1:34:15 PM | 8/6/2011
Many investment projects, industrial parks, particularly Dinh An Economic Zone and upgraded traffic systems, are expected to lay solid groundwork for Tra Vinh province to accelerate socio-economic development. Confident in its internal strength, Tra Vinh is determined to achieve average annual economic growth of 14 percent in the 2011 - 2015 period. Reporter Ha Linh interviewed Mr Tong Minh Vien, Vice Chairman of Provincial People’s Committee, on the province’s development orientations.
Could you briefly describe on social and economic achievements of Tra Vinh in 2010?
In 2010, notwithstanding numerous challenges, Tra Vinh province still obtained important social and economic development achievements thanks to proper guidance and resolute determination of the government and the people. In recent years, the province secured average growth of 12.3 percent, higher than the Mekong Delta and much higher than the national average, creating good groundwork for the provincial development.
Despite complex disease development, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector expanded 5.9 percent from 2009, thanks to effective scientific and technological applications to production and disease control. Farming area, animal husbandry and fisheries expanded to increase incomes for farmers. The province applied the new countryside model in My Long Nam commune (Cau Ngang district) where infrastructure is invested, production is reorganised and personnel training is renovated. To date, the commune completed nine out of 19 national criteria for new countryside. A similar blueprint project will be applied in Phu Can commune (Tieu Can district).
In the industrial and handicraft sectors, implementing the Government’s policies on economic stimulus and production support, the province’s industry continued expanding, with the value in 2010 reaching VND3,620 billion, up 12.9 percent year on year. In particular, the State sector saw 11.4 percent growth, followed by the private sector with 5 percent and foreign-invested sector with 1.5 percent. Most indicators were reached.
The commercial and service sectors expanded considerably, powered by rising purchasing power. Total retail and service revenues were estimated to reach VND8,453 billion. Tourism, transport and telecom sectors continued to grow, with rising quality. Export turnover amounted to VND140 million, up 20.5 percent year on year, with major exports being rice, frozen shrimp, fish fillets, activated carbon and chemicals.
In addition, the areas of culture, education, sports, health, science and technology and employment attained positive results. Furthermore, administrative procedure reform brought about many important achievements. Tra Vinh has now basically completed administrative procedure reform according to the single-window mechanism. Tra Vinh also achieved modernisation of state administration. IT achievements are applied to State administrative offices.
Agriculture is one of the major strengths of Tra Vinh province. Could you talk about the development trends of this sector?
In the future, Tra Vinh will continue to implement comprehensive solutions for structural change and promoting the commerciality of agricultural and aquatic production. Effective models will be expanded, particularly those employing advanced scientific applications. The province will carry out programmes and projects to develop high-quality rice areas, and take advantage of international support for new production processes to bring rice output to 1 million tonnes a year. Husbandry will be developed, with the herd reaching 420,000 head, and poultry population touching 5 million animals.
Aquaculture is one of the strengths of Tra Vinh province. According to the development plan for the next five years, the province will gradually scale up the farming of sugpo shrimp and catfish, as it has good irrigation systems. Besides, Tra Vinh will concentrate on developing cash-earning species like sea crab, prawn and clam. The locality strives to bring fishing output to 157,800 tonnes (both commercial fishing and aquaculture), including 33,100 tonnes of shrimp, expanding brackish aquaculture farming area to 41,000 hectares (including 25,300 ha for tiger prawns), and the freshwater aqua-farming area to 13,000 ha (including over 200 ha for catfish). Besides, the province will continue investing for the completion of infrastructure works for fishery development, like fishing ports, wharves, mooring sites, and storm shelter harbours, and renovating offshore fishing equipment to boost productivity and minimise risks facing fishermen.
How will the industry and handicraft sectors be invested?
In the next five years, Tra Vinh will develop its industry and handicraft production, focusing on quality improvement, competitiveness enhancement, and local advantages, particularly materials. It will upgrade processing investment and technologies to turn out high-quality products and increase the value of products, particularly exports. It will plan material zones for cottage industries. Tra Vinh strives to raise the proportion of industrial and service sectors and reduce the proportion of the agricultural sector in provincial GDP. When the five-year plan is completed, industry is expected to make up 28 percent of the province’s GDP, agriculture will account for 38 percent, and services will be 34 percent.
From 2011 to 2015, Tra Vinh is determined to raise economic growth to 14 percent per annum, higher than the 2005-2011 average of 11.5 percent a year. To achieve this goal, the province will focus on supporting the completion of important projects. The first is widening and deepening a canal to spur economic growth, which is expected to be completed in 2015. The second project is the thermal power plant, which was kicked off this year and will complete the first turbine in 2014, the second in 2015 and the third in 2016. Once completed, it will provide some 3,000 jobs. Many traffic projects will also be carried out, including the construction of Co Chien Bridge (expected completion in 2015, after 36 months of construction), the upgrading of National Road 53 and Dai Ngai ferry (expected completion this year). The province will also exert its resources to develop important items in Dinh An Industrial Park, Dinh An Economic Zone, and non-tariff areas in 2011.
Could you please talk about investment attraction results for Tra Vinh province in the last year? What major incentives does Tra Vinh province offer businesses?
Last year, the province attained an economic growth of 12.3 percent, higher than the average growth in the Mekong Delta and much higher than the national average. This is a good prerequisite for the development of the province.
Tra Vinh had better conditions for development after the Prime Minister approved the establishment of Dinh An Economic Zone, one of 15 coastal economic zones in the country. Many foreign investors have arrived in Tra Vinh province to explore the business and investment environment, especially those from the US, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan. However, in 2010, the province licensed a very small number of just 16 projects, including four foreign-invested ones. These projects were mainly located in Long Duc Industrial Park. In the coming time, the province will focus its resources on attracting investment capital and unlocking current potential to create new momentum for industrialisation and modernisation.
Tra Vinh always has the best policies to support investors, especially in site clearance. The province has a specialised taskforce for site clearance which works with local authorities to push up the pace of site clearance. In 2010, three big projects completed site clearance very quickly, including Duyen Hai thermal power plant, Co Chien bridge, and a provincial road to Dinh An Economic Zone. All these supports help investors to quicken their investment projects. Besides, Tra Vinh has a contingent of responsible civil servants who are ready to assist investors. Administrative procedures are also simplified to save time and costs for investors.
The coastal province of Tra Vinh province is located in the heart of the Mekong Delta region. With a large workforce, the agriculture-based province is capable of supplying enough manpower for any investor. For instance, My Phong Shoes Company carried out three labour-intensive projects, including Tieu Can project (more than 10,000 employees), Tra Cu project (6,000 to 7,000 workers) and the now underway Phuoc Hung project.
However, the quality of labour in Tra Vinh is low; to improve this, the province has associated with universities, colleges and vocational schools to provide more training for industrial zone workers. It also provides certain funds for companies to train their workers.
With its strengths, Tra Vinh is definitely very attractive to investors. Hence, the province is always optimistic of attracting investment in the future. It is a leading star of investment attraction in the Mekong Delta region and the whole country.