Hau Giang Province Effectively Tapping Resources for Development

3:49:00 PM | 2/3/2007

Three years after the re-establishment of the province, Hau Giang has donned a new face and continues to develop with every passing day. Vietnam Business Forum discussed with Mr. Huynh Minh Chac, Chairman of Hau Giang People’s Committee, about the achievements recorded and the plan for the future.
Will you please tell us about the achievements of the province in the past three years?
After the re-establishment of the province, Hau Giang, deep in a remote area, was without adequate infrastructure for economy, culture, education, social welfare, and especially road networks and urban development. Agricultural production made up 50 per cent of GDP (farmers making up 85 per cent of the population) with per capita income lower than the average in the region, low budget revenue and a low percentage of trained workers, especially in higher education.
Surmounting all these difficulties, Hau Giang has increased its socio-economic indexes, developed spearhead industries and maintained an average growth rate of 11 per cent in 2004-2006 (compared to 9.55 per cent in 2001-2003, 9. per cent in the Mekong Delta and 8 per cent in Vietnam).
The province also upgraded the management, training and re-training 1,553 managers (including 849 experts), 4,320 employees (including 39 of university standard), and organizing 16 university courses for 1,400 students. Administrative reform has been implemented in 16 departments, all 7 districts and 63 communes. The province has 14,000 employees including 10,800 of professional pay-roll.
How can the province upgrade its infrastructure?
To ensure a comprehensive infrastructure, the province focuses on the following:
First, Hau Giang has begun strategic planning for long-term development such as socio-economic development, land use until 2020, 5-year plan (2006-2010), industry, electricity, communication and transport, agriculture, urban development in Vi Thanh, Nga Bay, etc. This will serve as the basis for investment projects in economic development and social welfare. So far, projects under construction include: Highway 61 (Can Tho – Hau Giang – Kien Giang) and Roads 925, 931, 927 linking all communes in the province, Hau Giang General Hospital with 500 beds, Community High School, Ethnic Minorities School, Tay Song Hau road. The projects are also combined with the programme of poverty reduction, house donation and social welfare.
Second, investment will be improved with better management and implementation focusing on bidding and efficient projects. The total investment in the next three years is VND6,400 billion (VND2,490 billion in 2006) with VND1,900 billion by the local budget (VND700 billion in 2006), or 30 per cent of the total investment.
Third, the province will mobilize all the resources of the people, enterprises and organizations to develop business activities of companies and households, contributing to stable growth of the economy. The mobilisation in the past three years was VND1,790 billion (VND820 billion in 2006), the total loan was VND6,500 billion (VND2,550 billion in 2006), bad debts were reduced to 2.6 per cent (3.5 per cent less than 2005). Treasure bonds were issued twice, worth over VND20 billion and contributing to the mobilisation of capital.
How will you attract investors to develop local resources?
This is the crucial issue for the socio-economic development of the province. However, the province is determined to develop industry-trade-service to keep pace with other regions in Vietnam. Hau Giang has applied preferential treatment to encourage investments, especially an investment promotion conference in Ho Chi Minh City attracting local and foreign investors. As a result, by 2006, 885 private enterprises have invested VND1,071 billion (two times the numbers and four times the capital of 2003). Major foreign companies and organisations have invested in Vinashin shipyard in Song Hau industrial zone, Administrative Reform Phase 2 (Belgium), Sustainable agriculture and fisheries Project, etc. The province has also signed cooperation agreements with Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho City, Kien Giang Province, as well as universities and institutes to accelerate the application of science and technology.
Before making investments, investors must have adequate information, are you ready to meet with them?
The main issue is investment policy, formalities and land use. For my part, I am ready to meet with investors to clarify the policy and facilitate their investments. The province will accelerate administrative reform, especially the quality of management by ISO system and at the same time delegating power to related authorities to speed up the process.
Thanh Nga