Tien Giang Efforts to Become Strong Province in Mekong Delta

2:53:09 PM | 17/5/2016

Situated in the Mekong Delta region and in the southern key economic zone, and well-connected with Ho Chi Minh City, Tien Giang province possesses geographical advantages with convenient ground and waterway traffic systems, has sufficient conditions for developing high-tech inclusive agriculture, has favourable conditions for expanding industrial zones and urban areas, has ecological tourism advantages, and has an abundant labour force. Mr Le Van Huong, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, said “These advantages plus achievements and lessons learned in the leadership and administration in previous governmental terms are important premises for the province to realise the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress.” Cuong Nguyen reports.
Could you please introduce achievements that Tien Giang province has attained in the past five years?
In the five-year socioeconomic development plan from 2010 to 2015, most indicators reached and exceeded targets set in the Resolution. Specifically, GDP growth averaged 11 per cent a year in the period (based on the base price in 1994) and reached 7.5 per cent a year (based on the base price in 2010), ranked second out of 13 Mekong Delta provinces. A variety of solutions were taken to speed up economic restructuring in order to enhance the quality, effect and competitiveness of the province, like reorganising effective production, applying advanced science and technology to production, mobilising all available investment sources, diversifying and enhancing the effective use of capital sources for development. Per capita income in 2015 increased 2.2 times over 2010. Exports exceeded US$1 billion in 2013 and reached US$1.76 billion in 2015, an increase of 3.1 times over 2010. Socioeconomic facilities and infrastructure received investment to meet development requirements. Rural development programmes produced practical results, with more and more communes recognised to reach new countryside standards, including 12 communes from 2011 to 2015 (compared to the target of 10 communes). Education, healthcare, science, technology, culture and sport progressed. Social security was guaranteed while the material and spiritual life of the people were constantly improved. Each year, 24,000 new jobs were created. By the end of 2015, the poverty rate was down to 3.8 per cent.
How has the province mobilised total social investment capital for development in the past five years? What are the results?
To attract more social investment capital for socioeconomic development, immediately after the 5-year plan launched, the province focused on improving the investment and business environment, reforming administrative procedures, enhancing the effect land compensation for site clearance, building infrastructure system, and accelerating investment promotion. As a result, investment attraction for development achieved positive results. In five years from 2011 to 2015, total social investment capital reached VND96,100 billion, accounting for about 37 per cent of GRDP. In public investment (inclusive of capital sourced from government bond issue), the province invested VND10,904 billion in 2011-2015, rising 1.73 times over the 2006 - 2010 period and accounting 11.3 per cent of total social investment capital.
In investment attraction, in 5 years from 2011 to 2015, the province licensed 96 domestic direct investment projects with a total registered capital of VND32 trillion VND and 48 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with US$1,041 million of investment capital in total (doubling the value in the previous five-year period) and allowed 32 existing FDI projects to increase their registered capital by US$302.1 million, bringing total registered investment capital in the period to US$1.07 billion, of which US$883.1 million was disbursed.
By the end of 2015, the province had attracted 92 valid FDI projects with a combined registered capital of US$1,652 million, ranked 29th out of 63 provinces and cities in the country and third out of 13 Mekong Delta provinces. Social investment capital sources have played an important role in achieving socioeconomic development objectives and tasks in the past term.
Would you talk more about local potential for and reality of marine economic development, as well as investment for tapping this advantage in the coming time?
Tien Giang has a 32 km coast and many large rivers, including Tien, Vam Co Tay, Soai Rap and Cho Gao rivers interconnected with other Mekong Delta provinces and Ho Chi Minh City. It is also the gateway to the sea for Tien River-based provinces and Cambodia. In the past years, the province has concentrated on developing aquaculture and commercial fishing together with expanding fishing logistics and export processing technologies, creating jobs and ensuring social security while motivating local development.
Besides, the province will carry out appropriate policies to support marine-based industries, particularly offshore commercial fishing, which both helps fishermen increase incomes and protect the water territory and sovereignty, and complete infrastructure for aquaculture areas. It will take particular care of transferring technologies, encouraging farmers to apply biosecurity measures to aquaculture, diversify aquatic species reared, develop suitable farming methods, reorganising fishing industry and strengthening mutual assistance of fishermen at sea.
To further tap the potential and strengths of the maritime economy in an effective way, based on the spirit of the Resolution on Vietnam Sea Strategy to 2020 of the Government of Vietnam, the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee launched action programmes for deployment of this strategy. Besides, maritime and coastal economic development orientations of the province have been integrated into its five-year socioeconomic development plan from 2016 to 2020, aiming to “Further affirm a strategic position of the sea and coastal areas and its extremely important position to socioeconomic development and national security and defence in Tien Giang province where fisheries, tourism and seaport are key economic sectors that create strong impetus for economic restructuring and development; form a dynamic economic area where there is a strong pull on domestic and foreign investment flows; plan and call for investment capital for developing industry, trade and services in the eastern regions of the province; develop maritime and coastal economy, tourism and fisheries to ensure effective and sustainable development; and integrate it with guarantee of national security - defence, protection of ecological environment, and regeneration of fisheries resources.
The Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress (2015-2020 term) aims to make Tien Giang a economically and socially powerful province in the Mekong Delta by 2020, a development pillar of the southern key economic zone, and a hub of transportation and tourism services development in the Mekong Delta. What path-breaking strategies will the province take to realise the above targets?
In the next five years (2016-2020), the province will focus on mobilising all resources to unlock its potential and advantages; accelerate economic restructuring and synchronous infrastructure construction; further improve the investment and business environment; develop all economic sectors, change the growth model, enhance the quality, efficiency competitiveness of all economic sectors. Tien Giang province targets at GRDP growth of 8.5 - 9.5 per cent a year on average, per capita income of VND66.3 - 69.3 million in 2020, exports of US$3.4 billion in 2020 - up 13.3 per cent a year on average, and total investment capital of VND170 -188 trillion - accounting for 36.4 to 39.5 per cent of GRDP.
To accomplish these objectives, the province has defined to focus on five strategic breakthroughs: one, form growth pillars and key economic areas; two, build synchronous and modern socioeconomic infrastructure system in both urban and rural areas; three, invest to form key product systems in sectors with high comparative advantages; four, accelerate the urbanisation pace, and urban, peripheral urban and rural area development; and five, develop human resources to meet rapid and sustainable development requirements.