Kien Giang to Be Prosperous Province in the Mekong Delta

5:24:32 PM | 14/12/2011

Kien Giang continues to make impressive progress in socio-economic development. It shows the resilience of the province with the concerted efforts of the local people and authorities. Vietnam Business Forum conducted an interview with Mr Le Van Thi, Chairman of Kien Giang People’s Committee, on the achievement and development orientation for the future. Mai Ly reports.
Please tell us the achievements of the province in socio-economic development in 2005-2010 and your plans for the coming years?
In the period of 2005-2010, in spite of numerous difficulties, the people and authorities of Kien Giang have recorded important achievements. The economic growth rate was 11.5 percent a year. The economic structure transformed positively, reducing the ratio of agriculture-forestry-aquaculture from 46.6 percent to 42.7 percent, while service increased from 28 percent to 33.4 percent. GDP per capita was VND25,762,000 (equivalent of US$1,320), more than double that of the previous five years. Potential economic sectors have been promoted. Agriculture-forestry-aquaculture increased 7.2 percent, playing a vital role in economic growth. Industry-construction increased 13.1 percent and service 17.4 percent. The main targets in food production, aquaculture and export value have been exceeded.
Progress has been made in rural economy. The sea-based economy including Phu Quoc Island has been upgraded in investments. Border districts and towns have been developed. Economic regions such as Long Xuyen, Ca Mau peninsula, and the Western part of the Hau River have been developed with comparative advantages and gradually become high-quality industry-agriculture models. The living conditions of the people have been improved, and household poverty is reduced to 4.5 percent.
The achievements recorded in the past five years serve as foundation for socio-economic development of the province in the coming years and narrow the gap in economic development with other provinces in Vietnam. The main objective of Kien Giang in the next five years is to increase economic growth rate to 13 percent upwards. By 2015, agriculture-forestry-aquaculture will make up 30 percent of the economy, industry-construction 32 percent and service 38 percent. GDP per capita will be US$2,500-2,600. Food production will be 3.55 million tonnes, aquaculture 684,000 tonnes (including 55,000 tonnes of shrimp). Export value will be US$900 million. Budget revenue will more than double from 2010. Social investment will be mobilized to some VND170,000 billion in 2011-2015. Meanwhile, human resources development will be upgraded, and national security and defence will be strengthened. Kien Giang will become a prosperous province in the Mekong Delta and above the average in Vietnam.
 To attain that goal, Kien Giang will develop its comparative advantages most effectively in the key economic region of the Mekong Delta, promoting sustainable economic development, accelerating administrative reform, increasing management capacity, upgrading human resources development, improving planning, mobilizing resources for development and maximizing the potential of sea-based economy.
 Kien Giang has attained important progress in the provincial competitiveness indexes (PCI) announced by VCCI. How can you increase competitiveness and what is your plan in the years to come?
In 2009, Kien Giang made a big leap from 35th position in 2008 to 19th in provincial competitiveness indexes of Vietnam. In 2010, though with a somewhat lower position, Kien Giang remained in the Good group. To improve business environment and management efficiency so as to increase PCI in 2011 and the years to come, Kien Giang People’s Committee has developed a Programme of increasing competitiveness with specific solutions. The first task is to accelerate administrative reform. Accordingly, concerned authorities make public proceedings and formalities so that businesses and the public can supervise and recommend improvements. Policies and decisions of the Government and the province must be announced in time so as to apply on-line administrative formalities, saving time and money for the people and businesses.
 In addition, the province will focus on implementing human resources development policies in the interests of the business community, developing technical infrastructure, maximizing stimulus of the government and assisting businesses to access information technology to improve business activities.
 The Prime Minister has approved the master plan for socio-economic development of Kien Giang to 2020, how will you develop main economic sectors and products of the province?
 For agriculture-forestry-aquaculture, we will develop all-round and large-scale agricultural production with high productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness. Rice production will be the main sector with high quality. Animal husbandry will be promoted, with cattle, pigs, and poultry in large-scale production. The total area for forestry will be maintained at 85,780 hectares in 2015-2020, increasing forest covered area to 14 percent. Aquaculture will be diversified with sustainable development. In 2015-2020, the total output of aquaculture will be 390,000-420,000 tonnes.
 In industry, the growth rates of industry and handicraft will be 11.1 percent a year in 2011-2015 and 16 percent in 2016-2020. The province will focus on the development of high technology in sectors of comparative advantages such as building materials, agriculture-forestry-aquaculture processing, supporting industries, ship building, clean industries, new materials and services. Industrial zones and centres will be built.
Regarding services, Kien Giang will increase service growth rates to 16.2 percent in 2011-2015 and 17 percent in 2015-2020 with priority for high-quality services and new services. Tourism will be a spearhead sector with tourist centres in Rach Gia, and U Minh Thuong, while Phu Quoc Island will be an international tourist and trade centre of high quality in the region. The number of tourists will be 6.1 million in 2015 and 10 million in 2020.