Binh Thuan Combines Economic Development with Social Security

11:30:40 AM | 23/8/2011

Binh Thuan province has been growing robustly and played a very important role in the national socioeconomic development strategy over the past years. To learn more about development achievements as well as orientations of Binh Thuan, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Le Tien Phuong, Chairman of Binh Thuan People’s Committee. Quoc Hung reports.
Could you highlight the most impressive achievements Binh Thuan made in the 2006 - 2010 period? What are the important factors for these achievements?
In the past years, the Party, government and people of Binh Thuan province have weathered difficulties to implement the contents of the Resolution by the 11th Provincial Party Congress to attain impressive development outcomes.
Annual GDP growth averaged at 12.8 percent from 2006 to 2010. The economy was restructured towards the expected shape. In 2010, the proportion of agriculture, forestry and fishery to the GDP reduced to 21 percent while that of industry and construction climbed to 34.2 percent and that of services leaped to 44.8 percent. State budget to GDP ratio was 10.5 percent in the 2006 - 2010 period. GDP per capita reached US$1,093 in 2010, more than 2.57 times higher than in 2005.
Trade, service and tourism sectors developed relatively strongly. Markets were expanded to boost trade with other localities and many countries in the world. Tourism kept high growth, with tourist arrivals topping 2.5 million in 2010, up 14.85 percent year on year, and revenues reaching VND2,500 billion. Foreign trade ballooned, with export turnover rising 14.82 percent a year on the reporting period, reaching US$220 million in 2010. Foreign direct investment kept going up. At the end of 2010, the province housed 74 FDI projects worth US$1,081 million. Foreign aid was US$40 million.
Industrial and handicraft production was expanded considerably. Infrastructure systems in industrial parks and industrial complexes were basically completed to attract new projects. Dai Ninh hydropower plant and Tuy Phong wind power facility will stabilise power supply in the province. Industrial production value increased an average of 16.4 percent a year. The production of agriculture, forestry and fishery continued growing up towards better quality and productivity.
Notably, irrigation systems were centrally invested and upgraded to boost cultivation. Together with agriculture and forestry, the fishery sector is directed to quality-based culturing and fishing. Offshore commercial fishing was expanded. In 2010, commercial fishing volume reached 170,000 tonnes, an increase of 22,537 tonnes from 2005.
The above achievements were resulted from the leadership, direction and assistance of central agencies as well as efforts and determinations of provincial authorities and people. The province always attached great importance to strengthening administrative apparatus and reforming administrative procedures. Previous investments also powered up local production and economic development.
Economic growth needs to be attached to social welfare. What social policies is Binh Thuan province offering?
In the past years, apart from high attention paid to economic development, Binh Thuan province also spared no effort to social issues. Hence, cultural and social activities progressed. Social security policies have been effectively implemented and living standards of the people get improved.
Unemployment eased thanks to effective job generation policies and measures. In five years from 2006 to 2010, the province provided jobs for 115,980 people, or an average of 23,196 jobs created a year, equal to 110.4 percent of the plan. As a result, urban unemployment fell to 5.1 percent in 2010.
Binh Thuan also takes care of living conditions of ethnic minorities in mountainous areas or families sacrificing to the national liberation. Thanking programmes and movements are frequently launched. In the past five years, the province raised VND124.795 billion, built 11,600 houses for poor families, helped 21,429 households escape from poverty, or a drop of 2.04 percent a year, driving the poverty rate in the province to 4 percent.
Public healthcare is enhanced. Medical facilities and equipment have been gradually upgraded and purchased. In 2010, all 127 communes in the province had clinics (level 4). The policy on socialisation of medical services is carried out actively. The province now has 837 private medical units, including two private hospitals with 87 beds, over 220 private clinics, five antenatal clinics and 43 pharmacies. These facilities help reduce the burden on favourite State-run facilities.
Would you be kind enough to provide some information about economic tasks and priorities of Binh Thuan province in 2011 and the 2011 - 2015 period as a whole?
A general task of Binh Thuan in 2011 is to mobilise all available resources and maximise all comparative advantages to speed up economic growth. The province will focus on picking up the pace of industrial development; apply measures to supervise and manage prices in order to curb inflation and stabilise the market; attach economic development with environmental protection and social security. Binh Thuan expects to obtain the GDP growth of 12 percent in 2011, spend VND690 billion on development investment, create 23,000 new jobs, and lower poverty rate by another 1.5 percent.
The province’s central economic development tasks in 2011 are to lift obstacles to speed up investment project implementation. It will speed up the progress of building Phan Thiet (second phase), Ham Kiem 1, Ham Kiem 2 industrial parks, Ke Ga deepwater seaport, Vinh Tan power plant, and other hydropower and wind-power plants. It will attract investors with strong financial capacity and advanced technology into industrial parks to process agricultural, forest and aquatic products, and minerals. It expects industrial production to expand by 16.05 percent this year.
It also promotes the tourism development by tapping local advantages. It will attract investment capital to develop new tours and improve the quality of tourism human resource training in an effort to welcome 2.8 million visitors and earn revenues of VND3,250 billion in 2011.
In addition, Binh Thuan comprehensively strengthens agricultural development, effectively manages rice cultivated area to ensure food security, expands the acreage of dragon fruits grown in accordance with VietGap to 7,000 ha; facilitates the development of rubber, cotton, pepper and sugarcane in suitable areas. It will also speed up offshore commercial fishing.
In the 2011-2015 period, basing on socioeconomic development targets, the province expects to mobilise VND120 trillion (US$6 billion) for development investment, accounting for 50 percent of the provincial GDP. The State budget will finance 22.5 percent while the private sector (domestic and foreign) will account for 77.5 percent. To fulfil socio-economic development objectives for the 2011 - 2015 phase, Binh Thuan will attract all available social capital sources for economic development and growth. It will also step up human resource training to meet new development requirements.
Furthermore, the province will focus on building and developing scientific and technological strengths, invest in scientific and technological research to step up the process of technological renovation in the cause of industrialisation and modernisation. It will also intensify public administration reform to save time and expenses for businesses and people and become more attractive to investors.