Kien Giang Determined to Bring Full Potential into Play

10:17:52 AM | 12/1/2016

As one of four provinces in the Mekong Delta economic zone, Kien Giang is endowed with great potential and diverse advantages for economic development. Implementing the Resolution of the Ninth Provincial Party Congress, in the past five years (2010-2015), with the efforts of the Party, the government and people, Kien Giang has attained significant achievements in all aspects to lift its position in the Mekong Delta. To learn more about this success, Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Pham Vu Hong, Chairman of Kien Giang Provincial People’s Committee. Minh Kiet reports.
How do you assess the social and economic picture of Kien Giang in the five-year period from 2010 to 2015?
In the past five years, Kien Giang province endeavoured and achieved important results by comprehensively and effectively tapping its potential and strengths. The five-year average GDP growth was 10.53 per cent a year and the economic structure was shifted towards a desired pattern.
Agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors maintained relatively high growth, averaging 5.75 per cent a year. In 2015, food production output reached 4.64 million tonnes, up 32.7 per cent over 2010; and commercial fishing and aquaculture output totalled 674 000 tonnes, up 35.7 per cent against 2010. The province invested VND17,023 billion for new rural construction, including VND7,326 billion from various sectors. To date, 18 communes in Tan Hiep district have met new countryside criteria.
Industrial and construction sectors posted an average annual growth of 11.3 per cent in the reviewed period. The province carried out infrastructure construction, issued many preferential investment policies and attracted many investment projects in Thanh Loc - Chau Thanh, Xeo Ro - An Bien, and Vinh Hoa Hung Nam - Go Quao industrial zones. Trade and service sectors increased 14.91 per cent a year on average. Total retail revenue of merchandise and services reached VND64,450 billion in 2015, up 2.3 times against 2010, and export turnover grossed US$526 million, up 13 per cent over 2010. The province sped up investment in tourism development, especially high-quality tourism projects in Phu Quoc Island, and created momentum for tourism and socioeconomic development. In 2015, the province welcomed over 4.2 million tourists, up 7.9 per cent year on year and made VND1,907.5 billion in tourism revenue, up 27 per cent.
In the past five years, Kien Giang province mobilised VND138,809 billion (equal to 40.2 per cent of GDP) for irrigation, traffic, water supply, electricity, education and urban infrastructure development. Thus far, the province has completed many important projects such as the Phu Quoc International Airport, power lines to Phu Quoc Island and Hon Tre Island (Kien Hai district), bypass roads in Rach Gia City, Cai Lon and Cai Be bridges, and expanded National Road 61. Particularly, Phu Quoc Island has been receiving investment to become a centrally governed exclusive economic zone. The province licensed 621 investment projects with a total registered capital of VND216,000 billion, of which 261 projects with VND28,360 billion have begun international operation.
In addition to economic development achievements, cultural and social aspects also made a progress. Education and training continued to be developed with better quality and public healthcare was invested and strengthened. The poverty rate fell from 8.84 per cent in 2010 to 2.73 per cent in 2015. Over 33,000 jobs were generated per year on average and over 52 per cent of people at working age were trained. Defence and security were maintained.
Based on its achievements in the past term, what specific objectives and breakthrough solutions will Kien Giang province take to promote its potential and strengths, achieve breakthrough development and develop rapidly and sustainably in the next term, 2015 - 2020?
In the next five years (2015-2020), the Kien Giang Provincial Party Committee will focus on mobilising resources and effectively exploiting its potential and strengths; ensure rapid and sustainable economic development; and prioritise investment for synchronous socioeconomic infrastructure construction. The province will improve the quality of education, health, cultural and social development; strengthen environmental protection; actively respond to climate change; maintain political security, social order and safety; and promote foreign affairs, cooperation and international integration. By 2020, the province will strive to become a relatively developed province in the country.
In the 2015 - 2020 phase, the province will attempt to achieve an annual economic growth of 8.5 per cent or higher. In 2020, Kien Giang province will reach GDP per capita of US$3,000, food output of 5 million tonnes, fish output of 755,505 tonnes, industrial production growth of 12 per cent a year, export value of US$1 billion, 35,000 - 40,000 jobs generated, poverty rate slashed by 1 - 1.5 per cent a year, and social investment capital of approximately VND255,000 billion in 2016 - 2020.
In order to achieve the set targets, Kien Giang has defined to carry out three breakthrough development stages: Improving human resources quality and administrative reform to meet development requirements; utilising all resources to build synchronous transportation infrastructure; and building and developing Phu Quoc Island into a special economic zone.
What will Kien Giang province focus on to carry out its three breakthrough stages in the next term?
To effectively implement these three breakthrough stages, the province will focus on developing comprehensive agriculture based on industrialisation, modernisation and new rural construction; restructuring agriculture towards increasing commercialism, and developing important advantageous products like rice, shrimp, pepper and pineapple, and combining production with processing industry. Kien Giang will vigorously develop the marine economy in association with protecting maritime sovereignty, including developing maritime tourism and building Phu Quoc Island into a world-class ecological tourism centre with modern high-class services and amenities; and expand shipping services to Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. The province will focus on developing advantageous industries to accelerate economic growth and economic restructuring; develop seafood and agricultural processing, agricultural mechanical engineering, supporting industries, shipbuilding and repairing services, and labour-intensive industries. Tourism will be gradually developed to become a key economic sector and a major economic growth engine of the province.
Besides, the province will concentrate on diversifying trade and service development to tap its potential and advantages; encourage and facilitate socioeconomic and business development; strengthen the management and protection of natural resources and environment; and actively respond to climate change. Additionally, the province will invest to build synchronous socioeconomic infrastructure system, especially groundbreaking projects like southern coastal road from Ha Tien to Rach Gia, Lo Te - Rach Soi section on Ho Chi Minh Road, National Road 63, critical sea dykes, electrical systems for agriculture and aquaculture development, sea dykes from Ha Tien to An Minh, and river dykes on Cai Be and Cai Lon rivers. To unlock the potential and strengths of each economic area, the province will build development programmes for Long Xuyen area, western part of the Hau River, U Minh Thuong and territorial waters; and boost socioeconomic development cooperation with other Mekong Delta provinces, particularly with Can Tho City, Ca Mau and An Giang.