Ninh Thuan Vigorously Pursuing Comprehensive, Rapid, Sustainable Economic Development

8:36:08 PM | 5/28/2024

In the wake of the 14th Provincial Party Congress’s resolution (2020-2025 term), the Party, government and citizens of Ninh Thuan province have demonstrated unity, dedication and resilience. Despite numerous challenges, they have achieved significant socioeconomic milestones over the past three years. Mr. Tran Quoc Nam, Chairman of the Ninh Thuan Provincial People’s Committee, asserted that these accomplishments provide a robust foundation for the province to achieve the goals and tasks outlined in the resolution, paving the way for the realization of Ninh Thuan’s aspiration to become a model of rapid and sustainable development.

Could you please elaborate on the province’s remarkable socioeconomic accomplishments over the past three years?

In the face of numerous uncertainties, challenges and difficulties, Ninh Thuan commenced the implementation of the 14th Provincial Party Congress’s resolution. Despite these adversities, the province has made significant strides, thanks to the central government’s attentive guidance, timely and effective support, the proactive and determined spirit of the entire political system, and the unity and consensus of the populace. Many objectives and tasks outlined in the Party Congress’s resolution have been successfully accomplished.

From 2021 to 2023, the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) grew at an average annual rate of 9.28%, surpassing both the country’s average growth and that of the Southern Central Coast. The economic scale expanded rapidly, 1.5 times greater than in 2020, reaching 78.9% of the target. This rapid growth has allowed Ninh Thuan to narrow the gap with the national median, transitioning from one of the poorest provinces to an average one. By the end of 2023, the province’s per capita GRDP ranked 24th among the 63 provinces and cities in the country, and third among the 14 Central Coast provinces.

The province has successfully transitioned its economic structure towards a more desirable model, with an increased share of industry and services. It has effectively leveraged local potential strengths, particularly in the marine economy and renewable energy sectors. The province has also made significant cultural and social progress, achieving most of the targets set in the resolution. Social security has been reinforced, and the standard of living for the people has improved.

Strategic breakthrough stages have been given special attention. The province has implemented a series of consistent solutions, yielding optimistic results, particularly in the strategic connection infrastructure, which has been well-invested and now essentially meets the province’s development requirements. Numerous large-scale projects have been invested in, completed and put into operation, creating significant driving forces to stimulate development and attract strategic investors. The province has effectively mobilized various investment resources, promoted mechanisms and policies for economic recovery and development, and introduced specific development support policies in accordance with Government Resolution 115. As a result, the investment environment has improved and administrative reform has become more effective.

Mr. Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment, presents the decision approving the Provincial Planning for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, to the leaders of Ninh Thuan province

In 2024, a crucial year for the 14th Provincial Party Congress’s resolution and the 2021-2025 Socioeconomic Development Plan, what key strategies will Ninh Thuan employ to achieve its socioeconomic objectives?

Ninh Thuan province sees 2024 as a very important year of acceleration to complete the goals and tasks stated in the resolution of the 14th Provincial Party Congress and the 5-year Socioeconomic Development Plan in 2021-2025. Accordingly, the province adopted some goals and targets higher than those in 2023 to successfully realize all goals and tasks set for the whole term, especially the GRDP growth target of 11-12% in the context of lingering difficulties and challenges. With the highest determination, Ninh Thuan will focus on four key solutions:

First, continuing to closely follow and drastically carry out activities to accomplish all goals and tasks as stated in resolutions of central authorities and the Provincial Party Committee.

Second, acting actively and perceptively, making close forecasts on future developments, undertaking flexible operations, making timely adjustments to development scenarios with appropriate solutions, with focus placed on three breakthrough stages: Perfecting mechanisms and policies to remove difficulties and bottlenecks for key development areas, freeing up resources to facilitate businesses to boost manufacturing, business and investment performance; accelerating the progress of key projects and inter-regional projects, especially infrastructure projects; and unlocking land resources and developing six key industries and fields prioritized for promoting growth (increased investment, especially public investment; energy; tourism; processing and manufacturing industries; high-tech agriculture; and urban economy).

Third, effectively mobilizing all resources for development; reforming investment promotion methods to ensure practicality, efficiency and centrality to catch investment flows from other countries to Vietnam and from major provinces and cities to Ninh Thuan, with a focus on processing and manufacturing industries in industrial zones; participating in major events, investment and trade promotion activities and business matching with domestic and foreign businesses.

Fourth, promptly supporting and solving difficulties for businesses in a truly effective manner, shed by the working motto of "government accompanies businesses" that sees businesses as the center, momentum and goal for development; conducting digital transformation and developing digital economy in a comprehensive way.

Vinh Hy Bay, located in the northeast of Ninh Thuan province, stands out as one of the four most beautiful bays in Vietnam

Ninh Thuan’s 2021-2030 plan aims for it to become an upper middle-income province by 2030, driven by the marine and urban economy. Could you elaborate on this goal and any related proposals to the Government?

