Soc Trang Province Ready to Roll out Red Carpet to Welcome Investors

3:49:59 PM | 18/3/2016

Not only possessing many advantages in investment attraction, Soc Trang province is also appreciated for having alluring incentive policies and active, considerate business support for investors. Mr Lam Hoang Nghiep, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Soc Trang province, said, “Promoting this point in raising investment attraction results, Soc Trang province is ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome investors and to support and satisfy all legitimate requirements from investors in the 2015 - 2020 period.” Vo Minh Kiet - Nguyen Viet Hung report.
Could you please introduce the notable potential and advantages of Soc Trang in investment attraction?
Soc Trang holds a lot of unique advantages in investment attraction. Situated in the south of the southern bank of the Hau River, the province has fertile land resources and an extensive canal system. The province lies advantageously on National Road 1A, which runs all along Vietnam, National Road 60, Nam Song Hau Route, and Quan Lo - Phung Hiep Road. The smooth and extended amphibious transport system endows Soc Trang with enormous potential and opportunities to attract investment capital and develop tourism. More importantly, the 72-km coastline offers favourable conditions for the province to develop its marine economy, particularly fishery and sea transport. Abundant agricultural and seafood products enable the province to supply inputs for export processing factories. According to statistics, the current aquatic area is about 68,000 ha, which annually produces 180,000 tonnes of aquatic products. This is a huge advantage for investors of agriculture and fisheries.
In addition to potential for agricultural development, industry and service are also among Soc Trang’s strengths in investment attraction. A lot of major investment projects have been located in the province, including Long Phu 1 Thermal Power Plant invested by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), and garment and textile projects invested by Tuntex and Best Way. Those projects have contributed to local socioeconomic development and provided jobs for many workers. Besides, trade and tourism also have great potential for drawing domestic and foreign investors.
With diverse resources for economic development, the government of Soc Trang province places great importance on improving the business environment to attract more investors. In the past years, the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) has improved considerably. Besides, the province encourages and creates favourable conditions for domestic and foreign investors to build infrastructure projects, applies mechanisms to create land funds for important transport infrastructure projects, and ensures electricity, communication and water supply systems for big projects and major economic sectors.
In addition to diverse economic potential and advantages, what attractive investment attraction policies will Soc Trang province take to draw more investors?
In addition to investment incentive policies specified by the Government of Vietnam, Soc Trang has introduced investment attraction policies, strengthened administrative apparatus, and reformed administrative procedures to improve the investment environment for investors. Specifically, the province issued Decision 23/2011/QD-UBND dated June 24, 2011 on regulations and policies on investment encouragement and support in Soc Trang. Accordingly, domestic and foreign investors are given land supports. Notably, projects belonging to specially encouraged investment fields are provided 100 per cent of technical infrastructure works outside the fence of projects. Investors are also given consultancy and expenses to complete investment procedures, carry out trade promotion, train employees and transfer technology when they implement their projects.
To attract socialised investment projects in education, vocational training, health, culture, sports and environment, the Provincial People’s Committee issued Decision 03/2011/QD-UBND dated January 29, 2011 on preferential policies on land use for social projects of education, vocational training, health, culture, sports and environment in the province. When investors carry out socialised projects in the province, they will enjoy land rent exemption if they meet statutory conditions. Moreover, to enhance investment attraction and intensify administrative procedure reform, the Provincial Party Committee issued Conclusion 11-KL/TW dated July 23, 2012 on competitiveness improvement and investment attraction of Soc Trang province in 2015.
To enhance the quality of business support activities, what solutions has Soc Trang province focused on?
The province will continue to consolidate and improve the performance of the Investment Promotion and Business Support Centre in the provision of information, advice, support and investment promotion, and corporate governance training. The province also effectively uses capital sources of the SME Support Development Project to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and facilitate them to recruit and train labourers.
The Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee directed the Department of Industry and Trade to assign the Investment Promotion and Business Support Centre to serve businesses and investors to survey investment locations, explore information and carry out investment procedures. Accordingly, investors only need to visit the centre for consultancy, procedural guidance and document submission. When it receives enough documents, the centre will introduce them to the relevant provincial departments and branches for appraisal. Within 15 days after receiving documents, the centre will gather information and decisions from expert agencies and will report results to the Provincial People’s Committee. Within seven working days from receipt of records and appraisal reports, the Provincial People’s Committee will decide on investment affairs. With quick and simple procedures, investors will need much less time and capital to get their projects done.
What practical solutions will the province focus on to catch opportunities from the international economic integration process and increase foreign investment sources like ODA, FDI and NGO?
In the context of accelerating globalisation and international economic integration, Vietnam has also actively integrated more deeply. We have signed a series of free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Eurasian Economic Union and Trans-Pacific Partnership, opening great opportunities for investment attraction.
To attract foreign investment like ODA, FDI and NGO, in addition to carrying out solutions to improve the investment and business environment, Soc Trang province will speed up the promotion and introduction of potential and investment opportunities, and cooperate with other localities to catch the interest of more investors. It will also introduce the list of projects and policies to inform investors of fields in need of investment capital, particularly agriculture, in the spirit of Decree 210/2013/ND-CP. It will try to create the enough land fund for investors, including industrial parks. It will give priority to important traffic works, cargo ports, electricity and water infrastructure, and human resources training bases to meet the needs of investors. Together with that, Soc Trang province will change its business management methods to increase support for enterprises even after they get licences.