Cultivating Culture as Catalyst for Sustainable Development

9:09:00 AM | 19/6/2024

In addition to providing right advice for Party committees and authorities at all levels on cultural policies and directions in a timely manner, the Department of Culture and Sports of Hai Phong City has focused on propagating and engaging the entire political system, people from all walks of life and social resources to truly make the culture a driving force for the sustainable development. Our reporters have an interview with Ms. Tran Thi Hoang Mai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports, Hai Phong City, on this topic.

In 2023, the Hai Phong Department of Culture and Sports topped the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI) rankings, showing its resolution to change the mindset and actions and create breakthroughs in work performance. Could you please tell us more about this effort?

2023 was the second year that the Department of Culture and Sports ranked first in the DDCI Index. This result showed the resolution and effort to reform and change the mindset of "making of culture" to "state administration of culture", speed up administrative reform and enhance office culture. To achieve this, right from the beginning of the year, the department firmly adopted specific solutions as follows:

First, boosting information and awareness of civil servants and public employees about the significance and importance of improving the business environment and raising the DDCI Index. The department thoroughly urged its employees to perform public duties, especially those in charge of inspection, to seriously resist corruption, "eliminate personal interests for the common development of the city". It launched regular and irregular probes into agencies and individuals involved in settling procedures for people and businesses, preventing feedback or recommendations on troublesome acts and attitudes at work.

Second, the department conducted surveys and dialogues with businesses subject to its oversight to promptly understand, instruct and support them to tackle difficult matters arising from the process of carrying out administrative procedures at the Department of Culture and Sports with the motto of "Always listen to and side with businesses".

The department effectively deployed the "Connecting procedures for granting conditional business licenses" model, the "Supporting the implementation of all administrative procedures" model and the "Guiding and supporting people and businesses in compiling and completing documents when carrying out administrative procedures" model to supports people and businesses to have complete documents submitted online right from the first submission, helping them save time and costs in doing administrative procedures at the Department of Culture and Sports.

Third, the department issued and effectively applied the State Administrative Reform Plan and the DDCI Improvement Plan. Accordingly, it assigned specific tasks to each unit and responsibilities to each unit leader responsible for monitoring and directing implementation. At the end of the year, when reviewing and assessing public employees, their work performance is an important criterion.

Fourth, the department continued to take solutions to improve the quality of handling documents, reduce the time needed to finish administrative procedures and deliver the result before the statutory deadline. It promptly published documents and regulations concerning the facilitation of business licensing in cultural and sports fields on its website. The department also publicly and transparently provided information and documents on its website to facilitate people and businesses accessing information in the fastest and most convenient way. It continued to scale up office culture in order to build a professional, civilized and modern administration.

In addition, it assisted civil servants to attend professional training classes to enhance professional knowledge and problem-solving skills, and improve their ethical qualities.

Promoting its achievements, could you tell us what key tasks and solutions the Hai Phong culture and sports sector set in 2024?

2024 will witness more breakthroughs and accelerations as Hai Phong City is striving to complete its goals and tasks of the 5-year Socioeconomic Development Plan in the 2021 - 2025 period and the resolution of the 16th Hai Phong City Party Congress. To help the city to complete its goals and plans, the culture and sports sector will promote its achievements in 2023 and, at the same time, make even greater efforts and determination to carry out existing goals and tasks.

Specifically, the department will continue to advise the City Party Committee, the People's Council and the People's Committee to carry out programs and plans for implementation of Party policies and General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong's conclusions on building and developing Vietnamese culture and people in a new context; the Cultural Development Strategy; Vietnamese Cultural Sector Development Strategy; and action plans for implementation of the Prime Minister's Decision on ratification of Hai Phong City Planning for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050 in culture, family, sports, and other fields.

The sector will carry out tasks to support compiling scientific records to request UNESCO for honor of Trang Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem; advise on communication plans to uphold the value of the World Natural Heritage of Cat Ba Archipelago; continue to provide public funding to repair and embellish nationally and municipally recognized historical and cultural relics according to Resolutions 22 and 82 of the City People’s Council, restore and preserve heritage values, tangible and intangible cultural values.

The sector will also focus on organizing cultural and sports activities to celebrate major holidays of the city and country; effectively deploy the Television and Stage Project and host national cultural, artistic and sports activities in the city.

The sector will continue to advise, supplement, complete and submit the "Resolution of the Standing Board of the City Party Committee on Hai Phong physical training and sports development to 2030, with an eye to 2045" to the Standing Board of the City Party Committee. This is a very important Resolution for development of physical education and sports in the city, integrated into the national physical training and sports network planning. In the year, the Department of Culture and Sports will also counsel the city to issue a resolution on amending and supplementing the resolution on rewards to Hai Phong athletes and sports coaches who win in regional and international sports tournaments.

The department will build, discover and scale up rich and diverse models of grassroots and family cultural activities in the community. It will concentrate on fostering socialization and diversification of investment resources to develop cultural, family and sports fields.

To further promote the World Natural Heritage of Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Islands, how will the Department of Culture and Sports continue to consult the city on carrying out activities and tasks to sustain heritage values?

At its 45th Meeting Session on September 16, 2023, the World Heritage Committee (under UNESCO) recognized Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago as a World Natural Heritage Site. This was a particularly important event for Hai Phong City because it was not only the first inter-province/city World Natural Heritage Site in Vietnam but also affirmed its geological and topographic features, aesthetic values and natural landscape in Cat Ba Archipelago.

Immediately after Cat Ba Archipelago was recognized as a World Natural Heritage, the City Party Committee and the City People's Committee assigned relevant bodies and localities to carry out specific tasks to promote heritage values like complete the Hai Phong Tourism Development Project to 2025, with a vision to 2030, adding the goal of building Cat Ba into a green, smart international tourism center; and strengthening the World Natural Heritage Management Board.

Particularly, the Department of Culture and Sports was assigned to advise and perform some tasks like developing a communication plan on the values of the World Natural Heritage of Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago; devising coordination regulations between Quang Ninh province and Hai Phong City on management, conservation and promotion of the values of the Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago World Natural Heritage to unify management and conservation and promote heritage values; working with relevant bodies to publicize outstanding global values of the heritage as well as monitor and prevent violations.

To ensure sustainable and harmonious development and promote heritage values for development while taking resources from that development to preserve the heritage, I believe that preserving and promoting World Heritage natural values will be carried out by the city methodically and effectively, thus helping maintain the "Green Cat Ba" brand.

Thank you so much!

By Duy Anh (Vietnam Business Forum)