Ninh Thuan Provincial Planning for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, approved by the Prime Minister in Decision 1319/QD-TTg dated November 10, 2023, states the goal that Ninh Thuan will be a relatively developed province in the region and the country and one of the energy and renewable energy centers by 2025; become an upper middle-income province in the country by 2030; become a comprehensively developed, high-income province by 2045; and become a comprehensively, rapidly and sustainably developed province, with a diverse and prosperous economy by 2050.

The socioeconomic activity of Ninh Thuan province is arranged by four territories, three driving regions and three development corridors. Specifically, the driving urban area of Phan Rang - Thap Cham will develop various industries. The southern key economic region will develop industry, seaports, energy, trade, services and tourism. The western region will develop trade, services, high-tech agriculture, energy and tourism. At the same time, five important breakthrough industry groups are energy and renewable energy; high-quality tourism; manufacturing and processing industry; high-tech agriculture; and construction and real estate market. This is an important orientation for Ninh Thuan to plan socioeconomic development directions, effectively distribute and use resources for development, and create a legal corridor for development.

To achieve all development goals, linking and cooperating with other provinces and regions is considered a key task by Ninh Thuan to promote potential, competitive advantages and distinctive values. Therefore, in addition to boosting our own internal resources, we hope that the Politburo, the National Assembly and the Government will have specific policies and mechanisms for Ninh Thuan as well as Southern Central provinces to quickly realize the goals, aspirations and strategic development orientations of each province and the entire region, thus contributing to the country's sustainable development.

Ninh Thuan is endowed with great potential for renewable energy (wind power and solar power). So, how effectively has this strength been tapped for development by the province?

Ninh Thuan is known to have the lowest average annual rainfall in the country, with few storms. It is hot, dry and windy. The average wind speed is over 7m/s and the wind blows evenly all year round. Nine straight months are sunny, with 2,500 hours of sunshine a year on average. Given these available potential advantages, Ninh Thuan devised renewable energy development plans: 8,000MW of solar power, 2,000MW of wind power and 21,000 MW of offshore wind power.

Now, Ninh Thuan is one of the largest renewable energy developers in the country, with 57 projects with a total installed capacity of 3,464MW (35 solar power projects with 2,467MW, 11 projects wind power with 667MW, and 11 hydropower projects with 330 MW). Electricity fed into the national grid reached over 8 billion kWh a year.

In five straight years (2018-2022), the renewable energy sector paid over VND5,284 billion to the State budget. In 2023 alone, it contributed VND1,031 billion to the State Budget, accounting for 26% of the province’s total budget revenue (VND3,915 billion). In the first quarter of 2024, the figure was estimated at VND279 billion, accounting for 22% of the total budget revenue (VND1,271 billion). Renewable energy development has also helped create jobs for about 4,150 workers, accounting for 1.8% of labor demand in four key economic sectors of the province.

Ninh Thuan has a lot of potential to develop clean energy

With Power Plan 8’s approval, Ninh Thuan is poised to become a national renewable energy hub. What steps will the province take to seize this opportunity?

According to Power Plan 8 and Decision 262/QD-TTg dated April 1, 2024 of the Prime Minister on ratification of the action program for implementation of Power Plan 8, Ninh Thuan launched an action plan for implementation of the Decision 262/QD-TTg. Accordingly, the province will focus on selecting investors to carry out two large important projects (1,500-MW Ca Na LNG Project and 1,200-MW Phuoc Hoa Pumped Storage Hydropower Project), six wind power projects (238 MW) and three hydroelectric projects (40 MW). The province will direct relevant agencies and localities to support investors in completing regulatory documents (like design appraisal, site clearance, forest land repurposing and investment certification) to start construction on 12 wind power projects, three hydropower projects (approved by Decision 262/QD-TTg) and Bac Ai Pumped Storage Hydropower - Phase 2 in 2024.

Ninh Thuan also invested in building a transmission power grid (to transmit electricity produced by three projects: Ca Na LNG, Bac Ai and Phuoc Hoa); proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the State Capital Management Committee at Enterprises to support Ninh Thuan province in arranging investment capital for three 500kV transmission grid projects approved in Power Planning 8 (500kV  Ninh Son - Chon Thanh line with 275km long dual transmission lines; 500kV Ca Na LNG - Thuan Nam line with 30km long dual lines; and 500kV Ninh Son transformer station - 1,800kVA). At the same time, the province coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop a pricing framework for buying and selling wind and solar power.

Furthermore, to form a renewable energy center of the country, the Provincial People's Committee is directing the establishment of a center for renewable energy research, application and development at Ninh Thuan Vocational College, carrying out the pilot policy to make Ninh Thuan province a comprehensive, typical renewable energy center in the country and building and executing the project on formation of an inter-regional renewable energy industry and service center in Ninh Thuan.

Thank you very much!

By Cong Luan, Vietnam Business Forum