Soc Trang Seeking Investment Solutions

2:30:23 PM | 18/9/2012

Located in the Mekong Delta, Soc Trang province is blessed with potentials and strengths for strong economic development, particularly agriculture, industry and services. However, investment attraction in Soc Trang is incommensurate with local potential. And, to promote investment, Soc Trang province has taken many important solutions to make a breakthrough.
Outcome incommensurate with potential
At present, the province of Soc Trang has about 2,240 registered business enterprises with a combined investment capital of more than VND15 trillion (US$750 million), including six foreign investment projects with a registered capital of US$12 million. Some large-scale investment projects, like a thermal power plant, wind power farm, and rice milling plant, are playing an increasing role in the province’s social and economic development and employment generation.
To accelerate investment attraction, the province has instructed relevant agencies to organise investment, trade and tourism promotion activities. All agencies in the province actively introduce information about meetings, conferences and exhibitions to local businesses to grasp opportunities to access and set up joint ventures with companies in other localities to carry out investments. Besides, Soc Trang is endeavouring to step up administrative reform, create an open investment environment, shorten required time for investment licence and business registration certificate, and operate an e-information portal for domestic and foreign investors. Nevertheless, powered by a 72 km coastline, abundant high-quality rice supply for export, investment attraction results are incommensurate with local potentials.
This is because of poor technical and services infrastructure as well as limited human resource quality. In addition, it lies far away from main economic centres - a loss of appeal to investors. Like other Mekong Delta provinces and the whole country in general, unsynchronised transportation system affected investment attraction.
Now, 99 percent of enterprises in Soc Trang province are small or medium sized. They have narrow operating areas, limited management level, outdated technology and poor infrastructure, which cause input costs to rise and competitiveness of products to fall. The construction and improvement of the investment environment has yet to make a breakthrough.
Infrastructure in Soc Trang province is more slowly developed than in other localities. Investment promotion and business support are poorly coordinated by relevant authorities.
Gradual troubleshooting
According to the Provincial People’s Committee, the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) will be at the medium point of Mekong Delta and in the top 20 provinces and cities by 2015.
The province put forth solutions to improve the investment climate, focusing on two main solutions. Firstly, the province will focus on reforming administrative procedures, creating favourable conditions for businesses to make investments for development, production and business, and improving the quality of local human resources to meet the demand of investors.
Besides, the province will mobilise all resources to invest in upgrading infrastructure systems to support investment projects.
It will seriously handle acts of corruption and harassment to ensure transparency and publicity in an attempt to remove unofficial costs in investment and business activities.
The province will prepare ready land for investment projects; improve industrial zone planning and construction to provide space for investors, and create a favourable environment to attract investors.
The province will focus on developing products with advantages, developing agriculture in association with processing industry and consumption market, prioritising agricultural product and food production and processing industry, forming large-scale farming zones, encouraging investment in farming, processing agricultural, forest and aquatic products, attracting investment capital in difficult rural areas, coastal areas, and Tran De Economic Zone.
To improve the effectiveness of investment promotion and business development support, the province will further introduce its potentials and investment opportunities and support business branding. It will provide information about trade, import and export activities, improve operating efficiency of the Steering Committee for Investment Trade and Tourism Promotion, enhance competitiveness, apply consistent measures to draw more investment capital, and strengthen regional linkages.
Ha Thanh