Thai Binh Offering Plenty of Incentives for Investors

5:24:03 PM | 9/9/2013

Branded as an "oasis of agriculture" before 2000, but in the last 10 years, Thai Binh province has attracted more industrial investment projects, thus quickening the process of local industrial development. Today's results not only come from the province’s geographical advantage of wide flat terrain and abundant human resources, but also from its attractive investment incentive policies for investors. To learn more about this, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Pham Van Sinh, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee of Thai Binh. Tran Trang reports.
In the past 10 years, Thai Binh province achieved very good results in investment attraction for industrial development. So, what are major mechanisms, solutions and activities has the province taken to support businesses and entrepreneurs?
In the 2006-2010 period, Thai Binh province had good GDP growth and a positive economic structure featured by an increased proportion of industry and construction and a reduced share of agriculture in GDP. The value of industrial production (based on constant price in 1994) increased 25.2 percent annually in the 2006-2010 period to reach VND10,194 billion in 2010 , an increase of 3.08 times over 2005. In 2012, the industrial production value grossed VND12,638 billion, an increase of 8.24 percent against 2011.
To achieve the above results, the province has applied a lot of measures to boost industrial and handicraft production. Based on the Law on Investment 2005 and instruction documents, the province has worked out suitable incentives to attract investors. Specifically, in 2007, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 01/2007/QD-UBND on investment incentive policies in Thai Binh. To provide better support for investors exploring investment opportunities in Thai Binh, in 2009, the province issued Decision 07/2009/QD-UBND to replace Decision 01/2007/QD-UBND and, in 2012, promulgated Decision 09/2012/QD-UBND to replace Decision 07/2009/QD-UBND.
According to Decision 09/2012/QD-UBND, Thai Binh encourages investment in precision engineering, electronics, supporting industries, pharmaceuticals meeting international GMP standards, agricultural processing, infrastructure construction for industrial zones, high-tech development, and high-tech products.
To draw investors, the province not only provides favourable conditions for investors to acquire production spaces and lease land at low rates (land rents in industrial zones are calculated equal to 1 percent of non-farming land price) but also builds infrastructure works (roads, electricity, water supply and communications systems) to the fences of industrial zones. Thai Binh province also assists investors in site levelling and clearance (supporting VND35,000 per square metre of land leased), labour training (supporting VND600,000- 2 million per labourer), labour supply expense (supporting VND20,000-100,000 per worker) and many others. The province also has specific incentives and preferences for big projects having huge socioeconomic effects, paying big taxes, using environmentally friendly technologies. Specifically, the province issued Decision 3283/QD-UBND dated December 31, 2007 to provide a preferential mechanism for the second-phase production expansion of Huong Sen Group, and Decision 3304/QD-UBND dated December 31, 2007 to apply a preferential mechanism for investment projects of Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin).
To reduce the time and expenses for enterprises, the province issued Decision 19/2009/QD -UBND on the implementation of one-stop source mechanism for investment activities at the Department of Planning and Investment and promulgated Decision 21/2009/QD-UBND to apply a similar mechanism at the Thai Binh Industrial Zones Authority. Investors apply for investment certificates at a single unit at the Department of Planning and Investment. The time for in-principle approval of investment projects is three days, and the time for granting and changing investment certificate is 8-20 days. To date, the implementation of investment procedures has been put into order to help businesses and investors shorten the time for preparing better investment project documents in a more convenient way. This will help the province enhance its provincial competitiveness index (PCI). In particular, PCI of Thai Binh province ranked 22nd in 2010 and 25th in 2012.
In addition, procedures related to land rent, construction and fire protection will be filed and returned at only one point at the Department of Planning and Investment or the Industrial Zones Authority. The one-stop source unit is responsible for handing over registration documents to competent units and getting them back to return to investors. Every year, the Provincial People's Committee organises many conferences to hear about obstacles investors face and seek solutions to them. Besides, the province also instructs competent agencies and local governments to base on their functions, tasks and situations to organise meetings to guide investors to deal with difficulties.
How has the provincial government assisted the business community to deal with current difficulties and challenges?
In recent years, enterprises in the province have faced numerous difficulties. To create a fair and easygoing environment, the province has reviewed legal documents, mechanisms and policies concerning support for businesses and entrepreneurs, and effectively implemented investment encouragement policies. Thai Binh province has also continuously accelerated public administration reform, intensified inspections in investment certification and investing activities. Large projects using a lot of land, potentially causing environmental pollution, utilising raw mineral resources, and consuming much energy will be closely scrutinised. Slowly implemented projects will be evaluated and have their investment certificate revoked if necessary.
Besides, Thai Binh always encourages and supports businesses to expand operations and enhance production efficiency. The provincial government organises dialogues and removes difficulties for enterprises, especially regarding tax, loan, and land-use right certification policies. Districts and cities encourage and facilitate individual and household businesses to invest in business expansion and transform into companies in accordance with the Law on Enterprises. The province has enacted a number of measures to support businesspeople to build up brand names through technological, industrial and agricultural encouragement policies. Every year, competent agencies actively work out and implement trade promotion activities to boost the marketability and popularity of Vietnamese products. The province also provides 30-40 percent of budgets for scientific and technological development to support technological innovation, make new products, and build and apply advanced quality management and build brands.
The province also attaches much importance to entrepreneur training and retraining. Every year, the province sets aside funds for entrepreneur training, create new professions, steps up exchange and experience exchange, and seek domestic and international markets. Business associations and local governments will assemble Thai Binh entrepreneurs living in Vietnam and other nations to return to the province to make business cooperation.