9:44:07 PM | 3/4/2013
Serving as a gateway connecting the southeast key economic region with the Central Highlands and the southern central region, endowed with rich, potential natural resources, Ninh Thuan province has taken many solutions to improve the investment and business environment, enhance competitiveness, create basic changes in investment attraction and socio-economic development, and assert its role and position in the era of renovation, integration and development. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Nguyen Duc Thanh, Chairman of Ninh Thuan People’s Committee, about the province’s achievements and plans for socio-economic development in the coming time. Cong Luan reports.
Could you introduce Ninh Thuan's outstanding socio-economic and cultural development achievements in 2012?
The year 2012 was full of hardships. However, in the spirit of self-reliance, the Party, the government and the people of Ninh Thuan province united to overcome difficulties, together with the entire country, to achieve priority objectives like curbing inflation, stabilising the macro-economy and ensuring social security. The province’s economy continued to maintain growth momentum. Its GDP expanded 10.3 per cent; GDP per capita VND19.1 million (US$850); agriculture, forestry and fisheries 6 per cent, industry and construction sectors 10.5 per cent, and total retail and service turnover 19.1 per cent over the previous year. Budgetary revenue grossed VND1,320 billion, up 13.9 per cent against 2011.
Besides, the province has seen the ripple effect of its investment promotion conferences. A lot of large corporations, both domestic and foreign, have come to the province to explore investment potential and register interested projects, particularly projects related to local advantages like wind power, mining, urbanisation and tourism. Last year, the provincial government licensed 30 projects with a total registered capital of VND10,601 billion, including two foreign-invested projects, and approved in principle 37 projects worth VND22.5 trillion. The biggest projects are the VND2,600-billion Viet My wind power plant; the VND1,492-billion Saigon - Ninh Thuan titanium mining and processing plant invested by Saigon - Ninh Thuan Mineral Joint Stock Company; and the VND2,500-billion export titanium pigment processing plant with an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes invested by Vinaminco Joint Stock Company. These projects produce a ripple effect and create an important impetus to accelerate socio-economic development. The provincial government is thus assisting the investors to step up their investment plans.
The province also enjoyed rapid social and cultural progress. Ninh Thuan supported the poor and policy beneficiaries to have a better life. It completed building 2,461 houses out of 3,067 units planned for the first phase in 2012 for the poor, repaired and constructed 209 units for policy beneficiaries, granted 95,202 health insurance policies to people living in extremely poor areas and 46,675 health insurance policies to people living just above the poverty line. 16,261 new jobs were generated in 2012. Disease outbreaks were effectively prevented, traffic accidents declined, and defence and security were maintained.
Vietnam and Japan are hosting the Friendship Year in 2013 in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations. How has your province attracted Japan’s ODA capital in the past years? Could you talk about your province’s orientations for the coming years?
Ninh Thuan province is still facing socio-economic difficulties. It has limited investment resources, and in response to the government’s policy on reduced public investment aimed at curbing inflation, the province determines that ODA, especially Japan's ODA is an important resource for socio-economic infrastructure investment,.
With the care and support of the Vietnamese and Japanese governments, Ninh Thuan province has received many Japan-funded ODA projects in recent years. Notably, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) financed over 21 small and medium-sized projects engaged in transportation, irrigation, water supply and rural electrification with a total funding of VND248 billion in the province. Most of the projects have been completed and put into use, and significantly contributed to the socio-economic development of the province. Besides, in 2012, the Government of Vietnam signed a credit agreement on a supply of medical equipment for provincial hospitals, coordinated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. There is a sub-project worth VND173 billion for the Ninh Thuan General Hospital. The medical equipment supply sub-project is now underway.
Also in 2012, Ninh Thuan province signed an agreement with JICA on Japan’s support for research on the southern central coastal development programme covering Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces. Binh Thuan is given priority. To date, the research has been basically completed.
From the research on regional development strategy conducted by JICA, Ninh Thuan province will coordinate with JICA to propose specific programmes and projects to ask for Japanese ODA. Key priority is focused on infrastructure development projects like transportation, irrigation and water supply, particularly projects in support of the construction of the second nuclear power plant, to be built by Japan.
According to the province’s master plan on socioeconomic development until 2020, the top objective of Ninh Thuan province is to become a clean energy centre of the country. Apart from two blueprint nuclear power plants, how has the province attracted investment capital for the clean energy industry?
By tapping local potentials and advantages, Ninh Thuan province will be the centre of clean energy for Vietnam. Apart from nuclear energy, the province will develop wind and solar energies. The objective is to build Ninh Thuan province into an energy centre. Nuclear energy and renewable energy will be the nucleus. By 2020, the energy industry will contribute 11 per cent of the province’s GDP and meet 5 - 8 per cent of national energy needs.
Besides, Ninh Thuan attracts investment capital into supporting industries, i.e. making equipment for wind and solar energy production, and advocates the development of human resources establishments for the energy industry.
To achieve that goal, Ninh Thuan is determined to improve the investment environment and create most favourable conditions for investors. The province offers the highest incentives to investors in the framework of the laws like tax breaks, land rents, corporate income tax, or import duty reductions. In addition, investment projects in Ninh Thuan, depending on industry and scale, will be supported with infrastructure construction, investment site construction and land compensation.
To date, seven wind power projects with the combined capacity of over 560 MW, with a total registered capital of over VND21 trillion, have been granted investment certificates and 10 projects with the aggregate capacity of over 901 MW and investment capital of VND28.9 trillion have been approved in principle. Among them, some projects have very big scales like the VND124.5-MW, VND5.2-trillion Phuoc Nam renewable energy plant invested by Enfinity Asia Pacific Limited, and a 180-MW wind power facility invested at over VND6.5 trillion by Thuan Phong Energy Development Joint Stock Company. Notably, the wind power project invested by Vietnam Electricity Investment and Construction is expected to embark on three first wind towers in Cong Hai commune, Thuan Bac district and start electrical generation in late 2013 and early 2014 with an annual output of 13.5 million kWh.
The friendly, hospitable government and people of Ninh Thuan province always welcome investors and provide them with best conditions to carry out their projects. Needless to say, Ninh Thuan province is a trusted destination for investors.