An Giang: Turning Challenges into Opportunities for Economic Restructuring

9:30:57 AM | 8/9/2023

In a press conference, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee of An Giang, stated that the current difficulties and challenges are an opportunity for the province to rethink, revise, and restructure its economy to become more competitive, resilient, and sustainable.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attends the groundbreaking ceremony of four component projects under the Chau Doc - Can Tho - Soc Trang Expressway Project, phase 1

Half a term with difficulties to be addressed

Presenting a briefing on the socioeconomic situation, he said that since the start of this administration term, An Giang province has carried out political tasks of the Party amid intertwined advantages, difficulties and challenges. The province's GRDP growth reached 5.45% in 2020 but slid to 0.95% in 2021, making An Giang a positive-growing province in the country. In 2022, after the COVID-19 pandemic was controlled, business and public support policies and the Economic Recovery Program were effectively launched, with the GRDP growth of 6.87%.

Extending its recovery momentum, in the first six months of 2023, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanded 6.50%, higher than the growth in the same period of 2022 (4.90%). The agriculture, forestry and fishery increased by 3.29%; the industry and construction grew by 9.51%; and the service sector advanced 8.17%. Total budget revenue was VND3,959 billion, fulfilling 59.64% of the annual target assigned by the Provincial People's Council. The merchandise export value was estimated at US$581 million in the first six months of 2023, up 5.09% over the same period.

The economy continued to move in the right direction. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was estimated to rise 7.76% year on year. Trade and service recovered positively. Retail revenue of consumer goods and services climbed 17.4% year on year to VND42,637 billion. Agriculture, forestry and fishery production remained stable, creating a solid foundation for the economy.

Public investment disbursement was always a concern of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee, especially for key projects like Chau Doc - Can Tho - Soc Trang Expressway (first stage). The disbursed value was VND2,716.78 billion in the first six months of 2023, fulfilling 33.44% of the full-year plan (higher than the national average of 30.49%.

“Clearly, despite numerous many existing difficulties in the way, the socioeconomic development of An Giang is quite positive. This is a solid premise for the province to successfully realize the 5-year socioeconomic development plan in 2021 - 2025,” Chairman Binh added.

Balancing economic development and ensuring social security

2023 is an important, decisive year for accomplishing the goals and tasks of the resolution of the 11th Provincial Party Congress (2020 - 2025 term), he said.

However, what challenges An Giang is continued global and regional complicated development, as well as weakening performance of local enterprises which had to narrow production scales.

At the same time, land resources were exploited at full capacity to create key products while the agricultural restructuring remained slow, without many new products nor clear directions for creating new products. Some large, important projects were delayed due to legal issues and site clearance. External aid for development investment declined as compared to previous years.

“It is important to continue to maintain macroeconomic stability and economic health where agriculture is the foundation, and industrial manufacturing and processing is the new driving force for development, while continuing to maintain the confidence of businesses and investors. Prospects of socioeconomic development of An Giang province are bright and optimistic,” he added.

“Current difficulties and challenges are also an opportunity for us to know our own competencies, revise and restructure the economy more strongly to have better competitiveness and stronger resilience towards sustainable development,” Binh noted.

The Sao Mai Solar PV1 project at the foot of Cam Mountain in An Giang province

In the face of current difficulties and challenges, in order to balance economic development and ensure social security, An Giang province must have greater effort and determination, based on the ongoing and persistent struggle with consistent, radical and effective solutions. The Provincial People's Committee directed relevant agencies and localities to actively carry out some key tasks and solutions as follows:

First, further thoroughly grasping and firmly, synchronously and effectively implementing programs, projects and plans to realize the resolution of the 11th Provincial Party Congress, the 5-year Socioeconomic Development Plan in 2021-2025, newly promulgated resolutions, conclusions, mechanisms and policies; reviewing, researching, and synchronously executing solutions to boost socioeconomic development in an active manner, improve consulting quality and carry out other tasks.

Second, urgently completing, publicizing and effectively implementing the Provincial Planning in 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050 after being approved by the Prime Minister; strictly carrying out Directive 08/CT-TTg dated March 23, 2023 on key tasks and solutions to accelerate the allocation and disbursement of public investment fund in order to raise the public investment disbursement rate to over 95% of the plan; utilizing maximum resources for Project Component 1 of Chau Doc - Can Tho - Soc Trang Expressway (first phase) and other key projects.

Third, intensively reviewing and launching tasks and solutions to clear institutional bottlenecks and infrastructure conditions to attract more investment flows.

Fourth, further improving training quality, fostering and developing human resources, especially skilled and high-quality human resources; training and fostering human resources for hi-tech agriculture and tourism development.

Fifth, strengthening national defense - security, maintaining political stability, ensuring social order and safety; synchronously, drastically and effectively inspecting, examining and tightening administrative discipline, creating strong changes in public service performance and public service ethics; resolutely fighting against corruption, wastefulness and bad deeds while stepping up construction and perfection of laws, mechanisms and policies to prevent and combat corruption and bad deeds.

Sixth, improving the efficiency of state management in all fields and accelerating administrative reform with specific contents: Building up forward-looking leaders, officials and public employees who dare to raise their voices, put forth innovative thinking, take action and hold responsibility; further promoting administrative reform with digital transformation, with focus on effective implementation of Project 06. Each stage must be done firmly, scientifically and synchronously with close coordination and cooperation of authorities at all levels, sectors and localities.

By Viet Van, Vietnam Business Forum