientific and technological development; and (3) continued administrative reform and business investment environment improvement.

What are the potential, comparative advantages and incentives of Ca Mau province to woo investors?

Ca Mau is the southernmost province of the country, facing the sea in three directions, having a 254-km coastline and being one of the major fishing grounds of Vietnam. Besides its locational advantages, Ca Mau has rich potential and advantages for comprehensive economic development, especially fisheries, ecotourism and marine economy.

In recent years, the fishery industry has been considered a key economic sector of the province and assigned with an export strategy built on local raw material production areas, technological innovation investment and a higher share of marketable refined products. Ca Mau exports have been present in over 60 countries and territories and sold stably in key markets such as the United States, the European Union (EU) and Japan. The seafood export value always exceeds US$1 billion a year, proving its seafood quality and position in the international market. By industry, Ca Mau strives to become a " leading seafood processing center in the country", one of three major power and energy centers of the Mekong Delta and a key supplier of port, transport, import and export services.

Besides, with over 100,000 ha of melaleuca forests and typically flooded mangrove forests recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve, Ca Mau has great potential for developing ecotourism, especially Ca Mau Cape - where every Vietnamese wants to visit. Currently, Ca Mau gives priority to attracting investment funds into agriculture, industry, trade, services, tourism, infrastructure construction of economic and industrial zones, and transport network. The province will continue to prioritize investment in infrastructure construction, focus on training and improving skills for workers; and drastically reform administrative procedures to create an open and favorable business and investment environment for investors.

With its unique potential, advantages and hospitality of the local government and people, Ca Mau always opens its doors to welcome domestic and foreign investors to study, explore opportunities and launch their investment projects in accordance with the law.

Ca Mau City is aiming to become a first-grade provincial city

Would you tell us more about solutions and actions to support enterprises to remove their difficulties and restore business operations?

Supporting companies to recover and develop production is a key task of Ca Mau in 2022 and beyond. Particularly, the province has applied Resolution 11/ND-CP of the Government dated January 30, 2022 on the Socioeconomic Recovery and Development Program. The province has directed departments, agencies and sectors to promptly support and remove difficulties, obstacles and bottlenecks against enterprises and reduce corporate bankruptcies caused by the pandemic. On the other hand, Ca Mau has accelerated key projects in the province, especially public investment projects, to speed up investment disbursement as planned. Besides, the province has fully and promptly implemented policies on tax payment extension; tax, fee and land rent exemption or reduction; telecom, power and water bill support; and employee and employer support. The locality has strengthened trade advertising and promotion, searched and expanded markets; facilitated businesses to join trade fairs to introduce their products. It has focused on implementing the overall program of administrative reform. In 2021 - 2030, it will simplify administrative procedures in all fields to ease work with authorities for people and enterprises so as to create an enabling and open business environment to woo investors.

In 2021, Ca Mau's Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) scored 64.74 points, an increase of 1.92 points over 2020, to stand among the group of good performers. What do you think about this result? What are solutions to improve it and attract more investment in the coming years?

2021 PCI marked the sixth consecutive year that Ca Mau increased its rankings in the country and the third straight year it made in the Mekong Delta. It had many strongly improved subindices such as the dynamism and leadership of the provincial government (up 46 places), transparency (up 32 places), time cost (up 30 places) and informal charge (up 18 places).

“Ca Mau always welcomes qualified investors to unlock local potential and strengths. The province will always support companies to tackle their difficulties, and provide the best and earliest conditions for investors to quickly approach and deploy projects in the province,” said Mr. Huynh Quoc Viet, Chairman of Ca Mau Provincial People’s Committee of Ca Mau.

To further raise its PCI Index, boost investment attraction and effectively unlock local potential and strengths, Ca Mau province will consistently and drastically deploy solutions to create an increasingly favorable, transparent and fair investment and business environment. At the same time, it will seek breakthrough solutions to improve low-standing or declining component indices; continue to strengthen dialogues with people and businesses to promptly solve difficulties in production and business; reduce the cost and time of settling administrative procedures; improve land administration quality, information technology application, vocational training quality and startups support; enhance the effect of business support services concerning market entry, legal institutions and trade promotion.

In 2022, Ca Mau will strive for a higher PCI Index to stand in the group of good performers in the country to sharpen its competitiveness, entice more investors and achieve sustainable economic recovery development.

Thank you very much!

Ngoc Tung (Vietnam Business Forum)