Bac Giang Linking Investment Promotion with Improving Business Environment

9:38:03 AM | 12/27/2022

In addition to promoting and attracting investment by specific partners and addresses, Bac Giang province focuses on localized investment promotion by providing effective support for ongoing projects in the province, removing bottlenecks in the investment and business environment. Our reporter has an interview with Ms. Bui Thi Thu Thuy, Director of Bac Giang Department of Planning and Investment, on this topic.

What do you think about investment promotion and attraction and business development in Bac Giang province over the past time?

Bac Giang has stepped up investment promotion and attraction in a bid to woo big companies to study and research investment opportunities in the province. As of November 30, 2022, the province attracted over US$1.3 billion of investment capital, up 17.1% over the same period of 2021. The province licensed 26 domestic direct investment (DDI) projects with VND6,731 billion and 36 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with US$444.4 million. It allowed nine DDI projects to add VND438.2 billion to their registered capital base and 43 FDI projects to supplement US$628.85 million. At present, Bac Giang is home to 1,360 DDI projects (with a registered capital of VND102,146 billion) and 516 FDI projects with US$7.35 billion. DDI projects and FDI projects spent VND4,231 billion and over US$710 million in the first 10 months of 2022.

Bac Giang province is currently ranked 9th in FDI value in the country after Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Hai Phong, Hanoi and Dong Nai. FDI projects focus mainly on manufacturing and processing electronic components, apparels and logistics. Presently, investors from 27 countries and territories are investing in projects in the province. China is the largest investor with over 170 projects (US$3.41 billion), followed by South Korea with over 300 projects (US$2.1 billion).

The province has 1,488 new companies and 145 new company branches and representative offices with a total registered capital of VND26,830 billion in the year to date, up 23% and 18% year on year, respectively. Bac Giang also saw 472 suspended companies resume normal operations. To date, the province has 13,537 companies and 1,509 company branches and representative offices in operation. Among them, 42% are operating effectively, 40% are running in moderation, and 18% are preparing for market entry procedures.

These impressive successes come from the province’s consistent policies on business support, ongoing efforts to improve the business investment environment to enhance the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). All levels and branches of authority always actively meet, contact and talk with local businesses to promptly remove difficulties and obstacles, thus building investor trust, expressed by the fact that investors keep adding to their investment capital.

What tasks does Bac Giang province adopt to have realized investment capital of VND230.5 trillion (US$10 billion) in 2021 - 2025 and have 6,900 new companies to bring total companies in the locality to 17,700 by 2025?

In response to the policy of the Provincial Party Committee, on June 26, 2021, the Provincial People's Committee launched Plan 293/KH-UBND on improving the investment and business environment and enhancing the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in 2021 - 2025. General objectives of the plan include creating a favorable, equal, fair, open, transparent and friendly investment and business environment to woo investors, developing enterprises and improving the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). Besides, the plan sets specific goals: VND230.5 trillion will be realized by investors from 2021 to 2025, accounting for 49% of total social investment fund and including DDI and FDI fund; and 6,900 new companies will be established to bring total companies in the province to 17,700 by 2025.

To achieve the above objectives, the province is focusing on accelerating investment promotion, creating an open and transparent business and investment environment, and upholding friendly and hospitable administration. At the same time, Bac Giang is maintaining high economic growth to create more power and strength for development; focus on strong development investment of industrial, urban and service infrastructure, especially logistics and warehousing services, to tap its advantages of being a regional hub for trade, transportation, and warehousing.

The province is always committed to creating the best investment environment for businesses and investors by fully applying the highest investment incentive policies of the government and offering its own investment support and incentives for specific fields.

Bac Giang will continue administrative reform by simplifying administrative procedures and reducing settlement time, especially by agencies that serve enterprises and investors; and provide the most favorable conditions for business facilities and help them sharpen their competitiveness to meet requirements of international economic integration.

Ms. Bui Thi Thu Thuy, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment (5th from the left), honors winners of the contest on initiatives to improve the business environment in Bac Giang province in 2022

How will investment promotion and attraction be focused by Bac Giang province in the coming time? What will the province focus on in the coming time?

Every year, the Department of Planning and Investment advises the Provincial People's Committee to launch an investment promotion program based on the guidance of the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The department clearly defines central contents of investment attraction, assigns specific tasks to each agency in the locality, and constantly reforms methods and ways of promoting and introducing local potential and advantages to domestic and foreign investors, including QRcode application in investment promotion documents. The department consults the Provincial People's Committee to develop a specialized information project on improving the local business investment environment, thus making investment promotion and attraction more systematic, methodical and professional.

In addition, Bac Giang province will focus on fostering localized investment promotion by consolidating the Provincial Steering Committee on Investment Support and Business Development; request relevant bodies to seize and promptly solve difficulties for enterprises; review and strengthen decentralization and authorization for agencies and localities; support them to remove difficulties and speed up site clearance for projects to start operation soon.

In 2021, Bac Giang's Market Entry Index scored 6.76 points, ranking 37th out of 63 provinces and cities (down 0.23 points but up 19 places compared to the previous year). What do you think about this result? What solutions has the department advised and adopted to enhance the Market Entry Index in the coming time?

Although the Market Entry Index decreased by 0.23 points in 2021, it climbed 19 places, demonstrating the province’s endeavor and resolution to raise its ranking.

After the PCI 2021 was announced, the Department of Planning and Investment advised the Provincial People's Committee to issue Plan 418/KH-UBND dated July 7, 2022 on PCI improvement in 2022. Accordingly, the department was assigned to lead the Market Entry Index improvement while the Department of Industry and Trade and the Department of Home Affairs work together to upgrade subindices.

Based on its assigned tasks, the Department of Planning and Investment proposed responsible bodies to work out action plans, introduce solutions and tasks to improve and raise subindex scores of Market Entry Index.

The department advised the Provincial People's Committee and proposed relevant agencies to execute following solutions:

Authorizing public employees to appraise and approve administrative procedures and documents right at the Provincial Public Administration Service Center, the Single-window Bureau of the District/City People’s Committee; reforming single-window policies to integrate five steps of settling administrative procedures “Receiving - appraising - approving - stamping - delivering results”; and improving the quality of handling administrative procedures at all levels, reducing time and cost of dealing with administrative procedures for enterprises.

Advising the Provincial People's Committee to request relevant agencies and localities to review and reduce the time of handling administrative procedures by at least 30% compared to current regulations, especially investment and business-related administrative procedures such as corporate establishment registration, investment certification, land allocation, land lease and construction permission.

Requesting the Department of Industry and Trade to review, amend and supplement administrative procedures within its jurisdiction to reduce the settlement time and provide online public services of Level 3 and Level 4; publicizing the list and content of new administrative procedures to be amended, supplemented and replaced conditional business sectors such as food safety, multi-marketing, petroleum, liquefied petroleum gas and alcohol production.

Requesting its professional bureaus to adopt interagency procedures for establishment registration for enterprises, branches and representative offices, declare employment and issue business codes for companies joining social insurance. Instead of carrying out four procedures for business establishment registration, employment declaration, social insurance registration and invoice printing at four different agencies, enterprises only need to do these at one place - the business registration office.

Thank you very much!

By Ngo Khuyen, Vietnam Business Forum