Dak Nong: Clearing Bottlenecks, Creating Driving Force for Economic Recovery and Development

11:21:47 AM | 16/5/2023

With the drastic and timely leadership and direction of resolutions, programs and plans on the socio-economic development of the Government and the Prime Minister, and with the solidarity, determination and effort of the whole political system, the business community and the people, Dak Nong province has managed to expand production and business activities, cleared bottlenecks and created a driving force for economic recovery and development. Vietnam Business Forum's reporter has an interview with Mr. Ho Van Muoi, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee of Dak Nong, on this issue.

A development cooperation deal signed by Chairman of Dak Nong Provincial People's Committee Ho Van Muoi and Chairman of Binh Phuoc
Provincial People's Committee Tran Tue Hien 

Could you please tell us some remarkable socioeconomic development results of Dak Nong province?

In the past years, especially in 2022, the socioeconomic performance of the province was basically stable, with all 11 major development indicators beating their given targets. This was also considered the most successful year of agricultural exports to date. In addition to the high export value (US$1.17 billion, up 20.5% versus the previous year), many other products of Dak Nong made inroads into the world market.

Particularly, the province actively contacted, invited, met and worked with large corporations such as Hoa Phat, Duc Giang, Viet Phuong, Sun Group and TH to conduct surveys and research on mining, renewable energy, tourism-services, agriculture-forestry with priority given to high-tech application. The province signed joint development cooperation programs in 10 fields with Binh Phuoc province for the 2022-2025 period to establish regional and inter-regional connectivity.

At the review meeting on the socio-economic development cooperation program between Ho Chi Minh City and the Central Highlands provinces in 2010-2021, Dak Nong province signed an agreement on socioeconomic development cooperation to 2025 with Ho Chi Minh City, focusing on key areas like tourism development, agricultural processing and consumption and hi-tech agricultural development.

Gia Nghia City was recognized to have completed new rural development criteria, becoming the first district-level unit in the province to obtain this recognition and enabling it to adopt advanced standards in the coming time.

Dak Nong province inaugurated the Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) to support forming advanced smart cities, improving the life quality of people, enhancing the performance of governmental agencies and promoting sustainable development.

In addition, the Government recently approved the construction plan of Gia Nghia (Dak Nong)-Chon Thanh (Binh Phuoc) Expressway in 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050; directed competent agencies to speed up the project implementation for completion before 2025 and approved five projects for seeking foreign investment in 2021-2025 period. This was a very important factor for the province to make breakthroughs and achieve rapid and sustainable construction and development.

Looking back on the past journey, what do you think about the challenges and development opportunities of Dak Nong province in the coming years?

Despite achieving positive results, Dak Nong province is still facing many challenges. In general, its economy is still dependent on agriculture and is making every effort to make headway toward an industry- and tourism-driven economy with more productive agriculture. Besides, the province lacked long-term socioeconomic and sectoral development plans and visions. Therefore, sectoral planning overlaps urban planning, land-use planning, bauxite planning and geopark planning. Many localities with rich tourism potential lack master and detailed plans for development. Furthermore, the district-level land use planning for the 2021-2030 period moved slowly (completed as late as the end of 2022).

Dak Nong province also has underdeveloped technical infrastructure, especially traffic infrastructure. It mainly has overground roads and has no waterways, airways and highways. It has two small industrial zones, and its medical and education systems are underdeveloped. This has adversely affected the investment environment and given little appeal and few choices to investors.

To achieve faster and stronger growth, what orientations and solutions has the province set forth?

To accelerate development, Dak Nong province must focus on clearing bottlenecks in master planning, changing investment promotion methods, stepping up administrative reform, supporting investors, utilizing public investment capital for continued infrastructure investment and improving the quality of human resources.

In particular, the Dak Nong Master Plan for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, is a very important task that needs to be completed quickly because it is the compass and the legal ground for consistent and supporting sectoral plans. In the coming time, the province will continue to give drastic directions to soon submit it to competent authorities for approval.

Based on the approved master plan, the province will mobilize social resources to soon work out sectoral plans and develop three pillars of development stated in the resolution of the 12th Dak Nong Provincial Party Congress (2020-2025 term): (1) Developing alumina industry, aluminum smelting industry and renewable energy (wind power and solar power), building Dak Nong into a national center of aluminum industry; (2) Developing high-tech, sustainable agriculture along the value chain; developing the forest economy, planting and processing commercial medicinal herbs; increasing competitiveness and added value of key agricultural products; (3) Developing tourism by promoting natural advantages, indigenous cultural values and ecological characteristics of UNESCO Dak Nong Global Geopark.

Dak Nong has been very resolute to reform administrative procedures and improve the business investment environment in the past years. Could you tell us more about this?

The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) of Dak Nong in 2022 climbed 14 places, from No. 52 in 2021 to No. 38 out of 63 in provinces and cities. Some component subindices secured high rankings such as Time cost (ranked 6th), transparency (17th), and dynamism of the provincial government (23rd).

This results from the effort and high political determination of the Party, the drastic and close direction and administration of the government at all levels and branches, and especially the solidarity, resolve, endeavor and consensus of the entire political system, the business community and people.

Would you tell us how the province will improve the business and investment environment?

To have a better business and investment environment and stronger competitiveness, the province will assign specific tasks to each branch and locality for effective implementation in the coming time. They will, based on their functions and powers, carry out main solutions to effectuate the socio-economic development plan and, at the same time, build plans and launch solutions to develop the private economy.

The province will inform and raise the awareness of public employees of the province's and the country's guidelines and viewpoints on the investment and business climate and competitiveness. Dak Nong will uphold the role, spirit, responsibility and action of public employees, especially agency leaders, to promptly and effectively deal with affairs in connection with citizens and enterprises.

The province will strengthen the responsibility, initiative and coordination of provincial and local officials in public service delivered to people and businesses. It will accelerate digital applications to settle administrative procedures; and continue to implement solutions to reform, review and streamline administrative procedures to provide the most favorable conditions for enterprises.

Regarding investor support, Dak Nong province will firmly direct provincial and local agencies to regularly monitor and inspect investment projects in the locality.

The province will build and complete investment incentive policies to adjust, supplement, or replace improper policies to support and encourage potential investors that are interested in investment projects in the province. It will offer attractive incentive rates on the three economic pillars.

In addition, Dak Nong province will review human resource development plans based on the master planning, align vocational education and training with the recruitment demands of enterprises, streamline administrative procedures and facilitate enterprises to invest in the locality.

Thank you very much!

Quoc Hung (Vietnam Business Forum)