Ca Mau Province: Taking Advantage of Each Region for Development

4:14:04 PM | 14/12/2006

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Ca Mau province, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Bui Cong Buu, chairman of the Ca Mau People’s Committee.
What are the socio-economic achievements recorded by Ca Mau province, especially in the last five years?
After being re-established, Ca Mau province has made efforts to overcome difficulties, focusing on economic restructuring in accordance with the province’s conditions, thus aiming to fully tap advantages and resources for sustainable development. In the last five years, Ca Mau has gained significant achievements. Its average economic growth rate was put at 11.36 per cent and per capita GDP had reached US$584 by late 2005. Its economy has restructured with an increase in the contribution of industry, construction and services. Total social investment accounted for 24 per cent of the province’s GDP, up by 14 per cent on average. Its budget contribution witnessed an increase of 22.4 per cent per annum.
The restructuring of its economy from agriculture, fisheries and forestry into fisheries, agriculture and forestry has made a breakthrough, helping fisheries retain a deserved position as a spearhead economic sector, which acts as a driving force for the development of Ca Mau’s economy. At the same time, all economic sectors in Ca Mau have witnessed strong development. The State-owned sector has been rearranged and renewed while the private sector has become a driving force for the province’s economy with a high contribution to local budget. The private sector has also promoted their investment, generating many jobs for local people.
Alongside economic development, Ca Mau has witnessed a significant progress in social and cultural fields. The quality of educational and training activities has improved. The province has basically overcome the shortage of teachers and classrooms. So far, up to 30 per cent of communes, wards and towns have reached the national standard in terms of grassroots health care services with all medical centres having had doctors. Also, each year, the province generates jobs for 20,600 people. The number of poor households fell from 15.8 per cent in 2000 to 6.3 per cent in 2005, according to the former norm.
According to the results of explorations, the southeastern seas and Ca Mau seas in particular have huge natural gas reserves. This is a condition for Ca Mau province to develop gas, electricity and nitrogenous fertiliser industries and other low pressure gas plants. How has the province exploited the potential?
According to the results of explorations conducted by authorised agencies, Ca Mau’s seas have huge reserves of natural gas. Local oil and gas enterprises continue their exploration and exploitation activities. For the Ca Mau gas, electricity and nitrogenous fertiliser project, the construction of the sea pipeline has been completed while the construction of the inland pipeline is ongoing. Contractors are striving to complete the building of the pipeline to supply natural gas for the Ca Mau 1 electric power plant in early 2007. Project developers are concentrating on providing guidelines on the building of other works for the operation of the plant in March 2007. The construction of the Ca Mau 2 power plant will continue, which will be completed in March 2008. The construction of the Ca Mau nitrogenous fertiliser plant is ongoing. The Oil and Gas Corporation is completing a report on the adjustment of the project and is completing documents for international bids.
The exploitation of natural gas and the operation of the gas, electricity and nitrogenous fertiliser park will boost the economic development in Ca Mau province and the Ca Mau peninsular, which will serve as a driving force for the development of local industry and help generate jobs for local people. Ca Mau province has always created favourable conditions for Vietnamese and foreign investors.
Administrative reform is an important factor for investment attraction. How has the province performed administrative reform in recent years?
The reform of administrative procedures is an important work, which should be conducted regularly. I think, at first, administrative reform should be promoted, reviewing procedures and regulations to make timely adjustments, thus creating a more open and favourable investment environment. At the same time, examination and review should be made on the implementation of the ‘one door’ mechanism at departments, agencies, districts and Ca Mau city, thus helping perfect the licence granting, land and business registration with simplified procedures. At the same time, the province has increased responsibility of its cadres and personnel in performing their functions and tasks, for serving better local people and investors.
Ca Mau province has perfected and reorganised its administrative apparatus from the provincial to the grassroots level, standardising titles of cadres and personnel, decentralising State management to agencies and units and increasing their responsibility. Also, Ca Mau will promote the management of investment capital and provide guidelines on production as planned. Technological application will be promoted to State management with a boost to the implementation of a project on computerisation of State management and a connection of information network among local departments and agencies. Also, a website will be built and upgraded regularly to serve the province’s management and provide information for people.
What will be major development orientations of Ca Mau province in the 2006-2010 period, so the province will be able to make a strategic breakthrough for future sustainable development?
As planned in the 2006-2010 period, the province will strive to gain an average GDP growth rate of between 12 and 12.5 per cent. To that end, Ca Mau province will promote its market expansion, increasing added value and competitiveness of its exports. Concretely, the province will concentrate investment capital on building food processing plants in combination with the development of material supply areas with priorities given to support enterprises and services for agriculture. In particular, the province will mobilise social resources for projects on developing production and industrial parks, especially industrial parks in localities with close relations with the gas, electricity and nitrogenous fertiliser complex. Ca Mau has always created the most favourable conditions for enterprises by providing guidelines and support for all economic sectors.
At the same time, the province will plan different economic regions, and concentrated and specialised production areas to facilitate investment, production and consumption activities. The province will promote regional co-operation to increase the effectiveness of the production and consumption of products, saving resources and tapping fully advantages of each region.
In addition, Ca Mau will upgrade its irrigation systems for agriculture and aquaculture. The province will build up its offshore fishing fleet to increase the output of high value seafood. Ca Mau will also develop the ecological farming of shrimp and diversify its plants and animal stocks.
Reported by Ngoc Trang