Vinh Long Province Promoting Advantages for Development

2:52:34 PM | 8/8/2006

On the occasion of publishing the Vinh Long Special Issue, Vietnam Business Forum had a talk with Mr. Pham Van Dau, Chairman of Vinh Long Province People’s Committee.
Can you reveal recent notable socio-economic achievements of Vinh Long Province?
In the 2001-2005 period, the GDP of Vinh Long Province rose averagely 8.6 per cent a year in all three fields of agriculture-fishery (5.54 per cent), industry-construction (14.88 per cent) and service (10.37 per cent). The per capita GDP is VND7.6 million (US$500) a person per year. The economic structure is turning into a new form with the domination of industry-construction and service. The most notable achievement of Vinh Long is the establishment of Hoa Phu, Binh Minh and Co Chien industrial zones. The electricity grid now reaches all communes, the rural transport infrastructure is strengthened and the education system is specially developed. The health network is widened to all communes and wards. Besides, the service, commercial, financial and credit sectors also ceaseless developed. The total service and retail grows averagely 15.4 per cent a year.
How could Vinh Long obtain such results?
These socio-economic achievements are results of the timely implementation of the economic development restructure from agriculture to industry and service development, the mobilisation of social resources, both inside and outside the province, for the infrastructure construction, and the concretisation of general policies into specific conditions by investment and export incentive policies. 
Endowed with plentiful tourism opportunities, how has Vinh Long tapped these potentials in recent years?
In the 2001-2005 period, the tourism development of Vinh Long enjoyed many advantages such as the inauguration of My Thuan Bridge and more relaxed policies to attract visitors. Additionally, organisation activities of tourism programmes in Vinh Long always guarantee safety. All tourists appraised the travel safety and hospitality in Vinh Long, leading to more volumes of visitors. Vinh Long also ratified the construction of five tourist sites in the 2001-2010 period, namely Dong Phu and An Binh (Long Ho District) Quoi Thien (Vung Liem District), Phu Thanh (Tra On District) and My Hoa (Binh Minh District). Between 2001 and 2005, fifteen investors poured money into tourism projects in Vinh Long.
In spite of huge potentials, Vinh Long still attracts little investment. Can you name some reasons for this?
Aside from objective reasons like the poverty of the province, the difficult construction of tourism projects (weak ground foundation, high investment and insufficient public land fund), the remoteness from focal economic zones and the low quality of its labour forces, Vinh Long also has subjective reasons leading to the poor attraction of investment capital as follows:
In the 2001-2005 phase, the total investment failed to meet the mobilisation target for development. Capital mobilisation from the public and enterprises was maximised. In addition, the investment capital from the State was principally injected into transitional projects and was used to pay debts to project contractors. The foreign capital source, in spite of high growth, made up a tiny proportion in the total social investment.

The cooperation between relevant organs in attracting FDI capital and disbursing this capital is non-uniform, affecting the execution pace of FDI projects. Newly commenced projects, especially small ones handled by district authorities, were carried out at a sluggish pace. The building of industrial zones and roads still faced difficulties in site clearance.
Last but not least, Vinh Long doesn’t have public land fund; hence, foreign investors are hesitant to arrive in Vinh Long to seek investment opportunities.
In the 2006-2010 phase, what will Vinh Long do to make new strategic breakthroughs, stable development and high efficiency?
In the 2006-2010 period, Vinh Long will continue speeding up the industrialisation and modernisation process, firstly the industrialisation and modernisation of agriculture and rural development, and increasing the industry and service revenues in its GDP. By 2010, per capita GDP will reach US$930-950 a year and the GDP will grow over 14 per cent a year. At the same time, the province changes the agricultural and rural economic structure, applies scientific and technological advancements to production and steps up the technological level in the economy. Vinh Long initiatively integrates the international economy to tap foreign trade activities. Socio-cultural development is in line with economic growth. The quality of education and training as well as the human resources is heightened. The living standards of the people are improved, more jobs are created and social problems will be reduced.
Reported by Ngoc Trang