Ba Ria - Vung Tau Restructuring for Stronger and Faster Economic Growth

2:28:21 PM | 8/7/2015

With its considerable achievements in economic growth, social and cultural development and living quality improvement, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province has today become a leading light in economic development in the Southeast region of Vietnam. Mr Nguyen Van Trinh, Chairman of the Ba Ria - Vung Tau Provincial People's Committee, said, to grasp opportunities from the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province is embarking on its restructuring schemes to enhance economic competitiveness and prepare for stiffer competition of the integration process. Minh Kiet - Truong Thanh report.
Could you please introduce remarkable socioeconomic achievements after more than four years of implementing the Resolution of the Fifth Provincial Party Congress (2010-2015 term)?
On economic development, the province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) is estimated to reach VND192,427 billion (inclusive of oil and gas revenue) in 2015, 1.06 times that of 2010. The annualised GRDP is 1.28 percent in the period. Industrial production value, inclusive of oil and gas industry, was projected at VND316,338 billion in 2015, up to 1.2 times that of 2010, representing an average annual growth of 3.54 percent. The share of extractive industries declined and the share of processing industries increases as expected in the Resolution of the Fifth Provincial Party Congress. Total trade - service revenue in the five years reached about VND514 trillion, representing an average annual growth of 14.12 percent. Export value (inclusive of oil and gas) was US$70,894 million, an average annual growth of 14.3 percent. The total value of agricultural, forestry and fishery in the five-year period was VND83,209 billion, up 5.23 percent a year on average. Total investment capital for development was VND171,480 billion in the five years.
Currently, the urban infrastructure system in the province has been invested for upgrading towards synchronisation and modernisation. Vung Tau City has been recognised as the first grade urban zone; Ba Ria City as the second grade urban zone, and Phu My Town as the fourth grade urban zone where ports, industries and services are enjoying strong development.
To introduce the image of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province to worldwide, the province has strengthened foreign relations and friendship cooperation relations with other countries and regions. In the five years, the province has received more than 200 international delegations, signed cooperation agreements on trade, investment, tourism, health, education, science, technology and other fields with many international organisations and corporations like BMO (France), Pohang City (South Korea), Kawasaki and Izumiotsu cities (Japan).
The province has continued to accelerate public administration reform and apply the single-window mechanism. So far, 43 provincial and district-level administrative units have applied ISO 9001:2008 quality management standard system.
Con Dao District has been upgraded to a city since 2014 and operated as a municipality. To become a high-quality tourism and service economic zone as stated in the Master Plan for Con Dao Socioeconomic Development to 2020, with a vision to 2030, what policies will the province adopt?
Currently, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province is developing a scheme for the formation of Con Dao City, administered by Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, to accelerate socioeconomic development to tap its potential and cultural and historical values, strengthen national security and defence in the Southeast gateway of the country. In the spirit of Decision No. 264/2005/QD-TTg dated October 25, 2005 of the Prime Minister on the "choice of government model for Con Dao towards a modern urban style developed in two stages,” the province proposed the Prime Minister agree to grant special treatments to Con Dao City to meet requirements and tasks of protecting the territory, national sovereignty and develop socio-economy in the key waters of Vietnam.
On specific mechanisms and policies for Con Dao, according to the Prime Minister’s Decision No 32/2013/QD-TTg dated May 22, 2013 on preferential mechanisms and policies for Con Dao area, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province has specified preference policies and applied to the following areas: Preferential exemption or reduction of land-use fees and land and water surface rents; preferential corporate income tax, export tax and import duty; support of guaranteed power for production needs and livelihoods of people living in Con Dao; remunerations for civil servants and officials of armed forces; the upgrading of Con Dao Airport into an international airport; and medical support, exit, entry and residence in the island. Besides, the province has focused on reforming administrative procedures to attract investors to the island. On May 22, 2014, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision No. 1020/QD-UBND on the establishment of a joint working group in charge of development investment support in Con Dao to increase the effectiveness of attracting investment capital into the island.
Would you talk about Ba Ria - Vung Tau province’s action programmes in response to the Resolution No. 49/NQ-CP of the Government on the promulgation of the government’s action programmes for continued execution of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum Meeting of the 10th Party Central Committee on major guidelines and policies for fast-growing and sustainable economic development after Vietnam gained WTO membership?
In the past years, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province’s active international economic integration has achieved positive results. The competitiveness of the province and local businesses has significantly sharpened and adapted to the new situation. Export turnover continuously increased over the years (an annual growth of 22 percent in the 2011-2015 phase). The export market is expanded and diversified. The province has increased its FDI value. The province licensed 97 FDI projects with a combined registered capital of US$2,385 million in the 2011-2015 phase. So far, foreign investors have disbursed US$10,829 million into their projects, accounting 38.7 percent of their registered capital. To enhance its competitiveness, the province has focused on improving the business investment climate by enhancing the transparency and simplicity of regulations and administrative procedures, thus enabling people and businesses to easily access and complete administrative procedures in the shortest time and at the lowest cost. Every year, the Provincial People's Committee builds and carries out plans for improvement of provincial competitiveness index (PCI).
On commodity and service market development, the province strictly implemented the Prime Minister’s guidance on the gradual adoption of market prices to put an end to subsidies for key goods and services. Besides, to encourage and support technological innovation, equipment upgrading, and advanced information technology application to production and business operations of enterprises, on July 10, 2014, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision No. 31/2014/QD-UBND on scientific - technological support programme for businesses to enhance productivity and quality of products and goods in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province in the 2014 - 2020 period. In addition, the province always encourages and strengthens cooperation between researchers, technological institutions and businesses to bring new discoveries to production to enhance the quality and competitiveness of exports made by Ba Ria - Vung Tau province.
On interagency coordination mechanism and organisation on international economic cooperation, according to the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 596/QD-TTg dated April 23, 2014 and Decision No. 27/QD-BCDHNQT dated April 26, 2014 of the Head of the National Steering Committee of International Integration, on September 23, 2014, the Chairman of the Ba Ria - Vung Tau Provincial People's Committee also issued Decision No. 2035/QD-TTg on the establishment of the Steering Committee for International Integration of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province and its assistant bodies.
How has Ba Ria - Vung Tau province prepared for deeper integration?
To have an effective integration and turn challenges into opportunities, the province has carried out economic restructuring, technological renovation and management reform in couple with investments for the improvement human capacities, productive capacity and competitiveness. The province has concentrated on creating a stable investment and business environment to catch up with its socioeconomic development master plan to 2020 and industrial park development plan to 2020.
Ba Ria - Vung Tau targets to become an industrial province with a strong marine economy powered by national and international commercial ports and become one of industrial, service, tourism and seafood centres of the region and the country.